Why Childhood Dreams Make The Absolute Worst Real Life Plans

Chris Barbalis

A picket white fence. A caring, careful, partner. Approximately “enough” land, people, and work on your plate.

You wake up and you have perfectly sculpted muscles. Maybe a dog or two to take on chilly family hikes when you, the undoubtable love of your life, and your beautiful children all wear matching bubble vests and boots as if you’re all in a granola bar commercial. The American Dream, right? It never seems like you’re asking for much. Just to be happy, and to be happy now. Absolutely no questions asked, nor criticism regarding ill-conceived notions towards life.

Until the first wake up call.

The earth-shatteringly not earth-shattering moment, when you realize that this vision, the one that has been instilled in your brain since you were rehearsing your wedding with your stuffed animals, is actually not a destination. The mountain top that you have always pictured so effortlessly actually is not a guarantee for simply being in your head for so long. The kids in the cute vests that you have to keep yelling at for running ahead? Yeah, they’re not going to show up on your front door like that self-rolling vacuum from the internet that you really, honestly needed. Your first wake up call, in all reality, has the most probability to show up at the front door of your mind in the very late hours of the night, probably one of those nights when you’re trying to get your sleep schedule back on track so you’re left eyes wide open with all the lights off, wondering just how the hell you got here and where the hell is it that you’re going.

This is the moment when you realize, that even though you have tried to do everything that you could to incorporate as much happiness into your everyday life as physically possible, there are going to be mornings that require more motivation than what you have set yourself up for every day.

You’re always going to hate one aspect of what you do, even if it is one whole day out of the entire year, or one hour out of an entire month all year. There are simply going to be weeks where you absolutely despise Monday, even if by some miracle your procrastination level did not exceeded your productivity for the entire weekend. Spending every waking minute dedicated to finding who you are, finding what you like, what you dislike, or even what you can tolerate, really only has the potential to assist the adult version of you live long and inconceivably happy.

Because truth is, you’re always going to be finding yourself. You’re completely different people to completely different people, every day. To the lady who’s parking at the end of the lot because you stole her spot, you’re nothing more than the asshole who made her late to work that one time. To your best friend, you’re the best damn thing that could’ve happened to her when she was throwing up in that bathroom that somehow smelt worse than the vomit on the shirt she borrowed from you. And the true learning that can be done in life is through acknowledging and converging these versions of yourself together to create a mosaic of a, dedicated, heartless, loyal, motivated, stubborn, breathtaking, asshole, angel. And every day that you live, you’re capable of becoming a completely different person.

So understanding yourself is great and all, but truth is, happiness is the absolute last thing that can be guaranteed from day one to the end.

Despite how much effort you have put into yourself to get to this point in your life, and how much this will make your skin crawl or rise you to interject, this fact remains- you actually never know how tomorrow is going to go. What happens to you is completely out of your control.

So don’t turn down that person at the bar who has the lower GPA than you because you’re afraid that they will slow you down. Don’t be afraid of what will become of you after picking up extra hours to save up for the best freaking night in the city. You are not the worst person in the world if you watch just one more episode. And lastly, don’t be afraid to open up and actually engage in what seems to take your heart out of your chest and hold it captive. It’s all no fun nor games until you realize you’ve never been hurt. The best and worst things in life leave the same color bruises. Your only job is to figure out which blows are the ones you can take with a smile on your face. TC mark

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