Hi, my name's David Hendry. I'm 33 years old and live in Ayrshire Scotland. I was taken out of school at the age of 12. I never learned to read or write or even do any kind of math while I was in school. I was always fascinated by space. The thought of all the worlds out there and all the alien life just waiting to be discovered was something that filled me with excitement (I'm a big Star Trek fan). When I was 13, I taught myself to read so I could read learn about space exploration and what it was to travel to outer space. My family has a small landscaping business that I had to join from the age of 15. I was always depressed doing that job, not because I have anything against it, but because I felt like I was not living up to my potential. As the years went on, I got more and more depressed with my situation to the point that suicide did seem to be my only real way out. I was stuck in a job that I hated and I had no education or qualifications. I couldn't even spell or write. By the age of 24, I joined an adult learning class to learn to spell and write. It took me a year to learn (although I still make mistakes). After I learned to spell, I wanted to go back to school and study science and physics. My depression had other ideas, however, and there was always a voice in my head saying 'you're too old, you're stupid, you can't even do any math'. So I didn't go back to school, and I fell deeper into depression. For the next 7 years, I went through the motions of life. The joy of life was gone. I could read my books about the stars and about exploration but I could never be a part of it. I contemplated ending my life most days. I was so unhappy, so unfulfilled. that was until earlier this year, when I discovered The Planetary Society. After years of thinking I could never be a part of space exploration, I see these amazing people saying I can be part of it. I can, even in a small way, become a part of something much bigger. I have learned so much from these wonderful people. Their excitement for space exploration is infectious. Even though they don't know who I am, I'm grateful to them all for reminding me of my purpose and teaching me that it's never too late to do what you love. I am going to university to study natural science and math. I will work towards a physics degree and I will become a scientist. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, you guys saved my life.
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