My Writing Has Blossomed from Hobby to Passion and Hope

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by Ryan Berhar |

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Refined By Fire Ryan Berhar

Back in 2014, I was a kid who simply wanted to graduate high school, take a year or two to relax, and go from there. This is not a decision I regret because I generally hated school, and I thought I owed myself a break. However, I didn’t have the first clue as to “what I would do with my life.” When people asked me what I was doing, undoubtedly assuming that I was in college, I would respond with something like, “Well, not much. I watch football and shoot zombies.” Those conversations were always awkward. I still look back on that time as a much-needed “vacation,” if you will, but I eventually realized that I needed to move forward.

I needed something to provide me with a sense of purpose, and enough money to accomplish my goals of providing for myself financially and moving into my own home. Yes, this is also known as a job. The only problem is that the list of things I can physically do is shorter than an inchworm. Identifying the next step was a challenge. I thought a door would naturally open with patience, but life doesn’t work that way. I had to open doors myself and see which paths were clear and which ones were filled with obstacles.

First, I visited a community college. That seems like a reasonable place to start, right? Unfortunately not. That path was quickly barricaded. Apparently, no one with my needs had been there before, because they were unable to accommodate me. I need one-on-one assistance throughout the day. A scribe was all I was offered, so I had to look elsewhere.

My mentor, Michael, and vocational counselor, Heather, encouraged me to pursue a writing career. Looking back, this seems like a no-brainer. I can physically do this, and I have always been good with words. But back in high school, I wouldn’t have told you I’d be a writer in a million years.

I started by writing sports articles, which I reviewed with Michael every week. This was essentially my college. Once my writing was polished enough, I started my sports blog. I also wrote some articles about my life. Building a solid portfolio is what landed me this columnist position.

Starting a writing career was one of the best decisions of my life. For the longest time, I was spinning my wheels, but I have finally begun to roll toward my career goals. I’m not there yet, but the sky is the limit when it comes to writing. I’m pursuing grant writing, and I also hope to write books eventually. My dream job is sports journalism. With hard work, I’ll get there eventually. It’s an incredible feeling to get my foot in the door. Some say a journey begins with the first step. Mine began with a few words.


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