Why You Don’t Need to “Follow Your Dream”

How many times have you heard “just follow your dreams” lately? Well, from a person who is not necessarily following her dreams (honestly I don’t even have a concrete dream to follow), but definitely took a huge jump into unknown and scary territory, just know it isn’t all clouds and rainbows. And personally, anyone posting, saying, or preaching this, pisses me off. It’s f😀king hard. Following your dream is f👻king hard. A lot of the time they leave out the doubts, tears, and hardships. If you see someone following their dream it may be something brief and temporary. Soon money will dwindle and they will need to find a place or person to support their spontaneous lifestyle. I’m not saying people aren’t successful in dropping their average lives for more exciting adventures. If you are one of these people congrats. No seriously, you rock! You took that leap and you fell into marshmallows and Egyptian silk beds of heaven.

In reality, your dream probably isn’t right around the corner. You can’t just say to life “Hey! There’s a door right over there with my dream behind it. Peace out decent and comfortable life that I question every day.” We can’t do that because we have responsibilities like families, financial problems or setbacks, we are building a life for ourselves, it just isn’t in our total control (like getting into your dream school for example), or we simply weren’t born with parents who pay for everything and we need to support ourselves. Also know the road to a dream has many, MANY bumps and you are bound to fall down. A lot. More so than from your lazy boy in front of your 30″ TV. Have I convinced you not to follow your dreams yet? I hope not. Because the next time you get that chance to open a really scary and life changing door, you need to take it. In order to fail and learn from your mistakes. In order to scrap your knees, collect scars on your skin and your heart, and come through the other side with a different view on life. Take the leap, but don’t rush the leap if you haven’t found the door yet.

Right now work towards what may open those doors of invaluably scary risks. Look at people who were given the key and took the jump and be happy for them. Take the green from your eyes and know the life you are living right now is for you. It’s for you and no one else. You will find your key, it’s just not your time yet (or maybe you are living your dream right now and don’t even realize it!) If you are unsatisfied with where you are, make a change. Don’t soak in your own pity. BUT! Before you think of dissatisfaction, take a step back. Look at your life from the outside in. You are blessed with so much. Friends and family who love you. Food on your table. A roof and a real bed with enough blankets to keep you comfortable. Hot water. Damn, you even have running water from your taps. And it’s drinkable? LIKE WOW! And those are just the basics. I encourage you to continue this list right now (actually after you finish reading this post 😉 ) and write down personal gratitudes. You have so much! Almost enough to start giving away to those less fortunate of this comfortable life. Just because you aren’t dropping everything and travelling across the world, does not mean you don’t have everything you need right now, in the life you are living this very second. You have enough. You are enough right now. You’re building towards something great. We all have our own stories. Know that yours matters and it’s beautiful and grand in only the way you perceive it.

Social media has the tendency to show the rose without its thorns. We see the glory and beauty because honestly, who’s going to post pictures of a lonely pillow each night or the in-between set backs and tears? This is why I am going to start slowly deleting my social media. As much as I love those around me, I am not yet mature enough to not compare their lives to my own. I continuously try to reassure myself of my own path with no success. Theres an honest confession for you. And frankly, Facebook takes over my life and only makes my thoughts race and breathing shallow. There are so many personal skills and hobbies I could be filling with this time that bring me peace of mind. I haven’t found the self-control to limit my time on social media. I will return to social media one day when I am more confident in my own path. Or maybe I’ll return to Africa and back into survival mode and reboot all my accounts. Only time will tell!

This was a lot of information so here’s a summary for you:

1. When you are given a new scary door to open, GO FOR IT. But only if it is right for you. Please first and foremost listen to your gut, but know any change is full of opportunities, like new friends and typhoid.

2. You have so much to be grateful for! Make a list and think of those in your life you love. Even if that means simply saying “thank you for being in my life” or “thank you for listening to me cry over and over and over and listening to my woes without judgement”. Maybe clear some clutter from your life and donate it. Take some weight off and make another person’s life easier.

3. Do what you need to see the value in your own life. Be honest with your flaws and areas you need to improve in. For me this is deleting social media for a bit. I will miss you all but you can find me on here from now on! It is your choice to follow my life. It is an honest and lost one at best.

4. DON’T FOLLOW A DREAM! Follow your own path. Just because someone tells you “that’s the chance of a life time!” or “look at me saving elephants in Peru!” (If only there were elephants in Peru…) does not mean it’s the path for you. You know what’s best for you. No one knows you better than you. Everyone is at a different spot, moving at a different pace, on their own path. Have trust in this and be a loyal friend to yourself.

Here’s to a new year and a new confidence in yourself and the path you are on. Even if you aren’t quite sure where you are or where you are headed, just keep moving forward. One foot in front of the other.


All my heart,

Chlo

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