Unsplash, I edited image & added text

I think a lot of people can relate to wanting to do something, but thinking that the outcome they have always dreamed of is not possible. “So why even try if it won’t happen anyway?” I think this is the very thought that prevents so many people from working towards their dreams and making them reality.

So, what do you want to be when you grow up?

This is a question that made me excited to answer as a child, but as I grew up, especially in high school, this question made me scared, nervous, worried I would choose the wrong major, the wrong job.

I know countless people who have a job they do not like. What seems most common is that people get started with a job and then have to keep working somewhere they do not like because they need a stable income to pay bills. This is a cycle: work all week, too tired to pursue dreams on weekends, spend time doing house work, possibly socializing with friends and then back to work on Monday.

Some people go to college for a major and then decide that they do not like their major anymore. But by then they are almost done with their degree, so they do not have a choice but to finish. All of these scenarios are so real. They happen to the people all around me all of the time.

I had a unique situation because when everyone was deciding where to go to college, what to major in, I was dealing with a head injury. I could barely finish high school, so I was not even sure if I could go to college.

Spending so much time alone, forced to listen to my own thoughts and not be surrounded by the thoughts of some many others, I realized something. I realized that so many things that I believed, that I followed, I did not actually believe in, I did not actually agree with. What I mean by this is that the people I was surrounded with kind of ingrained their beliefs in me, not on purpose, but without even realizing it. By spending time alone, I was able to realize this and get my beliefs to where I wanted them to be.

This process was not easy, it took years, but it was worth it. Before, I hid my creativity, I suppressed it. I was scared what people would say of my art, what they would say of my writing. It was after all those years of keeping my art to myself that I realized at every turn in my life I had to convince myself “why not” to do art. I loved art, writing, film, but I kept convincing myself why I should not do it solely because I was scared what people would think. I loved it, but what if others thought I should pursue something else?

You may be able to relate to this in some way, or maybe not. Maybe you are confident and always speak your mind, but I was different, especially when I was younger.

By taking time to myself and just listening to my own opinions, I was able to realize what I wanted to do. I did not need to decide anything, but to follow my dreams or to not. But that is another topic entirely.

Why did I just read this?

For today, maybe take some time to think about what you would do if you just listened to yourself. If you did not think about your parents, friends, relatives, you just thought about your goals and what you wanted your future to look like. This can be hard, especially when we are constantly surrounded by the internet and people at school and work. You may not even know what you want because you are constantly being told everyone else’s opinions. Taking time to listen to your own thoughts can be so valuable.

Maybe you will realize that you have had a dream all along, you knew the major you wanted to pursue, you knew your biggest aspirations. You just had to listen to yourself.

Thank you for reading. I hope I gave you a little push to work towards your goals and not the goals the people around you have for you. It is difficult, it can be scary, but once you realize your goals, you can decide if they are worth the trouble, or if it is just better to keep them locked in a drawer somewhere so no one can see them (which is what I did for years).

Arianna xx

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