Chasing The Wrong Dream

Reffi Dhinar
Light Mind
Published in
4 min readJun 7, 2024

A short story about quarter life crisis

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash

Do you have quarter-life crisis experience? According to Wikipedia, this is a crisis that happens in a person in their early twenties and mid-thirties. It involves anxiety or fear over our life direction. A few years ago, it happened to me. And it cost me so much, that I broke my savings to chase a wrong dream.

Everyone would say I was crazy to stop chasing this dream after I fought for a year. But, I knew, it was better to stop in the middle rather than have regret. Just like when I decided to keep trying in a toxic relationship and it turned out I was wrong. I didn’t want to make the same mistakes.

When The Crisis Happened

A few years ago, after I resigned from my first job, I stumbled upon my old friend’s Instagram account in high school. We were in the same debate club and we shared the same passion for learning. She got a scholarship in Australia and she looked happy.

I remembered my dream. I wanted to get a master’s degree with a scholarship and learn in beautiful scenery. Learning is my passion. When someone can find happiness by playing a game or singing, I’m always in active mode and joy whenever I learn my favourite subject.

I can read a book until midnight and because of my addiction to learning and reading, my health declined when I was at university.

In my late 20’s, some of my friends were marrying their love life. Others were raising their first child. Did I have any ambition like them? Nope. I just wanted to work in a small company with enough salary.

I didn’t like to work overtime and I didn’t want to get any promotion to get a better career. I chose my current company to work for because it’s a medium-sized company that allows me to use my Japanese skills and yes, I can go home on time.

My obsession is only with learning, reading, and writing. Yeah, I’m a bookworm and I’m not shy to admit it.

That’s why, when I looked at my friend’s Instagram account, I was envious. There was a trigger that led my fingers to seek the opportunity of various scholarship programs. And I decided to try LPDP or Chevening.

How My Dream was Ended

“You need to pass an IELTS test and a great essay to prepare for your scholarship,” said my friend.

I looked at the requirements. Oh, IELTS is quite pricey and I just resigned from my first job with a little of saving. I knew that my path would be tough.

But, my intuition told me to pursue my dream. I wanted to learn creative writing deeper. I went from one education fair to another fair. I also spent almost 2 million rupiahs for a day workshop about getting a scholarship. Then, I prepared for my IELTS test with a private tutor. My email is full of scholarship information from many university’s newsletters.

I prepared for a year, until one day I read a blog from one of my favourite authors, her name is Alanda Kariza. She was a Chevening Scholarship Awardee and she wrote like this.

“Getting a master’s degree is not the best achievement. You should think twice if you have another intention. What is your real goal? Should you come abroad to achieve that goal?”

Her story hooked my mind and heart. Suddenly, I asked myself. “I want to learn about Creative Writing, but pursuing a master’s degree is not easy. I will have limited time to write a blog or book. Is it my real dream? Why should I go there just to learn about creative writing? What feedback will I give to my country?”

I remembered how I wanted to travel around the new country. I imagined myself taking a photo everywhere while writing in beautiful places. Yeah, there was no vision about me to learn hard.

I walked in the wrong path. That was my real intention. I was shocked. I counted how much money that I’ve spent. Yeah, it gave me a double surprise. I sat on my bed. Took a deep breath. For a few days, I was like a zombie. I kept thinking about my next decision. Finally, I found the answer.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

I decided to stop pursuing a scholarship. I looked for a mentor to learn how to build my writing class platform.

I broke, but there was no burden in my heart. I walked happily and my writing platform, Wordholic Class was born.

After a long journey, I know that I walk to the wrong dream. It was painful, but now I see it as my medal.

If I never try the wrong dream, I won’t ever know the right path for myself. It’s like a good novel that I love. It has a long journey to get the best ending. What is your dream? Is it the right thing for you? You do you.