What are you chasing? Is it something mythical, or does it really exist? No matter what your dream is, it comes with some downsides. You could be living your dream, or some version of it, right now, but unable to recognize it because you focus on all the things that are wrong with it; there is too much stress, too much work, or too much responsibility. Hoping for some achievement in life that doesn’t have any drawbacks is a fantasy.
It can be difficult to remember just how much we longed to achieve certain goals in life when we are doing the day-to-day business of living. Maybe you once had a dream of going to college and now you find yourself up to your neck in essays, reading assignments, and projects. Maybe you once had a dream of having a family and now you are exhausted from the midnight feedings and constant diaper changes.
However, if you take a step back and think about where you have arrived, how much effort it took to get here, and how long you waited for certain goals to be attained, you may actually be living what you once considered a dream.
We can dilute ourselves into thinking that our dream must be trouble-free and smooth sailing in order to be what we have always wanted. Truthfully, if you did not have any troubles to resolve, or stress to manage, you would become bored, miserable, and ultimately begin questioning your own importance and meaning. Having too much time and not enough responsibilities comes with its own forms of emotional struggles.
Just because you have stress and problems does not mean you are not living your dream. After all, if the American dream is to have a job, your own home, and a family, each of those blessings is also a huge responsibility with its own set of issues to manage every day.
So, rather than think of your dream as something to achieve “someday,” look around at all you have been through, the stress you have survived, the progress you have made, the work you do and the family you have. Chances are, you are already living the dream!
Larry Deavers is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and Executive Director of Family Counseling Service of West Alabama.