What to do With a Dying Dream

It’s natural for people to change as time goes by. Their likes, dislikes, hobbies, and so many other things can change. So why does it come as such a shock when our dreams and passions that we have chased for so long start to change as well? And what do we do when we feel these changes start to take place?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to teach second grade. Now I’m going to college with plans to eventually teach at a university.

When I was in eighth grade I refused to do marching band because my heart was set on tennis. When I was a senior in high school I quit tennis so I could be drum major for marching band.

When I was younger I grew up writing nearly every day but refused to let anybody read what I wrote. Now I’ve had writing published and I write on this blog, available for the public to read.

People change, and along with these changes comes a change in dreams.

But what do you do when your dreams change? What do you do when you stop feeling passionate about what you thought was you’re main passion or your “purpose in life,” if you will?

I’ve been experiencing this for a while as I’ve been jumping around with my studies or considering different futures for myself and it’s a strange feeling. To be honest, I almost feel like a fraud. I have been diligently pursuing one future for as long as I can remember, but now that path seems worn and not as exciting and I can feel myself losing interest. I thought I had everything figured out, but now I’m questioning everything. And while sometimes I’m filled with a little bit of dread (because I’m less sure of what lies ahead) and some guilt (because I’ve jumped through too many hoops to turn around now), I have to consciously remind myself that there is nothing wrong with a change in passion or a dying dream.

We can’t fulfill every dream of ours, not because they’re unlikely or too far out of reach, but because we’re simply not meant to. Sometimes the pursuit is more important than the pursuing, and it’s that very journey that is supposed to strengthen and prepare us for the next path we are supposed to head down. I think it’s important for us to look at these changes as natural rather than scary or unexpected – if we can openly accept changes in our personality or who we are, we should also openly accept changes in what we want out of life. We smile and nod our heads encouragingly as children tell us about their dreams of becoming doctors or rock-stars or spacemen while thinking to ourselves “awe, how cute!” while knowing full well they’ll probably change their mind. We not only accept children changing their dreams but we fully expect it, so why does it feel harder to embrace that same mentality for ourselves as we get older? After all, aren’t we still growing and learning and changing?

In the same way that not every star can live forever, neither can every dream. The dying isn’t bad, it just opens up space for something new to shine.

Choices

I’ve come to learn that we have a lot more control over our life than we think. Sure, we can’t control the choices or actions of others. Yes, the workings of the world around us are out of our hands. But we control our actions and our perceptions, and that’s a lot.

So, if you want to do something, do it. Maybe it will take time and hard work, but it can be done if you prioritize it and try.

If you want to be someone, be them. I don’t mean someone else, but merely a better version of yourself. The only one standing between who you are and who you want to be is you.

If you want to accomplish your dreams, keep pursuing them no matter how hard it gets or how crazy people think you are. You must be fearless in your pursuit.

Choose to be fearless.

Choose to be happy.

Choose to be you.

It’s like the wise Dr. Seuss once said, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Us

Where does love come from?

And what does it do?

Does it make us feel?

Or is that simply a side effect of it?

Does it make us act?

Or is that just another biproduct?

Maybe love isn’t a matter of what it is

Where it comes from

Or what it does

Because we are love

Love is in us

And love is us

The search for it is endless

Because we’re searching for ourselves

The desire for it is everlasting

Because we are desiring ourselves

Love is

Was

And always will be

Who we are

Highs and Lows

While I was driving home the other day from my cousins graduation party, I had one of the most blissful moments I think I’ve had in a long time. I was driving, and on my left were mostly blue skies with pink clouds scattered here and there, and to my right was the Western Sunset glowing orange and gray, emanating with the potential of a storm. I could see the rain falling in the distance as a storm was coming closer, and all I wanted to do was sit and watch as the storm drew near. I continued to drive until I found the first spot available to pull my car over so I could sit and revel in the beauty that surrounded me.

As I sat and watched only for a minute or two as the colors changed and the rain expanded from the small spot it was originally falling, I couldn’t help but feel mystified at the beauty of all that was around me. It was so amazing, and I wish a description or picture could do it justice, but it can’t. I began to think about how sometimes the world acts a lot like the way this moment felt – beautiful before wreaking havoc. Like, right when we’re in our highest moments in life and things are the most beautiful, it only takes a second for them to fall apart. That sounds a lot more negative than I mean it to, but I think it’s something we’re all used to experiencing – it’s just the highs and lows of life.

But even if they do fall apart, and even if things go downhill and we’re left at the bottom feeling numb and broken, I think it’s important to take a moment to appreciate the right now. We get so worried about the bad things that could come next that we forget to enjoy the good things are happening right in front of us. It could have been really easy for me to look into the distance and ignore the beauty of the changing colors all around me and focus only on the rain that was about to come. I could have gotten so captivated by the lightning or the impending storm that I didn’t even begin to think about how beautiful everything actually was, but I didn’t. There are times in our lives where I think we begin to get scared about being happy. It’s like we understand the concept of the ups and downs in life, and we know that the higher we get the further we fall. But I don’t believe anticipating the fall makes it any less scary, I think it just takes away from the thrill of the climb.

Just sit back, put your hands up, and enjoy the ride – every moment of it.

Intentionality

Intentionality – the fact of being deliberate or purposive. (Google Definition)

Intention – a determination to act in a certain way (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Not long ago I had an interview for a position as an orientation leader for my university for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. The interview was very laid back and consisted of three parts: an impromptu speech, a group activity, and a one-on-one interview. We rotated in groups and I just so happened to be one of the last people to take part in the one-on-one interviews. While I was waiting for my turn to go in I was thinking about my transition into college and what advice I would offer first-year students based off of my own experiences. This wasn’t my first time thinking about this, but I figured giving it some extra thought might be helpful considering there was a very good chance I would be asked a similar question. Luckily for me, that was one of the very first questions I was asked.

At first I wasn’t sure. There is a lot I would want to tell a person making such a large life transition, and a lot that I wish I would have known, but nothing I was thinking of seemed good enough. But then I remembered a quote that I had read in The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst: “Today’s choices become tomorrow’s circumstances.” I have this quote written on my calendar in my dorm, and beneath it, in bold letters, I have written, “BE INTENTIONAL.” So, when the interviewer asked me what advice I would offer a new student, I said that I would tell them to be intentional with their choices. It will be so tempting and easy to do what you want without putting much thought into your decisions because you finally have that extra freedom you never had before… I mean, you’re in college, right? But only so much time will pass before you realize that these decisions you’re making aren’t paying off in the way that you hoped they would.

As I was talking to the interviewer, I felt as if I were giving myself advice more than anything. I dedicate a lot of time and energy doing things that I know (or at least hope) will put me closer to a goal that I hope to achieve. Being intentional with my choices can be really easy when it comes to large scale decisions, but what about the smaller things that I do with little thought? Things such as the way I communicate with others, the music that I listen to, or even the people that I surround myself with seem to happen automatically, but maybe they shouldn’t.

A few days ago I asked a friend how you can know if you’re on the path that God laid out for you and she said that as long as you’re being intentional and praying about all aspects of your life – big or small – you’re on the right track.

Today’s choices become tomorrow’s circumstances, but each day is full of thousands of choices… how intentional are you being with yours?