You may call me a dreamer. I’m not the only one. In fact, there are many of us. Actually, I think it’s most of us. Dreams are best recognized as what gets us through the night, but it turns out that dreaming is what gets many of us through the day.
Dreaming about the “what if’s.”
What if I win the lottery?
What if I tell them how I really feel?
What if I could change my job?
We dream about what could be, and we hope that one day it’ll just come out of nowhere and we’ll be in our dream job/relationship/lifestyle and everything will click. But I fear we’ve been misled to believe this idea. Real life is ever-changing and even when you think you’ve made it to your dream, it may not be what you thought it would be.
I used to feel like a real quitter because I haven’t had the same consistent dream for my life. Here’s a list of dreams I have chased at one point in my life:
- Scientist – I actually just wanted to blow stuff up with test tubes and hang out with Bill Nye
- NBA Star – I was all basketball all the time, then realized that I am never breaking 5’6” and you can’t wear platform shoes because they scuff the basketball court
- Youth Pastor – I just enjoyed being in youth group and wanted to buy pizza with the church credit card, but I hate lock-ins because I can’t stay awake and apparently that’s a mandatory part of the youth pastor gig
- Musician/Comedian/Evangelist – It’s hard to get going on that Evangelist route when you have no connections and no one is doing Sunday night services anymore where the young, inexperienced traveler could come and speak to a crowd of the six senior citizens in attendance
- Writer – This one… ok this one is still on the table, but it’s not exactly bursting forth into massive success, I rarely look at my view stats because it’s too depressing (Thank you for reading this)
There’s my list. I’m sure you have one, too. Now, I am none of those professions currently, so does this mean I gave up on all of them? Does it mean I couldn’t make it? Does it mean I’m lazy?
I used to think it did. I used to think unless you were sleeping on floors, eating Ramen every meal and becoming a burden to your family, friends and society then you weren’t really pursuing with everything you had. Now I think living like that may actually be pursuing homelessness instead.
Don’t get me wrong; we all know the success stories. My musical hero Billy Joel slept on the floor of a laundromat for a while. There are plenty of success stories like his that we all know. There are also plenty of unsuccessful stories we don’t know. There are millions more laundromat sleepers who never find the success they are looking for.
Hey dreamer who changed your dream: It’s ok. There is nothing wrong with a dream changing. It’s your dream to change. Maybe you’re growing and maturing as a person. It’s normal to realize what you wanted at 19 is not what you want at 29. You’re not a failure.
Sure, maybe you are impulsive and get some great, big idea and you don’t stick with it. Maybe you need to stop doing that. But I believe the only way we fail is if we stop dreaming all together.
I don’t exercise because I love exercising; it’s hard work. I exercise because I enjoy the results of exercise. I enjoy being able to walk up stairs and not gasp for air. I enjoy not having to buy two seats on my flights because I can’t fit into one. The exercise is what makes this possible. I view my job in this same kind of light.
The creative, dreamer types like to mock the 40-hour workweeks. They think we’ve sold out to the man. I’m grateful for my 40 hour a week job that wasn’t on my dream list, because now it is. My job gives me the opportunity to write this post inside of a house and not in someone’s yard stealing their Wi-Fi. My job gives me the opportunity to provide for my family. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure because my writing career isn’t paying my bills.
Some people get frustrated when they see other people find happiness that isn’t through the same methods with which they are pursuing happiness. Bitter people think this way, and you shouldn’t take anything they tell you to heart.
I still have dreams and ambitions. Some have been with me for years, some are new, and some may find me later. But God’s timing is not mine. He can do what he wants with my life. Life changes whether we want it to or not, so it makes sense to me we can change, too.