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Following someone else’s dream?

I can’t remember where I read the question, “Are you following someone else’s dream?” but it stuck with me and haunts me in some ways. I’ve been struggling the last year to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, what I really want to do with my life (besides all the fun of being wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend, carpool driver, activities chauffeur, dance mom, cook, maid, personal shopper, social organizer, volunteer extraordinaire). I realize that may be an odd thing to be working on when one is middle-aged, but there you have it.

I have a BA in Literature and a minor in Business Admin. In college I had no clue what I wanted to do, but I knew then I didn’t want to teach, not at that point in my life anyways. I ended up in the insurance industry straight out of college. I probably would have stayed had the company I worked for when we moved to Southern CA not been so awful. Once Little Man was born, I was done with all the commuting, the politics, the sucking up, the bureaucracy, the constant conflict with customers and vendors alike. I spent the next five years at a company I enjoyed doing various things, but I still wasn’t “living the dream.” That was more about a paycheck and the people I worked for and with than doing anything I loved. I’ve been home full-time for five years now. It’s really only been in the last year or so I’ve felt myself fighting against myself, trying to figure out what I want, what legacy I want to leave, and if I have the courage and drive to do what I long ago dreamed of doing.

I can’t seem to focus in on anything. I love writing my blog. I love the community I’ve found. But how do you take that and launch it into something lucrative? I hesitate to think about putting ads on my blog, and I have yet to hear of anyone getting solid paychecks from that adventure. And that’s not really why I write about our Herd. Friends have suggested a book, but really? Are there enough people in the world who would want to pay money for a book about ONE family’s experiences?

I know I let fear of failure hold me back. But I’m not entirely convinced writing anything more than what I currently write is my dream. How do you know what your dream really is anyways, much less if you’re living it or someone else’s? I know all the things I don’t want. But what is it that I do want?

I love being home with my kids. I honestly can’t imagine being back in an office, nor working full time in any capacity. But I do feel the pull of being around adults, doing something more productive than just (hah! Don’t punch me for this one!) being mom/wife/homemaker, of getting paid for my efforts. In four years, we will have one kid in college. Within seven years, we will have all three in college. That strikes fear in the financial heart. So I feel like I need to do something, but what? And does “doing something” preclude or exclude living my dream?

I’m running in circles. I am so very aware of that. These are some of the thoughts that keep me awake at 3am.

What’s your dream? How did you know what your dream was? Are you living it, or are you living someone else’s dream?

10 thoughts on “Following someone else’s dream?

  1. Some days I am living a nightmare ALL my own ….all kidding aside…I think what you write is from the heart and not all writers are good at doing that. Write the book. Yes it might fail but at least you won’t have a regret for not doing it. For me, regret is much worse then failure.

  2. I am living my ‘own dream’ for now, but it is not an easy one. I also still run sometimes in circles. Always follow your passion and maybe it will succeed or maybe it will fail… But at least you tried! Good luck

  3. Good question. Being a stay-at-home mother to two special needs sons was not a future I ever imagined for myself. Being a professional writer was. I am very fortunate in that my job already enabled me to be at home with Michael when he came along. If I’d had an office job, I would have quit. My life is a series of mixed blessings, but I’d have to say yes, I am living the dream. Thank you for helping me to remember that!

  4. As a school teacher of high functioning autistic students I love to read about the personal experiences of families with a member who is autistic. After reading A Different Kind of Boy my eyes were open to the joys and difficulties of life with an autistic child. I think you could write something similar to this book!

    As far as myself, I LOVE teaching! I am still learning how to be a pastor’s wife. And I am continually working on my friendship with God. My dreams change daily, because I am trying to align my dreams with God’s dream for me!

    • Thank you for the encouragement! I’ve always hoped telling our ongoing story would help someone and maybe give some hope out there. Dreams do change. I married into a family of teachers!

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