Knowing when to readjust your dreams
Sometimes dreams aren’t feasible but you can still pivot your desires into a new passion.
I stole this idea from a discussion I was having with my mother. When I was 12 I wanted to be an astronaut so badly. My main desire was to go to space camp in Florida to train and begin a long and rewarding journey to becoming an astronaut. Yet, I’m in fact not an astronaut or anywhere near being one. I am a designer and developer, so not close to being an astronaut.
So, what happened?
It’s quite simple, I suck at math. I’d done my research and a lot of the camp would concentrate on doing mathematic problems and calculations. In that moment I knew I would never be able to do it. Math doesn’t come to me comfortably, or competently enough to perform to my satisfaction.
Some would say I didn’t want it enough and that I could have tried harder. To push myself harder and become better at math. The fact is, I know my strengths and math has never been one of them. So working in a field were you need perfect math skills would not only be mentally exhausting for me but I’d probably be lower in the selection process anyway. When scores and tests are going to decide your fate, coming in less than ideal won’t help you. I wasn’t going to spend my time in a field that I couldn’t succeed and prosper. I’ve regretted my math ability but never my decision.
Quitting isn’t an option, what if there was a second choice
After my dream of going to space was dashed, I always wondered what my next path would be. As a child I had a monthly self-initiated “hobby”, I picked something a technique, a skill or a profession and learned about it for the entire month. The things I went through could vary, Artificial Intelligence, Forensics, Magic (think Houdini not Druidism), Fine Arts, Police/Detective, Aeronautics, Fighter Pilot, and many more. After losing my then “dream” I didn’t give up I searched for something that I could put my passions back into. Something that would drive me as much as space exploration does, though the dream is dead the desire to learn never leaves.
I thought about what I liked about the idea of being an astronaut. Was it something simple, the thrill of space exploration, finding things that no one else has found before, experiencing something few people on the planet have or was it something deeper. Honestly, I can’t remember the exact reason but I just had a desire to find things and learn more about things unknown. This was the start of a readjustment, taking my skills and trying to turn them into something else. It’s not easy, to find in yourself what gives you a drive and invest it into something else.
No need to stop at one adjustment
As exhausting as it sounds, life isn’t a straight line of “dream” conception and execution. You may feel that if your one dream fails that you have nothing left or maybe since your adjustment isn’t going well it doesn’t matter anymore. Neither of these is true, growing up is about being as malleable as possible and learning to bend and not break. You’ll learn new experiences and encounter things you may never have know about. What life would you create if you couldn’t accept new jobs or skills into your life?
Sometimes the goal we’ve worked our ass off for years is never achieved. Then years later we look back and realize, it’s the best thing that NEVER happened.