This is a translation of this blogpost, made by Sas from ‘I live for my dreams’. You can find my previous blogpost about this interview here. I have translated this blogpost/interview so all of my readers can read it. I’ve tried to translate it as literally as possible.
Dream job #17: Mel who despites a disability gets the most out of life.
You all replied to my post “I’m looking for you, tell me about your (future) dream job”. It’s amazing to read all the inspiring and different stories and see the enthusiastic emails pouring in. What is this column about? I let you have your say. Which is unique, because I only did guest blogs once before. I share a lot about myself on my personal lifestyle blog, but would like to hear about your future dream job or about the dream job you already found.
Mel graduated from HAVO despite her disability and is now doing a self-study VWO. She has a lot of interests and is trying to find or create her dream job in this way. Mel tries to adapt everything so she actually can do and accomplish things. I immediately had to think about the sentence: thinking in possibilities and not in disabilities.
First, tell me something about yourself. Who are you and do you have a blog?
I am Mel, 21 years old, I love animals, exercising, photography and doing other fun stuff. I have an English blog: enabilityblog.wordpress.com. I blog about things that interest me or things I come across, I actually blog about everything and nothing. I hope I can spread some awareness about different illnesses that I and other people have (amongst other things). I also like to learn things and by writing and not only reading blogs, you get more interaction, through which I can learn more from others. I live together with my boyfriend/partner who also has (physical) disabilities, which is why we can understand each other very well. Because of my disabilities I can’t just do everything, but this doesn’t stop me from trying everything and adapting everything, so that maybe I can do it after all.
Which studies did you do?
I am currently doing VWO. I’ve actually always done this, but it was increasingly difficult for me to attempt school and eventually I couldn’t go to school at all. That’s when I got my HAVO diploma a few years back, as an insurance, because my disabilities have been progressive till now and thus my health continues to decline (and secretly also because of my fear of failure).
I can’t go to school in a ‘normal’ way and actually do everything through self-study. It takes me twice as many years to complete a study and I also need other adaptations, such as adaptations for tests and special furniture. Last May I did and passed a couple VWO exams. I hope to fully complete my VWO study this school year. After that I’ll hopefully go to university. I have a lot of interests, so there probably is a study that fits me and my disabilities J
Which jobs did you have in the past?
When I was young and the disabilities weren’t (too) bad I did a lot of volunteer work and also different things. But it boils down to helping animals and helping people (including people with mental or multiple disabilities). I really enjoyed doing those things. I also had a ‘real’ job for a few months as a waitress in a restaurant. I couldn’t walk or stand anymore (amongst other things) so I had to quit.
What is your current job?
At the moment, I don’t have a job and I have been fully disqualified. I’m busy with school and I hope I will be able to work (a bit) in the future.
What is your dream job?
I don’t have a dream job right now. There are multiple things I would call a dream job, but I would also like to look realistically at what my qualities are and what I can’t do or aren’t very good at. I think I can develop a dream job this way, simply by itself. I also think there are multiple ‘types’ of dream jobs. Such as ones for which you use a lot of imagination: as in you have magic, you can do absolutely everything, what would you do. But also more realistic dream jobs: something you might actually be able to do in this world.
I, myself, am more occupied with goals and wishes than with dreams, because I found out that dreaming without boundaries makes me unhappy (because reality is simply different with my physical disabilities). But I have plenty of wishes (and you could see my wishes as dreams) and I certainly also have (high) goals.
What is the most important thing for you in your dream job?
I think the most important thing is state you enjoy it/that it makes you happy and that it gives you a meaningful feeling. Balance is also very important for my by, so the dream job has to fit in a life in which you need a lot of moments of rest (amongst other things).
What advice would you give my readers for finding their dream jobs?
Look at the things you like to do and which things you find important (such as doing something ‘meaningful’ and what does meaningful mean to you? For example helping other people). For the rest, I would advise everyone to listen carefully to your own body, to prevent overworking yourself during your search for a dream job (or if you already found it). I made that mistake and in the current society it seems to happen more often. But we all exist out of more than work and we need our body longer than that.
I would like to sincerely thank Mel for this inspiring interview. It’s beautiful to read how you’re trying to get everything out of life and find/create a realistic dream job. It’s magnificent to see how open you talk about your disability and how you handle it. You are a real persistent go-getter! I want to wish you a lot of luck with your education and your future.
We live in a society that demands we always be happy and smiling. “Negative” emotions are generally unacceptable, and we are told over and over again via pop psychologists and the mass media that constant happiness is not only our birthright, but our responsibility! People are encouraged to stuff their feelings and wear a smile, no matter how they are really feeling.
Some people are more naturally given to cheerfulness than others, regardless of their circumstances. We are all different; and those of us who aren’t naturally inclined to be upbeat and perky all the time are made to feel like we are somehow defective and our darker emotions aren’t okay.
So we seek out therapists, read self-help books, recite affirmations, pin up positive-thinking posters, and beat ourselves up if we don’t or can’t conform to the pervasive “don’t worry, be happy” ethos.
But what if not…
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