Following Your Dreams Isn't Easy

In Nebraska, I was somebody.  Then I went to Columbia and became one of the crowd.  People looked at me like I had it together.  Nebraskans saw me as a success story who got out and is living this big beautiful New York Life.  Columbians see me as just another graduate trying to make it.

But me?  I see myself as a failure.  Depressed, anxious, and clueless.  I'm not living up to the dreams others have for me.  And because my ear has always been full of what others think I should be, I've come to realize that I have no idea what I want myself to be.

A lawyer?  Linguist?  Grad School?  Permanent Assistant?  Do I go for the job that looks glamorous or the job that people think sucks and makes all of my dreams come true.  Do I want to spend days reading legal documents or working a menial and draining job at a museum?

If only other people's ideas of what I could be could push me.  But that's something that people learn at different points in life.  Sometimes people graduate high school already intent on their own path, striding far away from their families.  Sometimes it's in college that people drop their pre-med designation to become a writer.  Sometimes it's in the middle of med school, and sometimes it comes in the form of a mid-life crisis.

I know I'm in the process of shedding these expectations, I know that I'll figure out my true dreams and wishes.  Never before did I imagine that "following your heart" would be difficult.  But it is.

To follow your heart requires that you believe in yourself; that you trust your gut.  It also requires pushing through – working the paying job during the day while losing sleep dedicating hours to your passion.

Where am I at the moment?  I'm still trying to convince myself that the lack of sleep will pay off.  That I'm not fooling myself into believing in this false image of what could be.  If you ask me, this might be the hardest part of this concept of following your dreams.  People say millenials are entitled, but what if the "haters" are just embarrassed and regretful that they could not believe in themselves like that?

That might be an insane theory, but I think it is worth saying.

But right now I'll just keep trying to push myself, focus on myself, and see what becomes clear as the voices recede and I discover what truly lies in my heart.

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Meet The Author

I'm Madysen, born and raised in Nebraska but now living out my dreams in New York City. I moved here to go to Columbia, but living in New York has become so much more to me. This blog is a space where I can share my experiences of reconciling my midwestern upbringing with the life I live in the city. But even bigger than that, this blog serves as a space where I can try to understand where I fit into the larger social world, where I want to go in life, and how I want to go about pursuing all of these endeavors.

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