The Reality of Following Our Dreams

Photo taken by Louisa Aricheta
There's something really amazing about days like this. I'm writing at our round breakfast table with a view of the neighborhood and my old high school. I can't help but think that years from now, I'll hopefully still be doing the same thing. Granted, I'll have my own place and there'll be bills constantly calling me from the other room, but still. I'll be right here at a table by a window doing what I love.

I wish with all my heart that everything works out. I spend so much time dreaming and working towards the future I see in my mind that I'm not sure if I'm preparing myself properly. What if reality really does decide to come in and say, "Nice try building these stairs, but it's no use. It's made of Lego. Lego that I can easily kick down if I feel like it." Well let me tell you all, there's only one way you should react to this.

Reality, you can kiss my A-double-S.

It's important we remember that our goals and aspirations are dreams. They're not a part of reality, they're the things that challenge it. I remember how excited my peers were for prom, some years back. They had good reason to be. It was the night we could dress our best with friends and significant others. It put us in a different environment filled with twinkling lights and a taste of independence. It was exciting, new, reckless even. But me? No. The entire night, I was needlessly shoving myself back to reality.

Situation: We visit a friend's house to take pictures.
Thoughts: This house is beautiful! It must have taken so much work to get here. Will I ever be able to support myself like this? I can't even afford a metal box right now.

Situation: Friends around me are talking and dancing.
Thought: Is it safe to relax? Isn't it smarter to be planning what I should be doing after college?

Situation: Couples are holding hands (or more), waiting in line to take pictures.
Thoughts: Feelings? What is this concept? Don't these kids think about the insane level of commitment it takes to keep relationships going after high school? What about cost of living and the energy it takes to raise a child? Do they know that?

Right. I'll stop there. High school me was just ridiculously stiff (I guess that's what happens when you're told for so long how in-debt your country is and how much harder it will be to be an adult than the previous generation). But do you see my point? You're either in your dream or stuck in reality. There's no in-between.

It's not just prom either. It could be at work, whether you love or hate it, or in your relationships, whether you love or hate them. Are you putting all your attention on what you love or letting life pass you by because you hate it? Not to say that reality is a bad thing. Reality is what brings you back to earth, it's that thing that tells you what to expect. It can be a gentle reminder or a hard kick in the face. It's up to you whether you want to weep on the floor afterwards or disinfect and bandage the wound for the next adventure.

Life is difficult, readers. If it isn't, it will be (unless you're some sort of extremely lucky person born into wealth). That's no reason to be give up though. As long as you're ready for what's to come, you should be alright. More than alright, actually.

Before I go, I'd like to leave you with a few examples. Remember that before they found their success, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, and Tom Hiddleston had their fair shares of struggle. More than fair, I would say, but the most amazing thing is that they never stopped doing what they loved. J.K. Rowling felt plenty of pressure for being a single mother with no job, but she wrote her ideas on napkins in her free time anyway. Stephen King received plenty of rejection slips from publishers, but tacked them on the wall to remind himself not to give up. Tom Hiddleston was recommended to reconsider his career path, his love for theater and acting because it wasn't kicking off, but he kept going.

None of them cared about reality. They followed their dreams because they loved it. There were plenty of opportunities they could have given up but they didn't. They wrote and acted because it was what their hearts wanted, not because it would bring fame and money. They were and remain true to their craft, and I honestly think that's one of the most admirable things in this world.

I should end this entry soon. I'm side-stepping into a different lesson.

In summary, here's what I've learned today:
  1. Never give up. Reality has a way of creeping up on you when you're on a roll. Prove it wrong.
  2. Do your best not to overthink things. Life is complicated, but it will never be as complicated as the most contemplative minds make it out to be.
  3. Stay positive. It's easy to be pessimistic, but it takes real effort to break through the dark to grab the spark and make a fire.
  4. When you do make it to your dream, never forget what it was like to be your old self. Never forget the struggle, or the luck, it took to be where you are. Don't only remember it either, act like you remember it. Nothing is more disappointing than someone whose actions contradict their words. We have enough of those kinds of people, please.

Well, that's it for today! I'm going to take a shower and continue writing. I really am very excited. One day, my friends, we will find a spot next to our inspirations and role models. Good day and good luck!

- Louisa

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