You Can’t Follow Every Dream

Today’s topic is a little on the deep and a teensy bit depressing side. So of course I have decided to insert images from the internet (pretty much all from Tangled except for one from Les Mis) to lighten it up!


You hear it all the time, people tell you to follow your dreams, that you CAN have it all, to go where your heart takes you. But they don’t really ever say “Pick a small selection of your dreams because some of your dreams may cancel out the option of other dreams,” or maybe, “You’ve waited too long to follow all of them, pick two.” No one tells you that you need to prioritize and start early enough to get them all in. No one warns you that some dreams just can’t be followed and that sometimes some dreams end up being more important than others. Maybe this is just something you can’t realize until it’s retrospect.

I once had the dream to become an actor and live in NYC, but I let other people shake my confidence in my own abilities so much that I changed majors and gave up the dream entirely. I also won’t pretend that the relationship I was in at the time was a huge factor, which stings because that relationship ultimately fell apart.

I once had the dream to join the Peace Corp. and work abroad making peoples lives better, but I let myself get scared that the commitment was too long and that I would miss too much of my loved ones lives.

I once had the dream to be an Academic Adviser at a university or college, but I let the frightening idea of grad school stop me from trying. Just the application process was daunting to me.

Now some people would tell me (and probably will when I publish this)  that it’s not too late to follow some of these dreams. Apply  for grad school! Join the Peace Corp! It’s never too late.

And on many levels I agree with them, it’s never too late to make a change and live the life you want to live. But I also think that sometimes old dreams are better left in the past. Yes you mourn them. Sometimes it stings when you see a play, read about friends living abroad or see friends that graduated undergrad AFTER you get their masters’.

But you learn to move on. You participate in community theater, you volunteer with organizations locally and you encourage college students to send you their program evaluations and four year plans (SERIOUSLY guys send ’em my way!!!).

Because with time other dreams take their place.

I have the dream to become a wife and stay at home mother. While this one may still be a ways off in the future, everything I’m doing now is with this dream in mind. This dream has always been present for me for as long as I can remember. Every single other dream was a “in the meantime” dream while waiting for this one. It may still be a in the future dream but I wouldn’t do anything to delay it any further.

I have the dream to work for some sort of non-profit and/or charity organization when I do go back to working. Potentially something related to the arts. All I know is that I want to work for or start an organization that’s primary goal is making the world a better place. I’m starting with volunteering with a couple different organizations to get a feel for it and make connections.

I have the dream to at some point get either a post-bachelor’s certificate or a Master’s degree. This has been on my mind for a while as something I would like to do but for now I’m researching the types of programs that might interest me. I feel like there is more I need to learn to have the type of professional career that I want to eventually have.

These are all three dreams for the not so distant but also not so near future, but I’ve come to realize that the choices I make now set up that future. So that’s what I’m working on. I’m building my dream life. Like the journal I bought just for the quote says: “Chase your dreams, you might catch one.”

What are some dreams you’ve stopped chasing? What are some dreams you’re currently chasing?


One thought on “You Can’t Follow Every Dream

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