He, as a counselor, was a nice enough man who had a very powerful job. He was my school counselor assigned to kids whose last names ranged from G-N. My name, and my sister’s whom this brief story starts with fell in this range.

As a counselor, one of his jobs was to direct us unsuspecting kids toward life after graduation. If students are excelled in the confines of formalized education, they were pushed towards college. If they showed promise in the sciences, they were pushed towards a field of science. If on the other hand school was more of a struggle, they were directed away from college even if going to college was wanted.

My sister was one of these people. She had dreamed of becoming a fashion designer since she was around 8 years old. She would spend her free time sewing and creating. It was what she enjoyed and what she wanted. Fast forward to her senior year in high school, she was just an “average” student in formalized school standards. Because of this she was told, by the above counselor, that she would never get accepted into a college. Crushing, mind numbing hogwash.

Luckily my “just average” sister was smart enough not to listen to this hogwash. She applied to a few colleges and got into one of her top choice schools, one of the best for fashion design in the country.

Years later, I can stick my tongue out to you Mr. Counselor, and say “shame on you for crushing dreams.” My sister escaped his dream crushing, but how many people listened and believed him and stopped themselves from following their dreams.

The unfortunate truth about the above story is that this counselor is everywhere, in our parents, friends, and acquaintances. There are countless voices surrounding us giving advices, directions, and instilling fears.

It’s a common thing in our lives … living someone else’s dreams or fears. It starts when we are very young and pushed by a parent’s or teacher’s compass. They think we should “do this” or “be that.” Oftentimes what we say we want to do, we are told we won’t be capable of it.

While in college, I came in contact with countless people who were majoring in modes of study out of safety and fear. Their parents thought it best for them. They wouldn’t fund their education if they didn’t approve of their major.

Influence can be good, but often it is detrimental to our dreams and who we are meant to be. Somewhere early on, we lost confidence in our own knowing and allowed other people’s influences to direct us in life.

And now many of us are lost in this direction that was not meant to be ours. We stop and look around not recognizing the view around us. As we take a slow 360-degree turn, we are confused by what we are surrounded by. How did we get here? Whose life is this?

If this view sounds familiar to you, it’s time to go back and find your old starting point, and make the path that comes naturally to your stride and get moving.

It’s time to let go of the voices in your head that aren’t yours. It’s time to trust in your own ability to know what’s best for you. Listen to the voices in your mind. Listen to the inspiration that ignites interest within you.

If you quiet the foreign voices in your head, what do you hear? What do you feel?

Claim it. Trust it. Let go of the fear that has been holding you stuck in someone else’s created path for you.

It’s OK to be true to you. It’s OK to be different. It will all be OK. And once you have a firm footing on your path, you will feel, oh, so amazing. You will feel whole, true and happy. Yes, happy for being on the right path, the path that you are meant for.

I believe in you and trust that you know what’s best for you. I offer my hand to you in support.

Happy journeying