When is it time to let your dreams die, and what constitutes ‘giving up’ on your dreams?
It’s fair to say that I’ve been having a bit of a rough time lately…Maybe you can relate.
It feels like I’m not where I am meant to be and things are definitely not going the way I thought they would. I’m not where I felt I would be or ‘should be’ for someone my age and the plan that I had once envisioned for myself just hasn’t been happening. It feels as if one thing after another keeps going wrong and there is a little bit of bad news every day and things are consistently falling apart around me. Everything is simply disintegrating.
All of these hopes and dreams that I had are just vanishing, leaving little more than a fog of confusion in their wake. During these times it is hard not to feel like you’re drowning. It is hard not to feel lost… to feel hopeless. Yet despite this I have continued to fight each day and try to be positive…but its hard.
People have told me on more than one occasion that I have not had things easy, but who really has? I am nothing if not resilient, I have pushed through and I keep pushing through, but there comes a point when things just feel…desolate and your not sure how much more you can handle before you hit your breaking point.
I had summarized these feelings over coffee with my dad when I bluntly stated “It feels like I am watching my dreams die” (just a touch melodramatic I know). He looked at me and without skipping a beat countered with; “change your dreams”.
Change your dreams…But… that’s not the message that we are constantly bombarded with. More often than not the message we receive is; “change your method, never your goal”
Change your dream…what does that mean? Does that mean you are giving up? Does that mean you’re quitting? Does it mean you are settling for something less?
Now, when you were a kid, what were your goals for the future? Are they happening? Did those dreams stick with you as you grew and matured, as you forged your identity and worked to shape what your life has become and the vision of what you want it to be? Are the dreams you have now those same ones from when you were five? Does that mean you gave up on your dreams? Or does it mean that they have changed to suite the person you have grown into.
Change your dreams. It sounds so simple and it sounds like you are merely giving up. But does changing your dreams really mean that you are giving up, or does it mean that you are flexible. Maybe changing your dreams means changing the smaller aspects of a plan that make up the larger dream and overall achievement.
Are we meant to have one dream? Are we meant to only ever have one vision for our life and that is all we get, if we do not achieve it then that is it, we only get that one shot and if we can’t make that happen…there’s nothing. Is that all we are reduced to, are we not complex creatures who are allowed to grow and flourish, to change and adapt in order to overcome?
Life isn’t supposed to suck all the time. Sure, there will always be lows and hurdles to get through, there will be rainy days and days that test your resolve. But Life can also be beautiful. Your life can be what you want it to be. You can be, and you deserve to be happy. If chasing a set idea of a dream to the point where you feel like there is no way out is not fulfilling you or bringing you a sense of inner joy and peace, then is it really the right dream for you? When you get to a point where all is lost then maybe its time to step back, examine your life and decide that maybe you don’t actually have to follow one particular path for yourself that you had previously laid out. You can change, you can create a different path, different doesn’t have to mean better or worse, its just…different. When you were little, you changed your dreams. As you move through life you set goals and when you achieve those goals you set new ones. It would be rather sad if we only ever got one goal, when you achieved it, that was the height of your existence and if not, then you became the definition of a total failure and were never able to adapt.
Change your dreams, I don’t think it’s a matter of quitting or accepting less. Its not a matter of giving up any and every time the going gets tough. But you don’t have to have one dream. There are always multiple ways of getting to where you want to go, changing the smaller dreams to achieve the over all dream of what you want your life to look like. So why does the journey have to be miserable? It really doesn’t. Because after all, isn’t enjoying the journey a dream worth living?
If all hope is lost…
Create new hope.
“Hope in the thorns” by orangeacid