The Dream Vs. The Reality

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Photo by Laura Beyer

Let’s reflect today on something that has been bothering me for a while now. We’ll start with a quote by Joseph Campbell, “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

Think back to a time when you were little and you still believed Santa Claus brought gifts on Christmas and the Easter Bunny left chocolate for you on Easter. Remember that time? How willing you were to dream and to be engaged in those dreams?

Engage yourself again. Where would you be right now if nothing was holding you back? My answer, reader, is simple. I would be on Pacific Beach in San Diego, California, shown above.

This is one of the only places I have been to that gives me such extreme peace in utter chaos. Seagulls screaming in the air, looking for beach-goers with food to spare. Salty waves crashing onto the shore with sand as fine as powder. Distant sounds of surfers and swimmers calling to each other.

Given the opportunity, I would be there in a second. That is my bliss. So this begs the question, reader, why do we let life get in the way of following our dreams?

Yes, we all have obligations, such as a typical 9 to 5 job, school, friends, family, the list goes on and on. So, most of us just put these dreams off until suddenly you wake up and you’re 85 and you never followed your dream.

Don’t settle for ignoring your dreams. We live in an apathetic society, one that finds little meaning in our day-to-day activities. Actually, according to the Emily Esfahani Smith’s article, “There’s More to Life Than Being Happy,” 4 out of 10 Americans have not found a satisfying life meaning.

This, to me seems ridiculous. The meaning we all deserve to find in our lives is often found by following our dreams. Even if you can’t dump everything to go follow your dream right this minute, you could start saving the money needed to, say, go to California again.

Planning for and following our dreams gives us the break from reality we need, and everyone deserves to wake up in the morning happy and excited for their life, not just starting down the ugly face of another 9 to 5 day at a job they hate.

Do you want to be a writer? A traveler? Someone who works with underprivileged kids? A gourmet cupcake baker? Then go for it. Don’t settle in life just because that is what the rest of society is doing. Go forth and follow that dream, even if you do just start by practicing your cupcake baking.

No one wants to wake up when they’re 85 and ask themselves what happened to their dreams and the fun life they planned for themselves. Don’t be that person. You owe it to yourself to make the best out of the only life you were given. You owe it to yourself to follow your bliss.

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The Freeze Out

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Photo by Laura Beyer

There are many anxieties we all face on a day-to-day basis, and just as many ways to deal with those anxieties. Anxieties can weigh us down and make us freeze up instead of being confident and living life to the fullest.

Take for example something we have all probably experienced. You have a close friend, someone you have relied on, laughed with, shared secrets with, and so on. You used to hang out with this person all the time, seemingly in a very mutual, two-way friendship.

Now, I’m sure you’ve been there, reader. One day, it seems like something between you and your friend has just shifted. The air around the two of you has taken on an awkward feel, and you know something isn’t right.

It’s almost like the friend has pulled away from you, and you’re left wondering what you did wrong. You thought for sure you had given everything you could to this relationship. You remember all the times you were there for your friend, listening to her stories, helping her through rough patches, encouraging her in times of positivity.

Now, everything is different. She’s always with new friends, and when you ask her to hang out, she makes excuse after excuse. She begins only coming to you when she needs something.

You feel left out, alone, and confused, still asking yourself what the heck did I do wrong in this situation? Soon, you’re completely swallowed up by self blame.

Stop for a second. Reflection time. People often get caught up in self blame when things don’t seem to be going their way. Relationships are difficult no matter what, and you have to remember they are a two-way street. It would be pretty hard for you to tank a relationship all on your own.

It’s time to sit down and have a long talk with your friend. You need to bring all your issues to the table, and just lay it all out. There’s no use stewing over something and not doing anything about it, it will only hurt you more.

So what if you talk to her about everything, she plays it off completely as a mistake, and the deep freeze continues as if she hadn’t heard you at all? Maybe it’s time to move on.

Think about what you’re putting into the relationship and what you’re getting out. Do you feel completely drained because she’s taking and taking and not giving you the time of day? Maybe it’s time to cut ties with her. She’s not worth the worry.

You deserve the time and attention you give her to be given back to you equally. You’re worth it. Don’t tell yourself you aren’t or that there’s something wrong with you, she’s just being a bad friend.

Life is too short to have draining relationships. Don’t freeze up. If she’s as cold as the Arctic to you, find someone who actually enjoys you as a person. Don’t just let it happen, go out and take control of your life. Your happiness depends on it.