Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Chasing Dreams

Advice. Something I don't always feel qualified to dish out, though there are exceptions. The paradox that is being a young adult makes us think we are all-knowing today, though, usually, we know relatively little about the life that is to come. There are those that have been though hell and back by age 25. People have seen, gone through, and learned from more experiences {good and bad} than I could ever imagine. On the flip side, I may have had some experiences and lessons learned that others won't experience until later in life. I believe there is much to be gained from listening to the advice and anecdotes of others, though we might not always see eye to eye. 

So, dear readers, my piece of advice to you: 

Don't let yourself get in the way of your own dreams.

Pretty straightforward, right? Maybe, but not so easy to live. One thing I've learned is that I am in control of a majority of the situations I find myself in as I live my life. I wrote a few days ago about a change in attitude leading to a change in circumstances, which brings me back to my current subject. 

There are many influences in the world. Some are obvious invitations to a way of thinking or living. Others are more subtle and can bring you either back to yourself or far away from yourself in a short amount of time. There is constant noise in our world that can pull you in innumerable directions and leave you crumpled up like a worn out rag doll at the end of the day. Some will make you think you need to live a particular way to be happy. Maybe you need a man {or woman} in your life to find true happiness. Maybe you need more money. Maybe you can find a million different reasons why you shouldn't do something that your heart is calling you to do. Then comes the inner dialogue of excuses why you should or shouldn't do something. It's too hard. It's risky. I might loose a friendship. Is that the right choice for me? 

Bottom line: There will always be excuses. Always. But deep down, you know what your heart wants, though sometimes it can take a while to find it. 

I thought, for nearly seven years, that my life was on one path. I knew what I wanted in the long run, and I thought I could make it there with a few pit stops along the way. But as it turned out, I was on loose footing instead of firm ground. I was letting someone else dictate where my life was leading, and if I resisted, I felt an overwhelming guilt for disappointing someone I loved. I dreamed of big things and a life of adventure, and I wanted that other person in my life to want the same things that I did.

In the end, I was making excuses for why I wasn't pushing myself to my full potential. I was afraid to lose someone who was all too willing to leave me if I continued to live my dreams, so I hung on and tried to make these two worlds merge. I didn't want to feel as though I wasted seven years of my life on something that, in the end, was a big illusion. So I fell deeper and deeper into a world that I pretended made me happy but left me with a hollow feeling in my soul. I made every excuse in the book to my family and friends when they asked me to be accountable for the ignored dreams I was slowly leaving behind. I'll never forget the day I realized they were right {April 29, 2011 for the record}. I was getting in the way of my own ambition. I was putting aside the hopes and desires that I had since childhood for someone that wasn't thinking of my wellbeing. But was it all his fault? No, because I allowed him to do that to me. I didn't stand up for myself and gave in when I should have stood my ground.

So I changed. I changed my attitude. I stopped making excuses and I got the hell out of my own way. I started living again, and found a happiness that I'd forgotten about. It wasn't always easy chasing my dreams in the last few years, but once I figured out that I was my own worst enemy, I made a truce with myself so that my brain and my heart would never fight like that again.

So, friends, remember to get out of your way and let your heart guide you. It will lead you to incredible places that you never knew existed, I promise.


  1. Very good advice, I know I have trouble remembering to do this sometimes :)

    1. It's still a struggle for me sometimes, but I really try to push myself out of my comfort zone!

  2. "But deep down, you know what your heart wants, though sometimes it can take a while to find it."

    This is a paraphrased version of my favorite quote.
    Once I learned I'm the only person that can hold me back, I did things I never expected.

    1. What quote is that?! I'd love to know. Here I am thinking I'm so philosophic ;)

  3. Great advice! Such an important thing to remember.

    1. Thank you! I still need to take my own advice sometimes!