I attest, to outrun a dream is complex—but definitely doable.
My dream was to be a writer and surround myself with words.
For twenty years, I forgot how to make life choices for myself. Much of what I was doing over the years was not what I wanted to do. I was complacent and tolerated my circumstances.
To chart a different course and accept the daunting task of living my dream seemed overwhelming. There were numerous times in my life I wanted to decipher and decode my emotional obstacles, but my uncertainty, circumstances, and poor choices got in the way. I definitely did not derive pleasure from the path I was on.
Perhaps, I was not supposed to let my life lead me; I was supposed to lead it.
Why do I share this? Because it matters. We all have dreams and most of us fail to act on them.
And so, without realizing it—I outran my dream!
How did I do this? Too easily. I ignored what I set out to do. I gave up and went onto other ventures that were not making me happy. For many years I neglected to give myself the freedom and permission to follow my fancies. My days of daydreaming disappeared. Life, with its responsibilities, put blinders on me and I missed my turn to capture my bliss. I was sidetracked by adult duties and dashed right past my dream.
I knew I had to turn around—immediately.
So I stopped allowing myself to be distracted. It was challenging to ignore the different ideas everyone else had for me. When I did tune out their input, it became clear their advice was more appropriate for them—not me. Determining what was best for me was perplexing. I wasn’t sure if purpose in life was something we’re born with or something we could find and foster. Whatever the answer, I was not going to pass by my dream again—even with my adult responsibilities’ badgering me.
I stopped playing by the rules, both societal and generational, and devised my own playbook. I no longer wanted to be stuck, lost and unhappy. My apathy vanished. I began to understand that my perceived failures and the deviations in my life decisions were only minor speed bumps in my race to dreamland.
No fancy tricks—just determination and desire this time: Being alone with my thoughts; Learning new things; Making a difference with words; Feeling no pressure to perform. These four things helped me understand there was an inconsistency between my wants and needs. They were strides toward my dream.
I was finally chasing my dream. My dream is to write and be surrounded by words. These small units of language make me happy, content and satisfied. At the end of each day, I now feel that I have been truly honest and open with myself. It was a wise choice for me to go back to my dream. Today I am living it and it gives me immense pleasure and purpose.
Do not make my mistake and run past your dream. Catch it the first time around!
Author: Shannon Hogan Cohen
Apprentice Editor: Aisling McAteer/Editor: Caroline Beaton
Image: Author’s own