Alrighty, I know I said I wasn’t going to post one of these today, but I’m feeling it, so here we go. I’m about to quote OTH, but it’ll be good for even you non-fans, so stick with me.
“It’s the oldest story in the world. One day you’re seventeen and planning for someday. And then quietly, without you really noticing, someday is today. And then someday is yesterday, and this is your life.”– Nathan Scott
Are you where you thought you’d be right now? What were your plans for your future? What did you dream 5, 10, or 15 years ago? Have you achieved those dreams? Did you ever really believe in them from the start? Why did you dream them? Was it because you loved those things? We put so much value in life on what our dreams are versus what our job is. There’s some sort of weird idea that following your heart & dreams means giving up on anything in life to have them. Isn’t that kinda stupid? You might have a dream when you’re 17, but as you grow up, that dream might morph into something different. So, why hold on so tightly to that initial dream that you’d be willing to give up on amazing things? Some people’s dreams are super practical… be a doctor or lawyer, what have you. Some people’s dreams are to be an artist or a writer, and that isn’t always so practical (I know a little something about it). Why is that bad? It’s OKAY to have impractical dreams… as long as you have some practical ones too.
Have you ever met someone who thinks they’re so much better than everyone else because they aren’t caught up in capitalism and money and are suffering for “their art”? I hate those people. But, I also hate the people who just become their job, they become soul-less automatons who are nothing without going to the office everyday. What happened to passion? There’s a weird belief that if you have a dream, that isn’t what you do for a living, that you’re sacrificing your dream. But there’s also a weird belief that you have to sacrifice everything for your dream. That it has to be your job. Isn’t that kind of silly? And then, if you don’t give your soul to the job you’re in, then you must not care about it. Poor dreams, there’s just no winning for them is there?
Actually, there is. Because doing what you love… that’s the dream. It doesn’t matter when or where or why. It’s not about a job. A job does not define you. What you love defines you. Remind yourself of that and focus on it. We’d all be a lot happier if we did. My job is nutrition. I love nutrition, but my job is just a job. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m satisfied with it and I’m committed to it. I do a good job and I don’t half-ass things. Ever. But, without that job, I’m still me. It doesn’t define me. I won’t let it. What I love defines me. I love to have friends over and laugh hysterically at really strange and stupid things. I love drinking tea on Sunday mornings. I love when I get to see my niece or nephew or Godson smile. I love to just sit with my husband and relax. I love to have bonfires in the summer, watch the leaves change in the fall, wait anxiously for the first snow, and marvel at the changes in the spring. I love writing. When I start listing all those things, what my job is and what my dreams were don’t really matter. It doesn’t matter what my job is for the rest of my life, I’ll be fine. As long as I can keep writing on the side, keep enjoying my friends, keep laughing, and watch my family grow together, then I’ll be happy. Even if I never achieve my dream of being a screenwriter, I’ll be happy. Because, guess what, I have other dreams too. I want to be happy. I want to laugh ridiculously hard on a regular basis. I want to have beautiful children and raise them into amazing people. And, I’ve already achieved the dreams of falling in love, getting married, and buying a house. All practical dreams, and just as real as being a screenwriter. Or just a writer.
So, where am I going with all this? I want to remind everyone to remember what their dreams were. And then to remember why they were your dreams. Because you loved them. If you aren’t doing those things, don’t fret. You still can. At the end of the day, a job doesn’t matter, neither does an old dream. What matters is what you love, and more importantly, doing what you love, as often as you can. It doesn’t have to be for money or for any reason, except that you love it. Because by doing what you love, you’re already achieving your dreams. I was reminded of this recently, because I started focusing on writing with all these goals, just to try and achieve my dreams. And I failed. And I wasn’t enjoying it. So, I went back to the beginning. I started writing again, just to write. Because I didn’t start writing because it was my dream. I started writing because I loved it. Then I made it my dream. Take some time to remember what you love to do, whether it’s new or old, because it’s what makes you, “you.” Reconnect with yourself. Learn who you are and how to be happy for yourself. I promise, if you do something you love, you will be happier.
So, now, I’m just writing. Not because I have to, not because of a dream, but because I love it. I encourage all of you to do the same. Find your passion and do it, as a hobby, as a second job, or hey– if you’re lucky enough to be a practical dreamer– as your actual job. Whatever you do, just enjoy life. Our time here is far too short not to.
I’ll leave you all with this:
“Find something that makes you happy– do it. Because everything else, it’s all just background noise.” -24 (Xander Berkley as George Mason).