Do you ever feel like the Universe is trying to send you a message and you kind of pay attention and are fascinated, but just to make sure that you are really getting the message, the Universe sends it multiple times? Okay, so here’s the message the Universe has been sending me lately: It’s okay to give up on your dreams…sometimes.
I know that sounds kind of crazy because the Universe is abundant and totally wants me to have what I want so why would it send me or you or anyone the message that it’s okay to quit on your dreams…sometimes? Because sometimes you get to the point where you realize that the all-encompassing dream, the drive behind your life’s exertion is no longer something that you want. What?!
It turns out that you can totally stop wanting what you thought you wanted and it doesn’t mean you are a loser or gave up too quickly. What it might mean is that there are better dreams out there for you. It might mean that sometimes you have a dream and you work toward making it a reality and sometimes a dream finds you and changes your reality. Entiendes Mendes?
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Let me explain. See I used to have a dream, a BIG dream. I was going to be a professional actor for life. I obsessed about it, I stressed about it, I thought I could never ever give up on this dream because the only people who don’t make it are the ones who give up.
Here’s what happened: My dream kinda came true. I graduated from college and I got an agent. I booked some gigs, I became a professional actor. I did theatre, I joined some unions and I wasn’t really happy.
I’m going to be honest about it like I’ve never been honest about it before. The whole thing made me feel incredibly insecure about EVERYTHING: my looks, my talent, my weight, my voice, my freakin’ teeth. I’d book a gig and be happy for like a minute and then go back to the anxiety of having to get another gig after that and another one after that.
My anxiety about acting for a living started to keep me from living. It started to limit my choices about where I could live, when I could have kids, what I could eat, how crooked my teeth could be. You should know that I am already an anxious person, I have Anxiety Disorder, so I don’t really need any help being anxious.
Anyway, at a certain point I decided that I wanted to have a child and I got pregnant (I totally had help). Once my baby was born, I missed the pure joy and fulfillment that acting gives me, but I didn’t miss any of the other bullshit, like not one single bit.
I thought that I would go back to acting because that was all I had ever wanted to do in life, but I wasn’t in any hurry. I started to suffer though because acting was how I had always channeled my creativity and then all of a sudden I had nowhere to channel all this stuff I have to give so I started writing online (here on this very blog) and guess what? I felt better. I felt good. I felt happy even.
Then the Universe did something that I never even knew was a possibility. It presented me with the opportunity to make a living as a writer just because I started writing. Oh my GATOS, could anything be more perfect for someone who wants to be creative and have an audience so to speak, but on her own terms? I don’t think so. So I took this dream that I never even dared to dream, but that the Universe plunked in my path and I went with it and I’m still going with it.
I don’t miss acting at all, but there has been this part of me that is ashamed to have “quit” because then surely it means I failed at my dream, right? I should feel bad that I didn’t achieve what I wanted when I was 14 years old, right?
Turns out that the Universe doesn’t want me to feel guilty about giving up on that particular dream because it sent some messages my way. One of the messages came when I was binge-watching season 4 of “Girls” and one of the characters, Elijah, gets asked what it felt like to give up on his dream of being a dancer and he replied, “It was the biggest relief in the world.” Holy mierda, if that doesn’t resonate with me I don’t know what does!
That’s exactly how I feel. I feel relief that I’m no longer chasing a dream that doesn’t fit anymore. I’m thrilled that a better dream has manifested itself and I’m grateful because I LOVE THIS DREAM even more than I loved my old dream.
So, no, don’t give up on a dream because it’s hard to achieve, don’t give up on a dream because you are too scared to even try, don’t give up on a dream because anyone else tells you to, but if that dream has turned into more of a nightmare, feel free to flip over and dream a different dream. You are totally and shamelessly allowed to dream a different dream for yourself.