Following my Dreams

It’s funny how when we were children we knew exactly what we wanted to be when we grew up. It might have changed a few times through the years but we were confident about what we said we wanted to do when we grew up. So when does that change? Why is it when we reach college age, suddenly some of us have no idea what we want to do or we change our mind to something “realistic”. Our dreams fade as we let other people influence our decision of what career we should choose.

     Sometimes, to be truly happy, you have to follow your heart, no matter what everyone else may think. –Ali Liebegott

I knew at the age of 8 I wanted to be a writer. I still have a school project that I did in second grade where I had to write down “What do you want to do when you get older?”, and in my 8-year-old handwriting I answered; I want to be a writer. Somehow as I grew up I lost that for a while. I didn’t have the opportunity to go to college right out of high school and I floundered for a while not knowing what I wanted to do. Finally, I made the decision to go to college. When I began, I searched through the catalog trying to decide what I wanted to get my degree in and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I finally settled on Psychology because I was interested in the field and thought this was the most “reasonable” career choice.

Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for. –Ray Bradbury

Fast forward a few years later (about 12 years) after putting college on hold for marriage and kids, which was worth the time spent with my family, but now both kids were in school and it gave me time to focus on my goals. I met with a college advisor and was given a timeline of classes I would need to take to finish my Psychology degree. During the time of contemplating my return to college my younger brother passed away and this added a new perspective to my way of thinking. Suddenly I realized that if I was going to spend the next 2 years finishing up my degree, I was going to do what I felt passionate about. I chose to go back to my original love of writing so that I could enjoy and love what I did in my life.

Here are some of my suggestions for following your dreams:

  1. Find what you are passionate about. This may mean thinking back to when you were a child. What was it that gave you the most joy? What did you see yourself doing?
  2. Make a plan. If you changed your path for your career, where would it take you? Set small goals to get you to the place you would like to be the most.
  3. Go For It! Take a leap of faith, step out, and choose to be happy and go after the life you want. Choose to have a life you love.
  4. Foster the Dreams of your Children. Talk to your kids and listen to what they want to be, watch them and see what they are good at doing. Try not to plant your own dreams and influence what they “should be” in life.
  5. Encourage those Dreams. Encourage kids to be confident in what they love and go after their dreams. Show them by your example that it is never too late to go after something you love.

Sharing the love of reading and books with my children, I believe, opens their world up to any possibility and I try to ensure I foster their dreams. If you have kids, what do they want to be when they grow up and are you encouraging their dreams or planting your own?

So I ask you, if you could go back to when you were younger and dreamed of what you would be when you grew up, what would you be doing?

Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming. –Alice Walker


8 thoughts on “Following my Dreams”

  1. I love the message and your passion for following your dreams, going back to school and remembering that writing was your goal. I believe that opening a world of possible applies to all of us young or old. Thanks Eva


  2. I think its so great sharing your passion of writing with others. Writing used to be a form of therapy for me. It let me look inside a place in myself I did not know that I had. I lost that for awhile but I found it again and I am glad that I did. I love your words of inspiration and cant wait to hear more.


    1. Thank you for the nice comment. I am glad you found your way back to writing. I agree with you, writing can be therapeutic and help us discover things about ourselves that we never knew. There will be more to come from my blog. Good luck to you with everything.


  3. I really enjoyed your post. I also used to love writing and wanted to write when I “grew up.” Writing used to be a form of therapy for me and let me see inside myself. I lost that for awhile but have found it again. I love your words of wisdom and can’t wait to hear more.


  4. Karen,
    I really loved this post and relate to it a lot. Deciding what I want to be when I “grow up” has been plaguing me since I graduated high school 10 years ago. Next year I will finish my degree in Health Promotion but I still don’t know what I want to do with that. Like you, what I really want to be is a writer. Every day I have stories running through my head but I never stop to write them down. Your post has inspired me to try, so thank you for that.

    I really have no suggestions. I think the whole post was well written with a good introduction, a personal touch (I’m very sorry about your brother), and an excellent closing that really calls the reader to reflect on their dreams and whether they are living them. The quotes and the numbered list do a nice job of breaking up the paragraphs.

    Overall, great job! I’ve enjoyed following your blog. Good luck to you!



    1. Sara,
      Thank you for the nice comment. It is nice to know that someone can relate. The fun and great thing about writing is you can do it anytime, it just depends on what you want to do with it. You can work another job and write, and who knows, you may come up with some great idea starters for writing working in the health world, or you can put it all into writing and see where it goes. 🙂 No matter what you decide, simply follow your heart, make a choice and choose to be happy with your choice and love it. If you love what you do you will be great. I will try to keep my blog going so would love if you continued to follow. Good luck to you with everything.


  5. Karen, I have enjoyed reading your posts and find a take-away in each one. That’s what a good blog should do, I think!
    I was particularly struck with #4 today as my 12 year old son has something he wants to do that seems “impractical” to me – possible, but not super likely. I’ve been asking myself, “Should I encourage him with a backup plan?” but my heart resounds with, “no!” today.
    Your example of just going for it is so exciting! I’m happy for you and thrilled to watch your journey and cheer you on!


    1. Thank you Kelly for your encouragement. That is my goal and dream as a writer, to not only entertain others but maybe in some small way help. Even if all it does is let someone know they are not alone in certain experiences. Thank you.


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