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 

Face Your Fear

Chapter 5

If you want to grow in life one of the ways I believe to do that is to face your fears. Now I had a lot of fears growing up. I’m not proud of that but what can I say, I was damaged at a young age and that was holding me back from really living and seeing life the way I see it now. One of my many fears was myself. Again, I hated myself for a long time and struggled with that for years. I never thought I was good enough.

Some time went by and I realized I can’t hide anymore. I believe that I have a unique story so why not do something with it. That’s when I decide to write The World Through My Dyslexic Eyes. I realized in the summer of 2014 It is time to share my story with the world. But there was one little problem with that. I didn’t want to share my story with the world and it scared the crap out of me. At the time that was probably one of the scariest things to me that I was doing. Letting YOU into my daily life and showing you what my world looks like regularly.

Look At The Positive

When I shared my blog for the first time and made it live. At the time that was probably the scariest thing, I have ever done. With doing that people are going to know your faults and what you’re not good at? How much anger you have inside of you how dark you were for a long time. All of the bad and negative stuff you were battling for years and that you were trying to hide from everybody.

Naturally that all crossed my mind thinking about that. Before I hit send to tell everyone on Facebook and Instagram what I was doing. As funny as it sounds I had to wait for a second or two and take it all in. Peter, I don’t think you understand the kind of backlash and the negative effect that might follow after doing this? But on the positive side, with me opening up more about it. Look at all of the good I can do with sharing my unique story with the world? This was a legitimate conversation and fear I had before I made my website live.

My Emotion

What if 50% or 60% of the people that read my blog posts or my book don’t believe me. Well, that will be too bad because I guess reading my content they can’t see the passion and the emotion that I’m spilling onto the paper in front of them. They will never understand what my life is like on a daily basis. They could never understand how embarrassing it was reading in front of my class in school. Not being able to read fast or spell words correctly. Or worse knowing that a kid four or five years younger or more are probably smarter than me.

If they can’t see how hard that is as a 28-year-old man, then maybe I’m not supposed to be writing anymore. Maybe I did something wrong with trying to share with the world that its ok if you’re not good at something.

The Smaller Percentage

Now, what if I’m able to connect with the remaining percentage of the people that understand my stuff? Connecting with the other 50% or 40% of the people that get what I’m trying to do and share with the world? It’s not about the money. It’s not about the fame and the recognition. I HATE being the center of attention. I’m not that confident in myself and still struggle with that. I realized that sharing my story that more good could come from it than bad.

Like I referenced in my book. If sacrificing myself to the wolves by sharing my inner darkest secrets and my side effects and what I struggle with every day. Then so be it who cares what the other percentage thinks of me and says. I’m not doing this for them.

My Purpose

What started this passion is I think I found something that I’m good at. Being very creative and writing stories and making stories up from the top of my head. I don’t need notes or an outline I’m different then most authors, I think I have made that clear by now haha. Once I figure out what topic I’m writing about, I go to work.

I let my mind take over and let my hands do the work. I put my headphones in listening to my music and could write for hours a day. What started out as a hobby, quickly turned into an obsession. Now I’m starting to turn my obsession into my future career.

Writing and doing what I’m doing now has given me purpose. Sharing my crazy story with the world with wanting to do some good with it for a change and helping kids like myself is all I want. To write full time as my career and help kids like myself. I know what that struggle is like. Not believing in yourself, lacking confidence or finding purpose.

Go All In

That was me every day for most of my life, till four years ago it changed. I decide I’m going all in I’m not trying I’m DOING this writing as a career. It might not happen in the next couple of years. Maybe it won’t happen till I’m 30 but I can’t give up now. I strongly believe God put this on my heart for a reason. I can’t stop now I’m only getting started.

Don’t be scared, believe in yourself. I didn’t fully believe in myself from a young age. But I was still doing it because it takes time and you have to be patient another thing I struggle with. Do the work take a chance and enjoy the ride. You only get one life, why not roll the dice and go all in for what you want to do?

Why

Chapter 1

Why are we here, why am I here, why are you here? That’s a question I ask myself every single day. This is Chapter 1 in my book. What is our purpose in life and our purpose here on Earth? That is the million dollar question and the thing most people search for. I know that this question is on the top of my list. Why was I put here, why was I created the way I am, why do I think the things I think, why do I do the things I do? Although I’m still trying to figure out myself and work on me, I now know it’s not a one-step process.

You will always be working on yourself, it’s a process we are always trying to improve. If you want to change or have to adapt to a bump in the road that comes your way, you have to adapt, or you will never get over that hump in front of you. I’m not here to tell you what you’re going to be, or what you should do in life. In the end, only you have that answer and can find that answer. The only thing I’m doing is to help you get to the path that you are destined for and searching for. My goal is to help give you some tips to move along the way and stay far away from the darkness and shadows.

Share Your Story

One major thing you have to realize is that I can tell you everything you need to hear. Your parents, friends, or mentors whoever can tell you everything you need to here, or want to here. It doesn’t work unless you believe it will. You have to put in the work and put in the effort and time. The more you put into life the more you can get out of it. You only have one shot at life, one chance here on planet Earth. All I’m trying to do is help you make your short stay here worthwhile and enjoyable. That’s what life is all about, enjoying your time here on Earth and making the best of what you can. Maybe after you figure that out, you can pay it forward and help others who are going through the same thing you were struggling with.

Unfortunately, the world can be a cold, cold place sometimes. Yes, I know it’s not all cold, some may think I’m naive about that. I do firmly believe it is still good for people and there are still plenty of good people. The way things are heading though, it’s not looking good and is changing quickly. It breaks my heart with all of the hate, anger and wasted death. There is so much death right now across the world. That’s why now is the time to change you and make a difference. Tomorrow and the future are not guaranteed to you, or anyone for that matter. Especially today who knows what’s going to happen in the near future.  So let’s start this journey and figure out what you’re “Why” is.

Sacrifice

This doesn’t work if once you figure out your “Why” or your purpose, you don’t just stop after that. That is the time when you should keep pushing forward and get that fire to go after what it is you want. Destroy anything else that gets in front of you, or prevents you from moving forward. Do whatever it is you have to do to get what you want out of life, and your time here. It’s time to put in the work because no one is going to do it for you. Read books, listen to those motivational songs or podcasts, go to the gym at 5 am every day before work. If it’s important to you then two things will happen.

First, you will make time for it and sacrifice anything for your dream. Second, if it’s not important you will make an excuse for why you can’t do it or why you won’t do it. If it’s important enough to you, even if you are at the lowest of lows and you literally hit rock bottom, make a change for the better. If there is no one else to help you, then you just have to close your eyes, have faith, and just push forward. Don’t give up, your life will be changed forever!

 

Learning Disability

Chapter 3

My learning Disability is probably the worst thing that has ever happened to me. At the same time, one of the best things that have ever happened to me. I was diagnosed in 2nd-grade. 

School

School through those years, was HELL for me. Sure, there were good days and good times, of course, no question about it. If I had a few good days or a week, the following week or month would be worse. It felt like a giant roller coaster, going up and down, twist and turns bouncing all over the place.

As the years went on, my issues and LD problem seem to get worse. Now that I was getting older, and school got harder and I was getting farther and farther behind. Even though I had a handicap that didn’t matter. I still had to keep up with the homework and the tests.

Embarrassment

If I was in middle school 7th or 8th grade. My reading level was a 3rd or 4th-grade level. I couldn’t spell, I was very slow at reading. I just struggled all around with everything that had to do with school. Even with getting extra help from the teachers, I still struggled. The teachers would always make sure I had a seat up front. Just so I would be closer and maybe that would help me pay attention better. News flash it didn’t help.

Sometimes I would get an extra day or two if we had a big project. If we had a test and I didn’t finish by the end of the class. I could stay and finish it, or go to another room and finish it. I would get extra time on big tests, or a teacher would read the questions to me. Imagine how I felt with that, having a “special” teacher in the room with me with my whole class. I would just get so embarrassed and felt stupid. I just wanted to crawl into a hole. They tried everything to help me. I’m beyond grateful for all the help from all of my teachers over the years.

New

Bring on freshman year, I’m at a new school and finally in High School. Only four more years Peter and you are free, from this prison. That’s all I kept telling myself. On the flip side, only four more years and then WHAT is all I kept telling myself? It was a catch 22, I will be done with school. I’m sure as heck not going to college, what will I do then? All of these thoughts were going through my head, almost every day of HS.

Every day I got closer to my ultimate goal of getting that stupid piece of pepper and graduating. I had NO clue what to do next? I was so focused on graduating and reaching that milestone that was my one and only goal at the time. The only problem with that attitude and focus day in and day out. I focused on the future too much and missed out on my present as the days went by? The next thing I knew, graduation morning was here and I just squeaked by with a 2.0 GPA. I’m not proud of it, but I passed I didn’t care. 

My Issues

To this day, and every day that follows I will always have trouble, and my issues will always hang over me like a cloud where ever I go. Now at the age of 28, I’m starting to get better with it every day. I’m getting to the point, I have this disability and this handicap and it won’t change, I just have to roll with it. For the longest time I would Pray and a plea to God, why me, why did you do this?

I still don’t have the answer and I still don’t know what my purpose is. In the meantime, maybe I could turn this weakness of mine into something better? Maybe I could turn this, stupid disability into something bigger and better and try and make a difference with it?

Big Names

Did you know there are a lot of big names that are Dyslexic? Albert Einstein, Richard Branson, The Wright Brothers, Henry Winkler, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Steve Jobs, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Walt Disney, John F. Kennedy, Tom Cruise. As you can see they all went on to accomplish amazing things.

That’s why I can’t use it as an excuse anymore. I may not become a president, or an actor, to name a few. That doesn’t mean I can’t be successful. It just means I need to work a little harder. Get up a little earlier than the average person to get ahead. The good thing is, I don’t want to be average and just fit in anymore. That’s not me anymore, there’s a new Peter in town. I want to stand out and make a difference in the world. Having an impact on people’s lives is what I want. Every day I want to do the best I can until I take my last breath.

Mindset

If I want to publish my books. That means I’m going to have to work harder than most, just to keep up with people around me. I want to make the most of my life now and make an impact on peoples lives.

With all of that said I can’t keep moping about with this cloud hanging over me. These were the cards I was dealt with. I need to make it work and keep going. My LD is stuck with me, I have to accept that now. I can’t change that, it’s who I am. Even though that’s who I am, it doesn’t mean I can’t put it to good use. With my new mindset, I have started to build the last few years. It’s an easy answer, challenge excepted.