Thursday, March 10, 2016

Leap of Faith...Doing the Impossible

Hello, Jolene Navarro here. I have a confession to make. We all dream of something. It can be as big as standing on the podium and bending your head so they can place a gold medal around your neck or as simple as owning a home and having your own family. 

I’ve had many dreams, and some I just out grew, but there was one that was always with me, one I never thought would come true: writing stories that would be published and sit on book store shelves.
Dreams of doing huge book signings and getting sack full of letters from people I didn’t know. I imagined getting awards and all sorts of accolades. I had a strong imagination. 

Many of the notes home from my teachers were how I was not meeting my potential; I spent too much time daydreaming. One teacher was worried about me because I seemed to be marching to a different drum beat than the other kids in my class. Plus, I could not spell to save my life, and it was not from the lack of trying or studying. By the sixth grade I learned to cheat on my spelling test so I would not be grounded. I would fail tests even though I had the right answers because ‘if it was spelled wrong it did not count.’ I worked hard, but was accused of being lazy.
This is how I felt most of the time in school. This is from the Ron Clark story. Great inspirational story about teaching.

I hesitated going to college, all I could see was more humiliation, so I went to art school in Houston. As I moved through life, one thing stayed with me. It was the stories in my head. I had developed characters that were always talking, but I never told anyone about them. I went to sleep telling myself stories.

Fast forward a bit. As a young wife and mother I did end up going back to school. I was diagnosed with dysgraphia. It is the other side of dyslexia. I usually just say I’m dyslexic, because most people are familiar  that word. Kind of like telling people I’m from San Antonio because most people outside of Texas have not heard of Boerne.

Dysgraphia is a decoding issue also but works on the output. Spelling, pronunciation, handwriting, and flow of language are some of the struggles. I went on to graduate with honors. My Masters is in Education with a specialization in reading and spec. ed.  About the same time this happened, I was approaching forty, my oldest of four children was about to graduate from high school and I had lost both parents suddenly and unexpectedly. I had a strong sense of time running out.

The one dream that still burned within me was being a published writer. As I heard the clock ticking, I knew I would have to take a risk, to put myself out there to be humiliated if I wanted to find out if I could succeed.

Last weekend we saw “Eddie the Eagle”.  
From left, director Dexter Fletcher, Hugh Jackman, Eddie Edwards and Taron Egerton on the set of EDDIE THE EAGLE. Photo Credit: Larry Horricks-TM & © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. LARRY HORRICKS
The story of a boy that had to have surgeries on his legs. He had one dream to become an Olympic athlete. The only problem? He wasn’t athletic, but he didn’t let failure stop him. It is a great story about persistence. He ended up training for the ski jump because England didn’t have a ski jumper. He started off on the small one and worked his way up. He crashed, people laughed at him and he was told he didn’t belong, but in the end he saw his dream come true.

Being a writer is pretty much the same way. There will be people telling you that you’re not good enough or you need to be realistic and do something else. You can get help, go to workshops, even get a mentor or surround yourself with other writers, but eventually you have to sit on that bar high above the world all alone and jump.  
More about the movie and Calgary-

Sometimes you will crash, sometimes you might stick the landing, but people still tell you it’s not enough. No matter your obstacles, do you have the persistence to get up and jump from that bar again? Do you have people that will celebrate you no matter the outcome, small or big?It has not always been easy, but I've seen three of my stories on the shelf and I have two more coming. I'm living my dream.
Taron Egerton and Hugh Jackman in Eddie the Eagle

Do you have a dream that you have been hesitant to pursue?  On a side note, my husband (my real hero) accused me of writing this blog so I could post pictures of Hugh Jackman. I say no comment. But you can comment! Leap people, find the thing you love and fly!


  1. Great testimony to persevering in your dreams!

  2. Love it, Jolene. Very inspiring.

  3. Your story is inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thank you ladies - sometimes it is still hard to beleive I'm a published author and in such great company.

  5. Wanting to see eddie the eagle when it lands in oz cinemas. My dreams involve travel n its mainly happened in my 30s my biggest dream has been europe n its happening in may n im excited of possibilities but scared of the what ifs... so congrats on achieving ur dream jolene

  6. Loved this post - - thank you, Jolene.
    And a big CONGRATULATIONS on your writing success!
    This is very inspiring and a great reminder to those of us pursuing a dream. :)
    Blessings, Patti Jo

  7. The what if can be scary but the victory is even greater! I do love traveling. Traveled a great deal growing up. Scotland and Alaska or on my short list. Life is so full of adventures, sometimes it is hard to stay focused. HAHA

  8. I'd not heard of dysgraphia. Very interesting. And both yours and Eddie's are inspiring stories. Keep the dream going.

    Kathy in WV

  9. Thank you Kathy. Now if I only had Hugh to meet me at the finish line! lol

  10. I'm a teacher and am in awe of my students who defy the odds. They are the real winners.

  11. Pamela, I always start the year telling my classes about my struggles in school. Reaching those kids that think they don't belong in school is one of the main reasons I teach where I teach.


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