If you would have asked me one year ago, exactly, what dreams I had, I would have told you that I had two major dreams. I never told anyone about the third one, but there were actually three:
- Going to the Olympics
- Teaching in Africa
- Speaking at an international conference about my Tourette (that’s the one I never told anyone about).
And now I can say that I did it. I did all of them — starting exactly one year ago the other day.
Last summer, on August 7, I went to the Olympics and it was better than I could’ve ever imagined. Me and my friend, two HUGE field hockey fans, were able to get tickets for the women’s field hockey finale, just a couple hours before the event, and the Dutch team won. I didn’t even dream about that, it was too far out of reach, I was sure that it would never happen. But it did.
Then this April, as you know, I went to Athens to speak at the ESSTS Training School and they ended up being so impressed that I spoke again, in a room full of BIG doctors and therapists specializing in Tourette. That was literally my wildest dream, and I didn’t believe that it could ever happen. But it did.
And now, this summer, I went to Uganda to teach. I went for two weeks because I figured, with my Tourette, I would never be able to go for a longer time. I wanted to, but because of my Tourette, I thought it just wouldn’t be an option. So I went for two weeks. I didn’t think I could achieve much and I figured it would be a once in a lifetime experience. But I did and it wasn’t. I’ll be back there, and soon. That’s my new dream.
So what I want to say with this blog is that it is possible. If you have a dream, go for it! Yes, I know, you have Tourette and maybe more, but that doesn’t mean that your dreams can’t come true. You have to work for it, it won’t come to you if you just wait.
I had to save up and fight for those Olympic tickets for almost two years. I didn’t get invited to speak in Athens just because my mom suggested it to my therapist; no, I got invited because my therapist knows me and I had proven to her many times that I was capable of speaking at this conference. And I’ve been working for my journey to Uganda for a year now, not just saving up to pay for my trip, but also raising more than $2,400 for the education projects we’ve seen and worked with.
If you have a dream (yes, that one, you know what I mean!): Go for it! I promise you, it will be worth it. It is said best in these lyrics, written by some of my fellow travelers to Uganda:
If you never try you’ll never know
There’s so many things that we can show
See what we can achieve
If we can trust and we believe
Take a leap across the Nile
Even if it takes a while
At the end of your comfort zone