Wednesday, 8 March 2017

International Women's Day – WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD

Whether it be teaching our children equality and tolerance or taking direct action to change our and others' lives, all of us CAN change the world in our own way.

I never had much encouragement to follow my dreams as a child. I gave up on them because I believed my peers! It is hard to stay motivated and swim against the tide. But… what I didn't understand then… I certainly do now. There was a culture back then of "how dare you want to better yourself." I now know so many suffer at the hands of their peers… "you can do well if you don't do better than me…" or "you should know your place…". How many of our children feel this? How many women feel and go through this? I know I am not alone. I didn't have the courage or support to follow my dreams and decided, with peer pressure and ignorance, to skip University and go into work – looking back, it was not a bad mistake…it was a bad choice. Still it turned me into the person I am today. I learned from my bad choices.

On International Women's Day, I want to reach out to women who think, like I did, that their ambitions are just dreams… they are UNTIL you ACT ON THEM! I have learned the hard way and my headstone will say "Here lies Pam Charles… she got there in the end!" I feel I wasted so much of my life… yet also feel that time has brought me to where I am today. We are more resourceful than we give ourselves credit for.

This is my ten tips for changing your dreams into reality. In no way am I an expert… I'm muddling through life like any of us but if I can help one person, it has been worthwhile.
  1. Start with baby steps. I did it in secret. I didn't tell anyone I was writing until I was ten chapters in. 
  2. Make a list of what you want to achieve – the end goal.
  3. You then need an action plan. Don't expect overnight success. I made the mistake of underestimating how hard it is to break into writing – the cliques, the exploiters, the long drawn out processes and bureaucracy and the opposition!
  4. Seek help from the right people. I received so much support from other writers… people I hadn't met but now are friends of social media along with new friends I have picked up along the way. I am so grateful for their support.
  5. No one is going to come and pick you out… BE SEEN! Announce "YOU ARE HERE"…it is scary at first but it becomes part of your journey. Learn to shrug off the nastiness and don't rise to it – a mistake I initially made.
  6. Stick to your action plan BUT be ready to adapt. You are about to embark on a roller coaster (Ronan Keating was not wrong!) with highs and lows. BE PREPARED BUT DON'T GIVE UP!
  7. Do lots of research – knowledge is power.
  8. Keep a journal of your journey – what works, what doesn't; what made you happy; what gave you total despair. Reflect on both your successes and failures. Embrace the failures as much as the successes – they teach you so much.
  9. This is a loooooonnnnng journey. Unless you get lucky, you must grind out success.
  10. Most importantly… ENJOY IT! Remember why you started and your ultimate goal.
If I can do it with all my insecurities, anxiety and Meniere's, you really can do it – whatever "IT" is. Don't be afraid and don't be part of the "if only I'd tried!" brigade. You are so much stronger, braver and smarter than you give yourself credit for and that will grow on your journey.

I am more inspired everyday by the boys being impressed by what I am trying to achieve. They drive me on especially on days when I am on the brink of giving up. Please, do not settled for what is… if it is not what you want. I wish I'd given myself this advice when I was fifteen but then again… I am a much stronger person and a much better Mum because of those bad experiences.

My boys have my 100% support in whatever they choose to do. Lucas has decided he wants to design and build things… he is ten! I love that he knows at this stage what makes him happy. We will sit down over the next few weeks and go through what he will need to do to meet his goal – it will give him a sense of perspective and how much work is needed. I don't think it does any harm for them to understand to achieve their goals, they will have to work hard.

Masters Study

I had another wobble last week but it's all good. I've learned my wobbles and self-doubt drives me on to continue towards success. I don't allow people to exploit my self-doubt anymore either.  The shame is on them.

The studies are going well. My Masters dissertation is: An agile governance framework for the development of the ICT curricula in secondary schools to ensure future sustainability, adaptability and flexibility.

I'm changing the world… my way.


Hidden Torment

This is a new project which started in the early hours of Monday morning… as a dream. By Monday afternoon, I had the back story, the character list and a full story line with plot.

Logline: dirty secrets damage innocent lives

After the success and enjoyment I had with Streetwise, this will also be a script but for film instead of television. It deals with anxiety and mental health issues stemming from childhood relationships, affecting decisions made in adulthood. It is a really ambitious but I enjoy tackling social issues. It's my passion to tackle difficult issues.

The Nanny

This is progressing well. I've been watching the Northern Ireland Assembly elections with interest. It is incredibly ironic that Brexit from a UK Government referendum could potentially unite and resolve a three hundred year's dispute. Interesting times…

Whilst I am writing this, the Chancellor is delivering the budget and I can feel my blood pressure rising. How on earth after all the austerity cuts and damages to services, has the debt increased? Where has the money gone? It is a travesty how people do not question it and there is no accountability!! 
Right, I'm off to write a Masters paper on Green ICT strategy. Have a fabulous week. 
Go get 'em!
Much love

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