I think the only true obstacles that have ever stood in my way were all in my head.
I was the product of a horrible relationship, given to my grandparents to raise. I was molested until I was 15 by multiple people in my family. Spent time on the streets, spent some time in jail, was a drug addict for a short time, was in abusive relationship after abusive relationship, and ultimately, somehow, survived it all fairly unscathed.
I never really had a dream. Well, maybe I did and I just forgot it. I just wanted to be happy. To feel loved. To be appreciated for who I was, not because of what I could do for someone. To not feel empty and dying inside.
The funny thing is that when my depression was at its worst I became very sick and they told me I’d never work again and that I should file for disability. My two young children were trying to care for me — their own mother … at that point, when I wanted to die, did I finally realize I was making a choice to be miserable. I could CHOOSE to change it. I read “The Mind-Body Connection” by John Sarno and Marianne Williamson‘s book, “A Return To Love.” They literally changed my life. Marianne’s book still stays by my bedside with its yellowed pages full of notes and highlights. Those pages spoke to me so deeply when I needed it the absolute most.
Changing my mind was the hardest thing I’d ever done. It was a total perception correction and complete retraining of my brain. I stopped seeing the dark side of everything, stopped looking at everything that I didn’t have, I stopped judging “success” as having lots of money or being popular. I stopped taking all the medications that were feeding my illness rather than helping it, and I forced myself to get up and move and take care of myself. And you know what? I got better. I got A LOT better. I got better and better until that person no longer exists. I’m actually the least depressed person I know now, LOL!
I’ve been many things in my 46 years on this Earth, but since I’ve found myself these last 10 years I’ve quit being scared to fail. I decided to quit my job as a district manager with Dr Pepper/Snapple and become an actor at the age of 39 (I’d never even acted a day in my life!). Then I moved behind the camera to be a writer/director and won a couple regional Emmys. Then decided to quit that and learn photography. A couple years later and I am now one of the most recognized editorial fashion doll photographers in the world and have become the executive editor of a collector based magazine. I’ve taken up hiking and am even running in marathons (well, more like 5/10K but you gotta start somewhere, right?). My next goal? Break into the art world.
The point is, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up – but I do know that if I dream it, I can do it. I can do anything! The only obstacle is myself.