When Pursuing A Dream Means Losing A Dream

A few months ago one of my favorite bloggers, Bailey, posted about how nobody can have it all. Her words kinda pretty much smacked me in the face, and I still haven’t recovered: “saying yes to one thing means saying no to something else”.

raindrops on window

As a wee one, I could fire up my imagination and enjoy the life of a diplomat, cowgirl, marine biologist, and that-eccentric-lady-with-blue-hair-who-lives-in-a-upside-down-cottage all in one day! When I ask kids what they want to be when they grow up, I can almost always follow their answer with “oh yeah, I used to want to be that too!” Because seriously, what didn’t I dream of doing?

Now that I am 19, it is time to actually start taking steps toward my dreams. There is nothing more exciting than doing things that you imagined as a kid! However, moving in the direction of one dream means leaving many other dreams in the dust. That’s rough, but we can’t just stay stuck in our imaginations for the rest of our lives. If  we are too scared to step away from one of our dreams in the direction of another, we will never go anywhere.

So today I have decided to step in the direction of moving to Wales (16 MORE DAYS!). I plan on studying history at Cardiff Uni, writing books, and seeing bits of the world.

Wales reference

I am choosing to go to college instead of starting a cupcake truck business in New York City or running away and finding work on a farm in the middle of nowhere (as I may or may not have previously dreamed of doing).

I am choosing Wales instead of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

I am choosing to study history (with the goal of teaching middle school) instead of studying astrophysics and becoming a space weatherman.

There is nothing more exciting than seeing your childhood dreams coming to life, even if it means burying a few of your best intentions inside of nostalgic memories. And who knows, as poet T.S. Elliot said, life is very long. Perhaps some dreams that I am putting aside now will be resurrected later on. I mean, I still haven’t completely given up on the idea of raising hedgehogs in a castle by the sea.

Author: Susanna

I'm Susanna, a 20-year-old Christian girl incorrigibly addicted spontaneous adventures. My first dream was to become a pioneer. Unfortunately, I was born a couple centuries late, so I've decided to read, cook, run, and travel the world until my time machine is finished. You'll mostly likely find me getting into trouble and/or eating licorice. I am currently blogging the misadventures of a middle-school teacher in training. Come join me on my quest to become the next Ms. Frizzle!

24 thoughts on “When Pursuing A Dream Means Losing A Dream”

  1. This is so true, Susanna. I’m a huge dreamer. I have so many dreams but realistically, it’s just not a good idea to try to pursue all of those dreams. That would result in me being spread too thin and not feeling like I’ve actually fully realized those dreams. Sometimes it’s best to prioritize and choose just a few things to focus on so that you can really make the most of those few dreams and still be happy and healthy. Good luck with college!

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    1. Thanks so much Ana! You are so right. What you said made me think of one of my favorite productivity books called essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of less, by Greg McKeown. Have you read it?

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  2. Such a beautiful post and I admire your courage to pursue your dreams! It’s sad that many people don’t do that anymore. After reading this post I realized that I gave up many of my dreams in order to pursue simply one and although it’s heartbreaking to give up on certain things, just like you said we can never really get anywhere if we didn’t do that. You’re a great writer and I’m looking forward to reading more posts from your blog! 🙂

    -Ruya
    sweetshortandstylish.com

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  3. My roommate and I were just talking about a similar topic. Both of us travel, but we attend a private university in the states instead of studying abroad. It’s sad to turn aside one dream for another, but it’s better than mere imagination!

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  4. I’ve never really thought about this wow what a thing to realise I love dreaming and doing that dream but to think back on all the dreams left behind or didn’t make the cut is quite sad. Love this post thank you 🙂 x x x

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  5. In economics, this is called opportunity cost. And you’re right. You always give something up when you say yes to something else—but you have to trust when you make those decisions that in the end the value gained than the price lost at the beginning. I hope that as you go to Wales and I start college, we can both make good choices, and our opportunity costs are worth it in the end. 🙂

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  6. Coming to this conclusion in my life was one of my most maturing moments. You put it into words quit eloquently:)

    But as you say, life is long and you never know where God might take you!

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  7. Sorry this comment is late! By now you’re probably in Wales! How is it? I’m thinking of doing an exchange to Cardiff and studying English Lit or Ancient History.. all the way from Australia:D What’s the history like?
    ~Evie

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    1. Somehow I missed this comment! I am soo sorry. I am in Wales now and loving it. If you have any questions or want to discuss anything about study abroad feel free to contact me. My contact details are available on the contact page from the top menu.

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