Monday, February 22, 2016

Why I Hate When People Tell Me to Follow My Dreams

I want to be a writer.

On my own time, I write novels and even daily blog posts. In regards to compensation, I have received enough money over my lifetime to pay for five months of rent.

That's just rent. No groceries. No electrical bills. Nothing, Just rent.

I have supported myself by taking on other jobs and responsibilities, including a graduate education. However, had I insisted on doing nothing but writing (and therefore following my dream), I would be either living in my parents' basement or starved to death.

I don't want to live life on a street corner, begging for bills while scribbling the rules of fantasy worlds into stained notebooks. I want to live, if not a rich lifestyle, at least a comfortable one.

I have thought about this a lot recently. Whenever I express concern over my career prospects, people tell me they have the answer. "Just follow your dreams, and you'll be fine," they say.

"Great," I say. "But how should I follow my dreams? Just drop everything and start writing? How will I eat? How will I shower? Where will I sleep? If you have an answer, tell me!"

They always keep that last secret from me..

Yeah, ok, I'm a bit of a hypocrite. If you read my post titled Spotlight Review: Zen Pencils and click on number 98, you'll see the comic criticizes my way of thinking. 

At the same time, I like the sentiment of following my dreams, if not the direct application.

Right now, I'm working toward my dream. I'm self-publishing my book. I'm working for a publishing company. I am close to graduating with an English Degree.

But there may come a point in time where I have to step away from that dream and focus on a career path that will bring the most comfort and stability for my family. My responsibilities may swallow or overshadow my dreams.

I'm willing to follow my dreams for now. Because I am responsible for only myself, it's easier. But if my debt grows, if I'm let go from my job, if it becomes time to raise a family ... I may have to move on.

In that sense, I admire people who are able to make dreams a reality. At the same time, I will only follow my dreams when their weight is greater than the weight of responsibility.

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