As children we dreamed of being astronauts, princesses, and professional athletes. Thoughts of fame, glory, and wealth peppered our minds as we naively believed the popular phrase “you can be anything you want”. We watched our parents with adoration, but always promising to be better, as we saw the apparent lack of glamour in our own homes. I watched my father return home from work tired and swore to myself that I would never lead an average life. I refused to settle for anything less than being a model/fashion designer/professional singer. I had early dreams of getting a full scholarship to college. I thought maybe I could even go to an Ivy League. As I got older, I grew out of those aspirations and felt the need to set more realistic goals.
The chance of being famous, whether that be through music, modeling, athletics, or writing, is really slim. Sometimes we as people trap ourselves thinking that in order to make a difference and to be relevant, you have to change the entire world. Not only is this belief false, but it can cause ourselves to resent leading an “ordinary” life or pursuing an “average” career. This resent can turn into bitterness if we continue to think that we wasted our potential and lives. I believe that if we make realistic goals and assess our talents and skills, we will be happier with who we are, what we have, and what we have done. We don’t need to be a major part of the world to brighten the lives of those around us.
Our society, especially in America, values patience and long-suffering. Sometimes we stick to a path due to a sense of obligation. Humans constantly change; it’s in our nature. Giving up on old goals or dreams can break way for new, better possibilities. In the Washington Post article, The Quitter’s Club: “Let’s Give Up on Our Dreams… Together!”, the author writes of a group that is determined to help each other give up on unrealistic pursuits. Contrary to the name, most of the group decided to continue their dreams for a specific amount of time. This allows people to feel like they gave it their all, while still stopping if the goal continues not to work. Persist in trying new things and give yourself more choices instead of immediately tying yourself down. Dreams that prohibit you from experiencing life or living to the fullest are not worthwhile.
Refuse to live anyone else’s dreams. Major influences in your life– such as parents, teachers, and friends– can compel you to compromise your own ideas or opportunities. In the end, it is your life. You are the only one that can live it, and the only one that might regret it. Choose your own happiness, and eventually you will be able to come to peace with your decision. Don’t waste time hating your life because you decided to follow the advice of someone; it’s useless and disappointing.
My father is one of my biggest advocates in my life. I know regardless if he agrees with me, he will support and love me. As I watched my father come home exhausted from work, I neglected to notice the fact that he always had a smile for me and my siblings. He might have been tired, but he was truly happy. My parents have taught me to love, live, and give freely. My father is full of applicable wisdom, most of which I hear in repetitive lectures, but the best advice he ever gave me is to give up on my dreams. As I continue to work, develop, and identify my own talents and personality, I will continue to let go of my old desires to instead follow opportunities that I have not discovered and/or are better for me and my success.