It began like this.
You had a cherished dream, a sort of enchanted feat. It was magical and inspirational. It contained everything you ever thought you loved and wanted within its fictional construct. It whisked away every manifestation of misery and injected an endless supply of limitless joy.
Then life happened. You’re not exactly sure how or when, but as time passed, that dream slowly ceased. Maybe your interests just diverged from your former self. Maybe what seemed once magical and aspirational, no longer does. Maybe you just simply changed and the appeal of fiction faced its own demise. Maybe it was something traumatic. Maybe there was a death and you were thrown off course. Maybe you had to be tough and grow up faster than most. Maybe you had to put aside the wanderlust and embrace practicality.
Maybe you had no choice but to kill that dream just so you could live.
I am here to tell you that it’s okay. I am giving you the permission you seek to let go of your once cherished dreams. I am giving you the courage to forgive yourself for what never occurred and could never be. It’s okay to free yourself of those aged grievances and all of chains they have confined you in.
To be honest, I think we romanticize dreams too much anyway.
Maybe it’s because of my inherent rationality, but I think there’s something fallacious about whimsical aspirations. I think they are misleading. Nothing is that easy and nothing is that perfect as we imagine it to be. How erroneous and tragic it is to think that life isn’t complete until we follow some bullshit dreams.
Don’t believe in dreams, believe in goals. Believe in what is tangible and concrete. Believe in something that you can visibly map out and obtain at your own will and effort. Better yet, believe in blueprints because of their forgiving flexibility. We already know that life happens and that change is inevitable. Be resilient and be prepared instead of daydreaming in a failed stalemate.
You might think that living life this way, that choosing to be practical, is somehow a sign you have settled. Maybe that’s true or maybe your perception is skewed. Maybe it’s still someone’s cherished dream to have routine things like a family or career. I know it was for my immigrant parents. They weren’t unsatisfied because they never travelled the world or obtained some other stereotyped dream. Instead, they achieved their dreams, their practical and sound dreams and lived what they viewed to be a fulfilling and happy life.
The whimsical dreams and wanderlust narrative are stereotypes at this point. We’ve overdone that story where life only begins when we throw aside reality and chase spontaneity. It’s time we stopped putting such things on a pedal stool.
It’s time we admired those that have the courage to not follow their so-called dreams.
It’s time we admired those who have the strength to resist and conquer life’s changing storyline. It’s time we admired those who were selfless and strong when they had no choice to be. It’s time we admired those who sacrificed the wishful and had the forte to face the difficulties of reality. It’s time we forgo the dreamers with their heads stuck in the clouds; instead, it’s time we admired the doers who have the audacity to take an alternative, more dignified path.