Not Following Your Dreams Doesn’t Mean You Aren’t Equally Brave

Tyler Rayburn
Tyler Rayburn

I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but…dreams can kind of be mood killers. Like really, let’s think about it for a moment – What even is a dream? Are we talking long-term goals? Having a family? Pulling six figs doing something you genuinely love? Falling asleep and imagining dancing Taco Bell quesaritos so that when you wake, you’ve GOT to get that shit in your stomach IMMEDIATELY??

Are they just things we’ve been told we’re supposed to have? That’s what ambitious folks do. The ones who don’t wait around, no, they make life happen. They discover a dream and chase it with everything they’ve got…


I think it’s being bred into us. We talk about what we want to be when we grow up. In school, we pick majors to lead us in the right direction. We fill up resumes. More. More. More. Follow the dream! Figure it out! Keep going!

Post inspirational quotes all around you as a reminder to just keep going. Read books about wealthy people doing what you want and how they were able to just do it.

You just do it.

But what if you don’t?

What if chasing a dream isn’t an option? Should you be shamed for it? Should you be made to feel like you aren’t living life to the fullest because you need a paycheck and tangible things?

I don’t know the secret to happiness. And, news flash, none of us do. All these books and articles and lectures later, we still don’t.

But putting such pressure on people to “chase their dreams” when that might not be in their best interest ends up feeling like some terrible after school special. It’s predictable. It’s tiring.

If right now you’re not following your lofty dreamzzzz, that doesn’t make you any less brave. That doesn’t mean you’ve given up or are somehow inferior to girls Instagramming their adventures across the globe. It doesn’t mean you are behind. It doesn’t mean you are taking the safe route.

Because all of that is bullshit. It’s bullshit that we try to decide what others should do. It’s bullshit that someone who took a 9-5 that they don’t entirely love to support a family is somehow not “living up to their full potential.” That’s such a harmful idea. To make people feel like they aren’t doing what they should be doing.

Congratulations on waking up every single day, regardless of what you do with the rest of it. That’s an achievement in itself. That’s a fucking dream. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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