One of the themes that has emerged the last few days is that sometimes you need to follow your dream career path in order to be happy. Now, finding a career, fulfilling your dream, and being happy are all mutually exclusive. Today, I’m going to give you a peak into dream filling.

Scenario 1

Person A decides they want to be an actor. They study acting in college. They graduate and get a job at a restaurant (to pay the bills) and they hit the pavement in search of acting jobs. They occasionally find work, but are far from having a fulfilling acting career that pays the bills. After a few years they decide to go to graduate school to study acting. When they graduate they once again find employment, but it is sporadic and make their living as a babysitter. Person A is now 35, but they are still holding out for their dream job. They share a small apartment with four people (not related to them). Babysitting is not job that they want to be going to every day. They spend money on their looks, because after all, acting is a glamour job, and you need to be glamourous.

Are they happy? Is the dream worth fighting for? The answer resides in the heart of this individual who is keeping at it.

Scenario 2

Person B decides they want to be an actor. They go to college to study acting. After college they move in with their parent and get a waitressing job. Auditions and parts are few and far between. After a few years of this, Person B decides that what they really want is their ow apartment and a family. So they put the character shoes away and exchange them for the character shoes of a person in the 9-5 work a day world. They find a job with a good salary and good benefits and begin to be able to save money.

Are they happy? Did they give up? Or did their dream just change?

Scenario 3

Person C decides that they want to be a rock star. After high school they and bandmates buy a cheap van, and start touring and playing gigs wherever they can. They reach a moderate level of success- they are able to pay their way as musicians. They release a few albums. They are living the dream. Sort of. Because they never become rock stars, which was really their dream, not the reality of playing small venues and then morphing into a wedding band. Person C eventually puts down the guitar and cuts their hair, thinks that college might have been a better path, because being a failed rock star is pretty lousy.

Are they happy? Would it have made a better dream than a reality? Was not living up to what was envisioned just too hard?

So….

Do you follow your dream?

56 thoughts on “To Dream…

    1. I’m quite young and I don’t know what I want to do in life. But I’m afraid that I’ll reach a stage when I realize that the path that I chose is not what I want to do after all. Honestly, stuff like this scares me. I know this is a straight-forward question but how did you really decide what to do in life?

      Liked by 2 people

  1. When you asked the question, “do you follow your dreams” I immediately thought of instinct, of gut feelings that tell you yes, keep at it or that voice that nags you to let it go. Which of course in other words is the whole head vs. heart dilemma. How much time, energy and money do you have to invest in your dream, and my little voice, given my age and outlook, says there has to be a cut off point when the adult head takes over and you let the dream go.
    However, I also don’t like that answer because I think there comes a point when we realize as adults that some ‘dreams’ are able to be turned into reality and others will always remain magical and fantastical and just beyond our grasp. If we’re pursuing the plausible ones, and we have the time and means then maybe we keep going. I would like to believe that we all have the ability to realize some of our dreams no matter what stage we are in even though my head tells me otherwise.
    Now I feel a bit sad and wistful…

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Well, there are all sorts of dreams. In this case I spoke of dream jobs in glamour fields with low percentage success rates. They’re also fields where people have to decide if they want to be say, an actor, or if they want to be a star. Two very different things. My daughter had a classmate whose father is an actor and has been steadily employed for thirty years, yet you’ve never heard of him. He does commercials and voice overs and under study roles. And he’s happy because he’s doing what he wants (and frankly has a monetarily successful spouse) but that’s not every actors dream

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Great question today. I have a friend whose daughter did not go to college because she didn’t get into any of her preferred schools. She had a great resume (class pres, good grades, interesting extracurriculars). Rather than settle, she decided to pursue her dream of being a dancer. Over the past 10 years, she has traveled the world dancing, teaching dance, modeling, you name it. She is living her dream and having the time of her life. I always tell her how proud I am of her. She is amassing quite the savings so when and if she “retires”, she can open a dance school. She is realistic, a great networker and a very hard worker. All of those traits have been invaluable for her.

    However not everyone is as focused, smart, etc at their pursuit of their dream. If a person isn’t giving it 110% every day, they need to be honest about if they really do want it. Just like the example of someone who wants to learn a musical instrument – they buy it, get some lessons, but unless they practice diligently, they won’t master it. Meaning: it takes time and dedication, so if those two ingredients aren’t there, then they are only fooling themselves.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. No one can answer these questions except the individual. I think that’s the whole problem, we believe we have the right to tell others what is best for them. Example: I was told my art would get me nowhere and to forget about. I took that advice for decades and was miserable. Happy doing art now but is it making a living for me? No, but I’m HAPPY and it is extra side money. To me, happiness is more important than money but that is me. For others the answer would be different and that’s ok.

    We must remember that changing our dreams throughout our lives is fine because we are constantly changing. However, these changes must be our decisions and no one else’s.

    My oldest son had a high IQ and was extremely intelligent. Had no intention of going to college because I was a single mom and we lived under the poverty line. Due to his IQ he was pushed into college (not by me). He did get financing due to his good grades but was unhappy with the school he chose and sunk into a deep depression. I allowed him to transfer to Case Western, not knowing he would loose his funding. He was much happier at Case but incurred huge debt and was being harassed by Dept of Ed. Took his life at 26.

    In contrast, my younger son, equally intelligent, hated school to the point that he would not apply himself. He, my ex and myself were constantly being harassed by the school board. We let him drop out at 16. All of us were much happier. My son never got his GED or went to college. He is now happy, married, he and his wife have good jobs and working towards their goals.

    My boys are the reason I feel so strongly that we each must think for ourselves and make our own decisions. Advice is great but the decision is ultimately the I individual’s.

    I used to be extremely closed minded but my sons’ stories taught me to be more open and take a couple steps back so I’m not trying to make decisions for others. I think we learn as much from our children as they do from us. Just wish my heart didn’t have to be permanently broken to have learned this lesson.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I think the operative word here is “dream”. Kids dream of what they want to be when they grow up. I use the word goal, what you are aiming towards. There are twists in the road and external forces change the finish line.My kids figured out early on what they wanted to do, but still ended up changing the focus. I am not chasing a dream but working towards a goal.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. So I could easily be the person in Scenario 1 or 2 although I never lived with my parents and the dream had evolved by the time I turned 30. I have no regrets for pursuing the dream, I have awesome memories and some pretty cool acting footage and honestly feel had I not followed the dream, I would have regrets now and always wonder “what if?”. The answer is absolutely in the heart of the dreamer.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I ran away and joined a traveling carnival when I was 19. Enjoyed it mostly. Until I decided it was time to run away and join a home. I ran away both times but I don’t feel I quit what I was doing each time. Sometimes it takes running the other direction to get on the right path you need at the time.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. There is dreaming and then there’s reality. My husband loved his job as a sports’ editor at a local paper, but it didn’t pay anything. He still loves and follows sports and it’s his passion, but he has another job that has allowed us to live comfortably and send our kids to college.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m working towards a point. The millenial argument is to follow their dreams, there’s no such thing as stability or loyalty to a company and following a traditional path is outdated. But I need to break it down to discuss and disect

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Some people are hands on and learn welding, or to be an electrician. Others follow a strong subject strength and some follow the dream of “rock star” “model” “actor” and we wish them luck. Eventually, everyone finds their way. LA, what would you do if you could begin again knowing yourself better?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I like my life mostly but sometimes the travel bug hits me. When I retire, I hope to travel in the states and to a few places overseas with my husband. Sometimes I get restless but I have seen lots of place, more than I thought I would.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I rather think that if Person A has not made it in acting by age 35, it’s time to investigate a new job/dream. I think Person B made the best decision. They realized something else was now important to them, made the necessary changes, and then successfully followed that new goal. Re Person C, it sounds like reality has hit that they are never going to be a rock star – so good for them for going back to college – and hopefully they will find a new career path and fulfill a new dream.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. LA, what if you don’t know what your dream is? People keep saying that one needs to explore possibilities before choosing but their choice can be wrong at the end of the day. And how were the people from scenario 1 and 2 supposed to know that life was gonna be this way? I loved this post and loved how it broadened my perspective but doesn’t it scare you that no matter how passionate you are about your dream, it might be the wrong one? Not wrong one. It might not be the dream which will work out?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s why you need resilience, and to take stock of yourself….but I’m getting to that slowly. You have to periodically assess and reassess what you want, and know that it’s ok to change your mind

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Exactly what I wonder. I think the answer is that we can’t all do these ‘fun’ occupations. Someone has a to be responsible, and this incoming bunch of adults is it.

    The best solution is to go for a responsible, well-paying job and do your hobby in the free times between.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The problem I have with this scenario is I don’t believe a dream job is necessarily one which is glamorous & risky. Indeed, I believe a dream job is one which makes you buzz with excitement, one where you fulfil your purpose. They may not be hugely financially rewarding, but neither need they be as risky as acting.

    That said, I’d always vote for giving a dream job a go. When my daughter was approaching the end of her school education and making a decision on the next step, I encouraged her to follow her dream and study Art. When she completed her degree, she was going to accept a dull AF job, as she felt that was the responsible thing to do. I told her I’d provide two years of support to see if she could make it as a freelance – and make it she did. The majority of her co-graduands did not, because they weren’t fortunate in having that financial support. Following dreams is wonder, so long as you’re pragmatic about it. Decide how long you’ll give it a go, what the limit is on your financial exposure – and then give it your best. That way, you’ll not look make & wonder “what if.”

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