Karen Morris realized she wanted to become a doctor at the age of 15. Unfortunately, a year later she became pregnant which put the dream on hold. She finally finished school, got married, had 5 children, and ran her own beauty salon. A medical degree seemed out of the question then. She eventually decided to become a nurse but the itch to become a doctor never went away. In nursing school, she juggled her studies with a full-time job, raising the children – and a failed marriage.
Finally, when her youngest children were teenagers, Karen made the decision to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. She said firmly, “I don’t want to be 80 years old, look back at my life, and say – what if? At the same time, I thought everyone would think I was crazy,” she said. “I was 38, had five kids, who wouldn’t think I was crazy?”
In 2003, Karen enrolled into the prestigious Yale School of Medicine. The path towards realizing her dream was however not an easy one. While at Yale, Karen had financial problems even though she was working as a nurse, part time. A medical degree is a very tough course and Karen had difficulties juggling classes with her part time job, assignments, competing and interacting with younger course mates etc. She recalls that she couldn’t have handled it all if not for the assistance of her children, who gave her moral and financial support all the time. At the same time, she never, ever wavered from her commitment of becoming a doctor. And this she says was what gave her energy when things got difficult and stressful.
Finally, in June 2007, in spite of all the obstacles and challenges, the 45-year-old mother of five and grandmother of two, graduated as a doctor from the prestigious Yale School of Medicine – the first ever grandmother to do so. What an awesome achievement!!!
If there is one lesson that we can take from all this, it is that we must never, ever let go of our dreams. There will be problems, the usual naysayers, the never ending challenges, but if we truly believe in what we want and make a commitment, then there will always be a great chance that we will be able to achieve it, just like Karen Morris! So just go out there, be a little ‘crazy’ and take decisive action to make all your dreams come true!!!