As a child, my parents, by their example, instilled in me a love for reading. I dreamed of being a writer but the pursuit of dreams was never discussed or encouraged - leaving me to write in secret in my room.
Life progressed, however, and an interest in interior design surfaced in my teens. However, at my parents' insistence, I enrolled in secretarial school and worked in that area contentedly, for twenty years.
Married with two children at thirty-eight, I grew restless. I was unhappy with my job and felt exhausted at the end of the day. I wanted to do something creative with my life. "Life begins at forty" became my mantra.
A growing addiction to decorating shows on television reawakened my teenage interest. As I devoured every word and every scene, I vowed that I would let nothing deter me from becoming an interior designer.
With my fortieth birthday ten months away, I signed up for a two-year interior-decorating course. I crammed two years of work into nine months to ensure that I received my diploma for my fortieth birthday. I met my self-imposed deadline with twelve days to spare and I was ecstatic.
The next step was to get some hands-on experience at a design firm. A visit to a newly opened interiors showroom ushered me into a dream job that opened more opportunities for me than I could have ever imagined. I donned the hat of a decorating consultant at the showroom and I was on my way to creating the career I envisioned.
Opportunity knocked at my door in 1997. I peeked and saw the possibility of writing a decorating column for a woman's magazine. The editor liked the idea and the monthly column debuted in February 1998.
Writing did not only open doors for decorating projects, it also provided me with the opportunity to teach interior decorating classes. A three-year teaching experience added a new dimension to my career while the confidence and reputation I gained were invaluable.
In the midst of the enjoying my new career and the diversity of experiences, I realized that I was involved in doing something I dreamed of as a child. I was writing. To master the finer skills, I signed up for a freelance writing course. Encouraging feedback from tutors gave me the confidence to submit my work for publication on the internet.
An online newsletter published the story of my mission to redefine myself and pursue my dream. The response from readers was unexpected and overwhelming. From around the world, people emailed to say that they identified with my experience. Some even asked for advice. They inspired me to write self-care articles and motivational pieces, especially for women. Soon, this hobby had developed into a passion that consumed me--and my writing.
Nevertheless, working a fulltime job and struggling to write at night while fighting sleep and fatigue did not whittle away at my determination to be a fulltime freelance writer. I hung on because I had another dream — to retire at fifty, even though my fifty-first birthday was staring me in the face.
Prompted by my husband and grown, working children, I handed in my resignation on the 8th of August 2006. The next day, knowing that I will have the time to do the kind of research and writing I enjoy, I sent my writing resume and copies of my published clips to the three local newspapers in my country. I contacted every editor I had worked with before to let them know that I would be available for assignments.
One week before I left, the oldest and largest newspaper in my country commissioned me to write a weekly motivational/inspirational column for their Sunday pullout magazine for women. On the 30th August 2006, eighteen days before I turned fifty-one, I left my office for the last time.
I now write two regular columns while researching and writing feature articles on a variety of other topics, mostly for publication in online magazines. Three books are works in progress and my website is under construction.
My family tells me that I look younger and seem more energetic. I am living my childhood dream, doing what I love. I am a fulltime freelance writer with yet another dream — to be a motivational speaker.
On my journey, I have learned that it is never too late to pursue, and live your dream.
Submitted by Anonymous