FROM THE ARCHIVES: What the Hell is "The Dream" Anyways?
We've published hundreds of stories from 100+ writers in the last three years, so we're highlighting some of these timeless posts in our new From the Archives series. Enjoy!
When I first sat down to write this blog post, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to say.
I was prepared to tell you that “the dream” you’ve been chasing might not actually be a dream of yours at all. I was also ready to say that our dreams can often cloud our ability to recognize alternative opportunities. After much reflection editing, and contemplation, I realized that I had conflicting opinions on “chasing the dream.” Here’s my best shot at explaining my opposing viewpoints.
I graduated from Belmont in Nashville this past May, and I didn't find immediate success in the field or industry I was hoping to be a part of. It's been tough living in a city where your goals mirror everyone else’s around you.
I will never forget the night leading up to graduation that I had lain in my apartment crying and texting my brother about not wanting to celebrate my accomplishment. I had been through interview after interview yet had nothing to show for it. I felt like a failure. My parents and I had both invested so much money in this dream of mine and here I was, two weeks from graduating college and only having a part time job paying barely over minimum wage to show for it. I was allowing the fact that I had not been offered my dream job in music to overshadow everything else that I had accomplished throughout my collegiate career.
Fast forward three months and I can now say that I am not working in music AND HAPPY. Before, I didn’t know those two things could coincide. I’ve found a job full of amazing people who love life, each other and the business we work for. The company cares about us as employees, strives to personally and professionally develop each one of us and believes in giving back in the world. I’ve learned more in the past three months than I could have ever imagined, and I would have never had this opportunity had I not let my “employment wall” down.
It’s important to keep in mind that you may not accomplish your wildest dreams right after graduation. Hell, you may not reach your goals for many years to come. Although the dream job hasn’t quite found me yet, that doesn’t mean that it never will. And if you’re like me and find an opportunity outside of your original plan, this does not mean that our dreams have to die. Talk to those around you, be transparent and tell everyone what you’re working toward. I’ve found that many people around me are facing similar battles and can relate.
My point here is this: sometimes your dream isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes you will find yourself so tied up in one goal that you miss the other opportunities coming your way. Sometimes you feel that only one thing can make you truly happy. Let me be clear: CHASE YOUR DREAMS! Chase them tirelessly and don’t give up until you’ve accomplished what you came to do. Do exactly what you want to do and don’t let others hold you back or put you down. But also don’t be afraid to take a path that opens itself for you. You never know what an unexpected opportunity has in store until you give it a shot.
[Photo by Juliette Kibodeaux.]
[This post was originally published on October 20, 2015.]
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