When I started blogging, I was in my late twenties. Things were different then. I was energetic and enviously ambitious, even naively so. But time changes things. Your priorities shift. Where relationship and career were my own two motivations in life, now a growing family, my health and owning a home seem to take center stage. You too might be surprised by what life unfolds.
Maybe on your path towards your dreams you hit a roadblock, an obstacle so great that you don’t expect to survive it. The weight of time, financial pressures, familial obligation are squeezing you so thin, you feel like the only road worth walking these days is the one toward practicality. Your dreams will have to wait.
Maybe that’s your life right now. And that’s okay. I think the biggest concern is not that you’ve stepped off the plate for awhile, but that you never return.
Discouragement can be the murderer of your dreams or it can be its greatest advocate. It’s normal to hit roadblocks, to want to quit, to believe it’s time to give up. But if your dreams begin to haunt you after awhile, don’t ignore them. Find a way to re-introduce them in your life. They may look like a different being. They may come in a different form. But listen to them and they will guide you back on purpose.
Moving to Hawaii changed a lot of things for me. The high cost of living and low paying jobs were disconcerting to say the least. I began to feel a palpable wave of discouragement from people whose dreams were long buried and who settled for a half-lived, but safe life. Being around desperation can damper your own sense of motivation. I too longed for the freedom we felt in California. Not only the financial one, but the sense that you could do anything and be rewarded for it.
What I realized is that some people believe it’s easier to embrace “get rich” schemes than follow a dream. A dream seems impractical and fantastical like fairy dust and the Kardashians. Only a handful of people in life are fortunate to get one. Everyone else needs to make a living.
I have to say even after living here and seeing how hard it is, I still believe in dreams. I think discouragement isn’t a sign that you should give up and quit. I think it’s a sign you’re on the right track. It means you need to pump up your enthusiasm, energy and courage to become encouraged. It’s requiring you to think harder, to dig deeper, to be everything you were meant to be. Adults forget that as babies and kids every stepping stone was an inconceivable task. We get lazy and comfortable in our ways. But we were not meant to be kids forever. We are challenged because we were meant to do great things.
If you are reading this and feel like you’re slipping off that dream cliff, hold on. Hold on to dear life for the dream you’ve been dreaming all your life. Even if you can’t articulate what it is exactly (maybe you have a desire to write, paint or create, but not sure how to do this as a career), don’t give up. I started with a BA in English and ended up with a Masters in Counseling Psychology. Not as a therapist, but as a self-help/psychology writer who occasionally writes about writing, pets and the environment. I’m still not done and you’re not either.
Do what you must to take care of yourself and your family. But remember this: Never, ever give up on your dreams. Doing so will do much more damage and disservice to your loved ones and yourself than you think.