“Life is a long preparation for something that never happens.”
– W.B. Yeats
There’s something to be said about being realistic with your dreams. I say this not to be a downer, or to discourage someone from pursuing concrete goals that may as of yet seem unattainable.
The realism I’m talking about is less about the end goal and more about the emotions that plague someone as they’re on the road. The self-doubt we all expect, even though we may not expect the depth or longevity of it. But there are aspects to it that may catch us by surprise.
We see so many examples of overnight success in the media, that we forget the majority of us only succeed after months, years, and even decades of near anonymity. We don’t realize that with the expected self-doubt of ‘can I do this’ there’s also an added helping of ‘should I do this’ or ‘am I doing this the right way.’
As a result, we try to rely on other people’s roadmaps, but the truth of it is all that leads to is fool’s gold. What worked for one person is wonderful for that person, but we all have unique strengths, weaknesses, backgrounds, and goals. As we should. The most obvious path may not be the best one for you.
Listen to what your instincts are telling you, and don’t tread down the emotions that accompany your dreams. Let your goals live alongside the things that you know you will struggle with, and celebrate the things that you excel at. Give yourself space to breathe.
So where do we go from here? I wish I had wise words or a concrete answer. Suffice to say, the only thing I know for sure is that whatever path I choose, it will be the one less traveled, and it will probably stay that way. Not because of any inherent uniqueness on my part. Simply because what works for me probably won’t work for anyone else.
Maybe that’s what makes it a dream.