The Battle Begins

Chapter 4

Well, I graduated high school now what. I accomplished at the time my number one goal but now that I achieved it I was confused and puzzled. What’s next now what do I do? Where does my life and journey take me from here? I thought I had it all figured out, little did I know the battle begins and I’m only getting started.

Around 20-25 were some hard years for me. Especially 21-24 that was the worst. It felt like my life was slowly falling apart at 20 and only got worse from there.

I’m 22 now and most of my friends or people my age were graduating from college. That’s exciting for them and another big deal and achievement for them. Me, I had a part-time job, no college degree and living with my parents waiting for the next step. Asking God what am I supposed to do and what’s next. There was a problem, I was asking but I wasn’t listening. I was going through the motions but with no care in the world.

Still Waiting

I didn’t know what was next for me. I kept telling myself this was all part of my journey and my life that was created for me. I’ll wait for God to lead me in the direction he wanted me to go and he will give me a sign. Waiting, waiting and waiting some more and nothing was coming to me. I was getting confused, depressed and angry daily why I was waiting.

I was starting to head down a part in my path I never saw coming. Part of me wished I could have avoided it and gone a different way but that wasn’t possible. I didn’t know at the time but going through those hard and dark days just a short time ago was the best thing that ever happened to me. At the time I didn’t understand it I was just taking it day by day. Waiting for the night to come so I could go to sleep hoping the next day would be better.

Where Do I Go

I was lost, confused and searching for purpose and meaning. Searching for anything at the time. I was lost and filled with so much darkness that I started to change and not in a good way. Watching movies and tv shows became an easy way to escape reality for me.

I wanted a new life, a better life so I decided to create it. That’s when my first book started to come alive. As sad as it sounds, I know this now but I did have a great life. I’m very lucky and blessed and I see that now. Sometimes when you’re going through the struggles and the heartaches you miss stuff and it doesn’t hit you until later. What’s awesome about it and that gut punch that snaps you out of your funk and wakes you up is how you feel after.

What Can I Do

I was so confused and so lost that one thought crossed my mind and it was the only thought that actually made sense. I didn’t want to escape this pain and struggle I was going through, I needed to escape this pain I was going through.

All I thought hundreds of times a day, every day for a good chunk of my life. I thought what can my stupid dyslexic self even accomplish in this world? I have no college degree, I won’t find a successful career, I won’t be able to make a good living and be happy because of the struggles and hardships I have. There’s really only one way to fix this problem. I contemplated suicide and killing myself for almost four years of my life. Thinking that would make me feel better and help me escape the pain.

Surprise

I was so lost and confused I didn’t know what to do. Working on my first book trying to create a new and improved Peter and create a better life I thought that would make me happier. Nope, it didn’t I was still searching and confused. I thought killing myself would make me feel free and escape the pain. Well, yes it actually would help me but hurt my family and crush them and it would be worse for them. So that doesn’t really help me, now I’m back to square one.

I was going back and forth with what I should do where I’m going in my life and why I’m here? Those thoughts clouded my judgment for most of my 20’s and unfortunately, with that mindset, I hid who I really am and how I really am.

I’m Grateful

I was scared of what everyone thought of me and realized how much of a loser I am. Thinking I didn’t need anyone else, I was already judging myself and ripping me apart daily. That’s when I became my worst enemy and my biggest threat to myself. The hatred toward myself grew over the years. From a young age, I always wished I could be somebody else in my class. I wanted to be the smart one, the funny one, anybody else but me. I didn’t need other people telling me what they thought.

Now I’m 29 and I’ll be honest I’m a very lucky man. Looking back at what I have been through and where I came from. I’m just glad to be alive. I’m grateful for all of those battles that I went through when I was younger. They helped build who Peter is now and who Peter was meant to become.

I’m grateful for the anger and hatred that I developed from a young age. That’s what helped form me and drove me to want to change. Is it healthy, no, probably not, I’m still working on that today. Here’s the thing, you should always be working on bettering yourself every day before its too late.

Early Life

Chapter 2

Early life is about, well you guessed it my early life. What can I say looking back at where I was and where I am now? From where I was when my journey really started at six years old than 18 when I graduated high school to now at 29. Looking back, it looks like three different stories or chapters in my book. Actually, it is three different stories and chapters in my book of life.

When I was younger I always envisioned I was going to do something special and unique with my life, I just never knew what that was. I always had an imagination and loved dreaming and looking into the future but what I saw when I was dreaming and trying to picture what might happen to me. Where I am now, I never saw coming and never pictured it.

Swimming Up Stream

Growing up I was always my worst enemy and biggest bully. From a young age, I was already swimming upstream and swimming against the current which made my situation that much harder. Now with my LD and dyslexia that added an extra 50-pound weight vest to me.

Swimming upstream is hard enough. Swimming upstream with an extra 50 pounds is even harder. Now I had all of this going against me and I was struggling. I started getting older and moving up to 4th, 5th, 6th and so on. But my actual grade level was always a couple of grade levels behind. I was slow with reading, I couldn’t spell, I struggled to listen, I took speech class I had trouble with my R and S words. To this day I still have some trouble with this.

The Big Day

I wasn’t a smart kid, I didn’t try that hard, honestly, I didn’t really care. I probably would have flunked out if I didn’t get help from my parents and teachers all those years.

All my life I was focused on one thing and one thing only. Graduating and getting that stupid piece of paper saying I made it in life. Once I got that piece of paper then I was ready for the real work and excited for what’s next.

Peter Alexander Harrower, I walked up and ready to receive my diploma as I was standing up there in front of everyone a few things crossed my mind. First, CRAP, theirs a lot of people out there. Second, just give me my piece of paper so I can leave. Third, when they dismiss us I wanted to leave right away, I felt so uncomfortable. I was trying to be excited like everyone else but I was faking it. They were excited about graduating and being done with school and ready for the next thing. Me on the other hand, there was no next thing for me. I was just excited to leave graduation.

Who Am I

At that moment I felt like a loser and a bum. I didn’t know what was next for me or if there was even anything for me. How am I going to get a good job and have a life with my grades and no college degree? How can I take care of my family one day? I started thinking about my future family and how I could provide for them. Then I quickly realized what am I doing? I’m not going to have a future family, who would ever want to marry me?

I started thinking about everything that was wrong with me. There was no pro and cons list, it was straight, con and cons list. I was already down and lost and confused, now I was kicking myself, even more, when I was done and treating myself like crap. I was lost and confused and searching for something, anything at that time.

New Me

I’ll be honest I’m still searching and still determined and working as hard as I can every day. Getting up at 5:15 am so I can get more reading and writing in and trying to get better. Now I finally feel like I’m living. I’m married and have been for over seven months now. I’m a published author and I did it myself. It took over four years but I did it. My top two goals that I always thought would just be a dream came true. I’m now a married author and checked off my top two goals in my life. Next, all I need is a kid and those will be my top three goals. SLOW DOWN, that kid thing won’t be for a while.

In the end, I just want to let you know. It doesn’t matter where you were in your life or where you came from. If you’re determined enough and willing to put in the work and give it your very best then you can have a great life. That great life is different for all of us. A successful career, money, happiness, freedom it might be different for all of us. The most important thing you have to remember is if its important to you then you have to work for it. You might have to give up some things and sacrifice some things along the way but it will be totally worth it if you have a clear-cut goal.

Keep Growing

Once you stop learning you start dying – Albert Einstein

Now I challenge you to stop using your past as an excuse. Embrace it like I have and make the most of it. My past made me who I am today. My past gave me the determination to work harder and make up for the time I lost. Now I want to make the most of the time I have now, because who knows when my timecard will get punched and it’s my time.

If you liked this post, check out my book. You will find out a lot more about me and my crazy story. If you did read it and liked it. I would love if you could share it with a friend that might need to hear it. Leave a review on Amazon, I would love to hear what you thought, thanks.

The World Through My Dyslexic Eyes 

New Opportunities

What Would You Do

If a new opportunity was placed in front of you or somebody offered a special opportunity for you what would you do? Before you jump to any conclusions. You need to know this first then you can answer. You might get tested and placed in an atmosphere that will take you way out of your comfort zone and making you do something you never thought was possible. Would you do it?

What if you would have to be very vulnerable and open up about your personal life? What if it would do better in the world and you might be able to help people? Now, if you stayed quiet and kept all of that information in front of you that you learned and experienced and didn’t share it you might have lost the opportunity to help people and make a positive impact on people’s lives. That would be very sad and unfortunate if you ask me.

New Me

If you would have asked my old self I would have said, no thanks I’m good with where I am I don’t need that thanks. Now if you ask me now and the future me I believe I was meant for this. How I would respond to that question is like this. I’m nervous, this is definitely out of my comfort zone but I feel it in my gut and my heart that I was meant to do this. Me being this vulnerable and sharing what I’m sharing now or in the future, whenever the opportunity comes. I feel if I’m not willing to accept new opportunities and embrace what comes my way then I have failed and missed out in the world.

That’s why I’m excited about what the future holds and what I believe I’m meant to do. Am I swimming in a pool of money like duck tales, no not even close? Have I reached a million people with my book or my blog, not even close?

No, my book has not made the best sellers list, and at the moment it’s not even in the same zip code. I have sold 81 books in the last four months I haven’t even hit 100 yet. But more importantly, I’m grateful and blessed that I had the opportunity to even sell that many. That’s not including the books I have sent to libraries or given people trying to connect with them and reach out to them. You know what I’m ok with that because that’s all part of the journey.

I’m Not Average

This journey and path that you and I are on every day. It doesn’t matter how similar or different it is. We all are on our unique path and are all meant for something unique and great in our own way. When I was younger I never thought great or even good was in my vocabulary. I never thought I could be good, I was average or below average my whole life. That was normal life for me and that’s all I knew.

I have learned different things from my parents over the years. I’m grateful for everything they have done for me and helping me over the years. Now they have helped me a lot over the years and more than I probably have realized or thanked them for. But in all honesty, they might have helped me a lot and they definitely did. But what I wanted to pursue and do in my life and what has been forming in my gut. I’m the one that wanted to write books. I’m the one that has sent over 250 emails to agents trying to represent me. I felt this burning desire to create something from scratch and wanted to put my crazy story out into the world.

Enjoy The Ride

I know how hard I worked to get where I am today. I know I have way more to learn. Now that I’m married and self-published my book. Those were my top goals in my life that I created in my early 20s. Achieving those two goals have given me more drive and more purpose than I ever thought I might have.

The last few months I have been getting up around 5:15 Monday-Friday so I can read for 30 to 40 minutes and write for the remaining time until Lindsay wakes up. People I like to sleep, getting up early sucks, I won’t lie about it. But what sucks, even more, is the feeling I didn’t give my very best and I could have done better or tried harder.

No Regrets

When I get older and turn 40 or 50 whatever the age. I don’t want to look back and think, crap, I wish I would have made more out of the opportunities that were placed in front of me. I wish I would have told one more person about my book, contacted one more school about my book. If only I could have tried a little harder.

NO, I want to pause, look back and think to myself. I worked my freaking tail off and look at what I did. Look at how hard I worked and looked at what was placed in front of me no matter how good or how bad and look how I reacted to that opportunity or lesson that was placed in front of me. That’s the mindset you need. That’s how you need to look at your life and what’s been placed at your feet. That’s the kind of life you should want.

Embrace what’s happening and run throw that wall or struggle that’s in front of you. You don’t want that wall of struggles or conflicts to fall on you and hold you down. It starts with a new opportunity being placed in front of you. Then it’s your mindset that will take you to the next stage. Follow your heart, and follow your gut and make the most of your life why you still can.