All-Things-ScribeSlice

Group: All Things ScribeSlice

What has been your Greatest Self Achievement?

This was one of the questions that we were asked whilst attending a Creative Writing Class some years ago.
We are all unique in this world and by thinking back, we should find that something, that has made us 'special' in our own way.
We cannot compare ourselves to others, for there will always be the ones that are better or worst than yourself.

So what has been your greatest self achievement? There could definitely be many!


Davide Castel

16th February 2012


Ten years ago, I was a totally different person; struggling with my moral identity, remembering then, that I had different dreams than all those I hung around with; dreams of writing Novels and short stories, the same dreams that I had since childhood: dreams of growing up to be a great Author. It was then - after becoming addicted to Hard Drugs, and landing in serious trouble - I decided that I didn't want to be in the Gang any more. A 3rd Generation gang member (Grandma and Dad were in it) I had been in it since I was 14 and was really starting to widen my view after so many friends were either dead or in prison, and I did not want that to happen to me, so I decided to confront the powers that be head on and get out one way or another. It was a tough call that put me in a very precarious situation. Owed many favours, I put them all into one bag and plead my case, which, landed me in the hospital with a price on my head. Again (against my better judgement) I confronted the highest court in the gang, took my beatings, had a gun shoved to my eye, stared death in the face, and made it out with no more than a few bumps and scrapes.

I cleaned up off the drugs over the next three years and went to work writing, remembering that I always wanted to be a writer. And a few years later, here I am, clean off drugs over 6 years and out of the gang with no more people looking for me to kill me, and I am sitting on 2 finished novels ("The Vampire Demi Nosferatu" and Book II "Demi Demon" and just started Book III "Demi Devil") and I am currently working on finishing up a third book - an Anthology of short stories ("Take Me Home With You") and a business plan to begin self publishing them this year. I am happy and every day I am finding my works expand in number and credence. I am now following my dreams at 37. It really is never too late to follow your dreams. That has been my greatest achievement in my life: getting out alive, free to live the life I am building for myself here and now, today!


Daniel Bird

15th February 2012


Wow! Daniel, now that is what I call a self achievement.
Putting your energies into the positives of life, rather than focussing on the negatives, where the end result is usually Death!
Then striving for those elusive dreams, where everything is possible.
There is so much truth in the old cliché - "Where there is a will, there is a way!"
After all, as you mature in your reasoning, life is quite short and you are so correct in trying to fit in as much as possible with those gifts you have.

Thanks so much for that insight!


Davide Castel

16th February 2012


Thats really an interesting life Daniel, I respect you for turning your life around the way that you did. Now you can talk some sense to my next door neighbours they are 17 and 18 year old boys they don't work, all they do is smoke weed every day.


Raymond lloyd Williams

16th February 2012


Daniel, I have posted a story called 'Opus No. 1' - where everything is possible if you believe in yourself.
That was why I began this discussion.
It got me thinking, that it would be a good topic to discuss.
Hope we get more contributors.


Davide Castel

16th February 2012


I will definitely read it very soon! I saw it, took a quick glance and have been meaning to take my time with it. I look forward to reading it Lucy!


Daniel Bird

15th February 2012


That's a great life achievement Daniel - it looks like life handed you lemons and you have decided to turn it around and make lemonade.

I don't really have any achievement that compares to Daniel's... the most I have done in life is create ScribeSlice and I was also involved with a charity for a couple of years in Thailand that was helping to rescue young teenage girls out of prostitution.


Harley Bailey

17th February 2012


Most of my achievements are personal from within, learning who I am to me is my greatest achievement of all.

I have written and illustrated a children's book about two years ago, although it's not up to standards I am happy that I have accomplished it.

One night after work I was on my way home about 2am, when I came across a woman in labor in her SUV. She asked for my assistance calling 911, but there was no time so I got in and delivered her baby, or helped I should say. Don't know if I can classify that as an achievement but I did something that I was not qualified to do and it's an experience I shall never forget.


Robert Harris

16th February 2012


Harley...you have been useful and compassionate in using your heart to help others.
That is classed as an on-going achievement.
What a great basis for the rest of your life!
If you dream it, you can achieve it.

Robert...most of our achievements are personal, which make us feel good about ourselves.
We know what it took to get us there.
One should never compare themselves to others, that is a mistake.
But we can try to use them as role models.
You show your 'true grit' when you are faced with unexpected situations.
You are now classed as one of the 'Good Samaritans'.


Davide Castel

17th February 2012


What about yourself Lucy? What has been your greatest achievement?


Harley Bailey

17th February 2012


Harley...I do have quite a few. So now that you ask, I will tell.

I would say that my greatest achievement was being able to be a mother.
That was something that I have always wanted to be for as long as I can remember!
Something that I was directly able to create where my life continues on through my children.
Of course I first had to find that right person to be their father.
However, I only managed to squeeze out two and a bit, instead of the five that I had originally planned for. My second greatest achievement was surviving cancer through a positive mental attitude, so had to forego and trade in the rest of my dreams, for my life.

All my other achievements have been self based, photography, music, writing.

Being basically a shy person but creative, I dream up alot of things, with my vivid imagination.
My 'other' positive self comes out in my actual dreams, like meeting movie stars or important people, and telling them exactly what I think of them, and in my dreams, I am an equal.
I usually find answers to unresolved conflicts from my dreams.
I always wake up feeling great! And to be honest, I don't really care what people think of me and my 'ways' for I am an individual and a survivor!

However, I am realistic in knowing just what is possible to achieve in this materialistic world.
To work hard at any given ambition, you will achieve success, especially if you don't make the almighty dollar your 'GOD'... and never forgetting to be compassionate along the way and not hurt other people in your race through life.

That is my philosophy.


Davide Castel

17th February 2012


There was some good insight there Lucy - thanks :)


Harley Bailey

17th February 2012


After being housebound for 20 years with anxiety disease and terrified to go anywhere, i got on a bus. then i did it again, and then more, until i went looking for a job. i now work part time. :)


Jan Summer

17th February 2012


Jan...what did you mean by this? Did anxiety stop you from venturing outdoors? Well if that was what you meant, then you certainly took a giant step. Good for you. One needs to walk, before they can run.

I hope that readers don't see this exercise as self boasting, but rather as a self achievement and acknowledgement of YOU!
Having faith in yourself and doing it to please YOU, is what life is all about.
It certainly doesn't matter what others may think, regardless of your aims.


Davide Castel

17th February 2012


Yes, Lucy, you got it right. My disease kept me housebound for 20 yrs. I was truly amazed that I could go and get a job after that. It was a miracle to me.


Jan Summer

17th February 2012


Jan..Is that why you are such an outdoor person who loves nature in that special way?


Davide Castel

17th February 2012


My story isn't as rough as Daniels, but I, too, got off on the wrong foot. I left home at 16 and moved my meager belongings alone to the big city of Detroit. I wanted to finish my last year of high school but with no home, $20 in my pocket, and a desire to escape the stepmother back home who was ruining my life, I sat out for the "Big Town". My mother lived somewhere in Detroit but I had no idea where. I arrived there on a Greyhound bus. It was July, 1953. I was down to about $5 and was eating a "short stack" of pancakes and a glass of milk once a day, sleeping in parked cars and broom closets. I was eating my daily survival ration in a cafe when I heard three men talking about someone who didn't show up for work that day. I walked to their table and said, "I'll work for you." The boss man said, "Your too little!" (I only weighed about 125 pounds with a pocket full of rocks!)
I told him that I'd work that day, if he liked my work he could hire me, if he didn't like my work he didn't have to pay me. He liked my attitude so I worked that day busting concrete with a ten pound sledge hammer.
At the end of the day, my working partner, Tom Cornell, told the boss, Jimmy Gee, "Jimmy if you don't pay this boy what you are paying me, I quit. Every time I hit that concrete once, he hit it twice."
I was hired. I worked until school started and then got a part time job after school. I went to school at 8 got out at 1:30. started work at 2:00 p.m. and got off at 10 p.m. by the time I took the bus home, it was nearly midnight. I did my homework, ate a bite, and went to bed, only to get up at 6 a.m. and start all over.
I finished my last year of high school and on August 19th, 1954, enlisted in the U.S. Navy.
After the service I ventured back to Detroit, got mixed up with the wrong crowd, started drinking and gambling heavily, carried a gun, got it fights, slept with other peoples wives, and generally was going to hell in a paper basket. My Aunt told me "If you don't get out of Detroit, you'll never amount to a hill of beans." I took her advice and moved to California, got a job and enrolled in college.
The rest of my adult life I never worried about a job or money. If I didn't have money, I found a job. I guess that's why I don't like people who sponge off of others. I've always worked and made my own way in life from the time I was 12 years old. Now I'm 75 and partially successful, having built a 3000 sq ft home here in Kentucky, retired, written four books (published them all) and am writing on the 5th. I still think I'll find a major publisher someday and sell a million books. Dream? Yeah..but hard work has got me here, and hard work will eventually succeed. I believe it.


Don Yarber

17th February 2012


What a great story Don! That is definitely a self achievement.
Although I did imagine your background may have been something like that, because of the way you write where much info. seemed to come from your actual experiences.

You are right, through hard work, especially when you have nothing, does make you see through people, and assess their characters through your own experiences.
One does need to fall 'down that hole and to reach rock bottom', before actually understanding what life is all about.

I really liked hearing your story. I imagine that other readers will too.


Davide Castel

18th February 2012


You're amazing, Don. I had no idea. I'm rooting for you!

@Lucy: no, i have always loved nature. it's in my soul. it helped me through many trials in life. it brings me peace when nothing else will.


Jan Summer

17th February 2012


Jan...that explains alot.
The beauty of nature has much to offer in times of need, and you appreciate it more after life threatening illnesses.
You are right, one does need to focus on the beauty in life or whatever helps to release stress.
For me it is meditation, or holding a baby, so pure and innocent, that I feel its goodness enveloping me and that usually helps to keep me sane too.


Davide Castel

18th February 2012


yes, smaller creatures, so fragile and helpless, do tend to bring out certain instincts. i often got very frustrated with chipmunks digging up my bulbs, but then one day i saw one in the centre of my lawn, lying on its side. it had heatstroke and couldn't move out of the sun. i picked it up and brought it in, gave it a bath and a place to rest with food nearby. he was right as rain in a few hours. i let him go again, feeling happy that i'd managed to help. i think i felt more rewarded than he did. i get the same feeling seeing a plant bloom for the first time, or saving a wounded tree.


Jan Summer

17th February 2012


You are a real softie Jan.
Our purpose in life is to make a difference, by being 'Useful, honourable and compassionate.'
In giving, we receive, that special inner happiness..


Davide Castel

18th February 2012


I didn't think of it that way. Thank you.


Jan Summer

17th February 2012


Isn't it amazing what we learn about others when we sincerely care enough to ask?
Also, isn't it amazing how much we are willing to disclose of ourselves when others ask us?


Don Yarber

19th February 2012


For me the biggest achievement was to write a prose for my parents and I really feel honored to do so..Each person likes to do something special for his or her parents and I feel lucky to write good words for my parents in their life. The second one is writing a poem ' Though I' which I really feel is too good and apt as well.I feel proud for writing it because its a national gift for my country and I have not come across such a poem till today.


Aleena Afzal

19th February 2012


Aleena...that WAS a personal achievement for you, and that was what I meant.
Something that you felt you had achieved, without ever thinking that you had it in you in the first place.
I believe, from what I have read, that we do only use 1/10th of our brain, because we use just what is needed for our surrounds/this century/and what is expected for us to survive.
Imagine if we were to find out the capabilities of another tenth?
I reckon we readers perceive something toward that, which does come out in our fictional writings.
Of course there is always the other side to the practical e.i. - ESP - prophetic dreams - mediums - clairvoyance - intuitions - etc.

Don...when you look inside of yourself you alone, know and acknowledge the struggles it took you to get where you are today.
As I have already said, never compare yourself to others, always a big mistake.
And yes, why not share with others, especially if it may benefit them in some way?
No-one, is obligating anyone else, to disclose what they don't feel comfortable in disclosing. Don't you agree?


Davide Castel

20th February 2012


My biggest achievement was realizing that it's okay to be yourself. I wasn't myself for a good part of my life. I acted like the person I thought everyone else wanted to be friends with. And then for some reason, I never really had any friends. Now that I'm myself I have a lot of friends and I'm soo much happier.

That and getting over my shyness :)


Samantha Wright

19th February 2012


Samantha...because you are young, I am so glad you have realised this at your young age.
Kind will attract kind, and being superficial, will never fool everybody.
Unfortunately, it usually takes many years to experience this.
I always believe that 'being yourself' (the real you) is the best way to be.
Getting over your shyness takes time, and once you realise this you will see that it is okay to be yourself.


Davide Castel

20th February 2012


I agree with Samantha and Lucy..One needs to be his or her individual self rather than acting the way others want...


Aleena Afzal

20th February 2012


I really admire all these achievements. Is it something of a miracle when a group of people can share their hardships and their surpassing strengths.

For many reasons, I had to leave the country I loved. And I took an instant dislike to my new surroundings. For years all I wanted was to return home. There's a part of me still that will never feel at home anywhere else. I had a terrible hatred inside of me towards this new country; and it was very much undeserved. I'll never forget the contempt I felt. To get to the country my parents sold everything we owned, and I almost cried when I watched people steal some of my belongings that were for sale. I was scarred for years. We came with two suitcases to our name. We were expecting our remaining belongings to come in a crate. It was supposed to arrive in less than two weeks of our arrival, but it was held for two years. We had enough to buy a car and get some furniture, that was the extent of it.

The most crushing thing I can remember, is when we were in between flights, since the trip time was supposed to be 24 hours, and I was sick, more sick than I had ever been in my life. I felt lost, disillusioned, betrayed. I looked through my pain and desperately cried to my mother, "Please can we go home?", and she said through her own tears,"We don't have a home to go to." If any one has ever immigrated before you will understand how like an exile you feel. It's not something one can understand without experiencing it. No one wants to leave their country, its the circumstances around them that force them to.

We went to second hand stores to get clothes, and when we had made a decent living again, and could afford better, for many years I couldn't go into a second hand store, because I didn't want to be faced with the reality that I had gone through those years of torture. It took us three years to make it through the worst. After that life was bearable again. But I still had a heavy grudge against everything around me. I didn't want to accept my adopted family as my own, I dreaded high school and college. Each day was torture for me, and why? It wasn't any ones fault, I was walking blind. I missed the mountains, the sea, and most of all my family. I felt like no one understood me. It took many years, and a few very kind people, to convince my stubborn heart. You see I was holding on to a dream, instead of picking up the pieces and starting to live for myself.

When I was finally able to let go of my past, and accept the things around me, things began to be beautiful around me again. I have lived another life before this; and sometimes it comes out of the slumbering haze that it is in; and I can remember every detail as if I never left. I consider myself a person without country, and I live happily in the knowledge that I am myself above all. My greatest achievement; was accepting a new life. It took many years, but I made it. I know without these experiences, I would not be the writer that I am today.


Leoni Carlson

20th February 2012


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