… at least not always.
A while back I received an email from a young woman, asking me for advice. She told me, she had such a deep desire to travel, to see the world and to write about it. Many of her friends and family however, have been discouraging her from following her dreams. Lately she has been wondering, if they could be right.
Should you just not follow your dreams?
Unfortunately that is what a lot of young people are still being raised to these days. And for some reason this has been the first message of quite a few of this kind since then. That is why I feel the need to share my answer with you today.
Here is part of what I wrote her:
“Before I even start with anything, I have to tell you this: Don’t let anyone EVER tell you that you can’t do something!
If it is a good thing and your heart is stuck to it, there is no reason why you can’t do it. Even if you don’t know how (yet!). You’ll figure it out! You are so young and your biggest advantage to others is this that you know what you want to do! After I finished school, I had no idea. I took a year off and traveled a few times with the money I had saved up over the years before. I went to Turkey 2 or 3 times and to the US for the very first time to visit a friend who was over here as an Au Pair for a year. Everything was new and exciting but I had no idea I would end up living here. Life is crazy beautiful!
Back in Germany I wanted to become a photographer. But my parents wanted me to become something “decent” to have a “proper” job and make money to have a life like all the other worker bees. So I became a secretary and half way through I knew I wouldn’t do this for the rest of my life. I did not want to be someone’s assistant, I wanted to be my own boss. I still finished of course and worked in that profession for a while but after seeing through this world of fake smiles where the only thing that counted was money, I decided to leave. All these years I kept traveling but at the time it never occurred to me to write about it.
You asked me about regrets. I guess not starting to write sooner is the only one but even work wise I don’t regret anything because becoming a secretary [or “Management Assistant in Office Communication” if you will] first taught me so many things I needed to start my own business.
Oh, there is one thing. Before I left for the US, I got rid of so much stuff, clothes, etc. and there is still so much left. I wish within the years before I would have thought twice about everything I bought. Not only to avoid getting rid of it but to save the money for travels.
Of course everyone is different and some people travel, come home again, work and travel again. That is a beautiful life too and that’s what I did back then. I had no idea I would have to fit my life into a few suitcases. Even now I’m not constantly traveling. So I come home to Tennessee and have a somewhat “normal” life. It’s not always easy, trust me. And companies don’t run after you with their money. It is a long process that needs a lot of work.
So if you really want to do this, start now. Go ahead, start a blog, keep it professional and work towards your goal. […] if you want to do your own thing, go for it! Don’t let anyone stop you!”
This applies to you too!
No matter what it is you are dreaming of, do it! Not everyone want’s to be a writer but I know your heart is burning for something and if not, find out what you love! Trust me, you will know it’s the right thing, when it feels effortless. That doesn’t mean it will be easy all the time. In fact it will be really hard work – but it will be worth it!
Not everyone will understand or support you and that will be one of the hardest challenges. So find the ones who do, those who respect your future plans and are by your side, no matter what. If you have that, you will be stronger but if you don’t, hang in there, the right people will come. Find out what you have to do to start achieve your dream.
Your parents or friends may tell you to think small, play safe and maybe even follow their dreams so you will not get the answers you need in order to go after what is important to you. Go to the people who already made your dream their reality! Don’t ask the ones who have other dreams!
But also keep in mind that the ones who love you, will also grow with you. We are all brought into this life to learn. They may not understand you now (and if they do, you can be very thankful!) but if they really love you, they will eventually see what makes you happy.
What’s your dream?
Leave me a comment and tell me about your dream! Did you already go for it? Are you on your way or already there? Are you just starting out and taking the first steps? I would love to read your story!
If you have a friend who needs to read this, share it with them and be one of the people who understand.