I have a question for you: have you ever deliberately given up on a dream? Like, have you ever decided that it would be healthier/less frustrating/whatever to conclude that a particular dream is not worth pursuing, for whatever reason, and deliberately shelved it altogether? Or do you think it’s better to keep hope alive and continue to chase your dream down when you can, no matter how remote the outcome may be?

(There is context for why I’m thinking about this topic, of course, but I’d rather hear your thoughts on the subject in general instead of describing the specific issue or asking for advice.)

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Jessie
Jessie
10 years ago

I am going through the process of giving up on my dream of having children. It’s hard to give up on dreams but sometimes it is healthy too. Focusing on what my husband and I will gain – rather than lose – is making this grieving process easier. I think that’s key for me: getting away from the “why me” mentality and moving over to the “hey how about that!” mentality.

Nicole
10 years ago

We have been trying to have a second child for the last two years and because of fertility issues, we took a huge leap of faith in December and tried IVF. We failed. And we found out that our issues are more severe than previously thought, so we decided we would not pursue another costly round given such dismal odds of success. So… I’ve been trying to let-go of the dream of having another baby because (dammit!) it’s painful to want something that you can’t have. Better to not want it at all. But as much as I try to convince myself I’m there, I am reminded almost daily that I am not. (Is it me or is EVERYONE in the WORLD having babies this year???) And if one more person tells me that I should be grateful for what I do have, I will punch a koala in the mouth! I am grateful to my very marrow for my son. In fact I am so grateful, knowing the true weight of what I have terrifies me breathless sometimes. Being grateful doesn’t lessen the longing. Instead, appreciating what I have with such veracity, only draws the longing deeper – Into my bones, into the marrow. Where those two things, gratitude and desire, share the same space. And it hurts. Maybe it always will.

kathleen
kathleen
10 years ago

I’ve found that the things that make me happiest are the biggest surprises of my life- I can’t believe I live where I do- I never thought I’d live in the south! I can’t believe the (crazy awesome, but SO unexpected) job I have- it is SO far from where I thought I’d be five years ago!

exclamation points aside, these unexpected places only came out of giving up dreams-I don’t live where I always wanted to. I don’t have the job I worked for for years and years. Giving up those dreams allowed space for all these other good things– surprising and wonderful and unexpected things.

That said, I now dream of other things and am chasing them like mad and am sure I’ll end up in a whole other place than where I think those dreams are taking me, which makes me sad to think about from this side of it.

Trina
Trina
10 years ago

I say put it on the shelf for later. That’s what I have done (and VERY recently). It was always my dream to move out of our current house in Seattle and live in the part of Seattle I am from. I know it’s a better place to raise kids and much safer than the part of Seattle we currently live in. My husband is so paralyzed with fear of selling our current house (the house he grew up in) and moving and having a slightly higher house payment that after almost 10 years of focusing my energy on this goal (to almost an obsessive level), a few months ago I had to put it away. I had to make the best of my current situation because it was effecting everything in my life in a not so good way. Ever since I shelved it, things have gotten so much better. I am still hoping that one day we will move, but, I have told myself that if we don’t, I have to be ok with that.

Amy
Amy
10 years ago

I had a dream of working in book publishing, but I stopped trying to do that after I found a great job that’s more in marketing/communications. I like my current job, but after so many years in it, I think I’ve pretty much killed any chance to ever have my dream career. Sometimes I feel a little sad about that, but really, it’s OK.

Laura M.
Laura M.
10 years ago

A trifecta of zen-like quotes for your perusal:

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell (I had this one in my fridge for a long time.)

This is above my monitor right now… “Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” ~ Lao Tzu

The Stockdale Paradox “If you want to suceed, you need to cultivate your ability — and your organization’s ability — to do these two HARD things at the same time:
1.Stay firm in your belief that you will prevail in the end;
2.Confront the brutal facts around you.”

So, this theme has been on my mind for a while I guess, regarding career, relationships, hobbies, all manner of life choices. I didn’t actually realize that until now.
It’s tough to talk about this subject and not get cheesy. Basically I try not to let my life become _wanting another life_. That is draining and a downer really. (Bonus quote:) Shit or get off the pot.

Also, I love me some Bangles. Totally reminds me of roller skating in the 80’s.

Beth
Beth
10 years ago

Good question. Having been recently diagnosed with a rare condition that would make having children very difficult, I am seriously considering deliberately leaving my dream of having children behind me. After years of trying, I think it might be time to accept what I do have and direct my energies to other things.

Sunny
Sunny
10 years ago

Yep, I’ve given up on many dreams. Some I decided were not practical, some were too expensive, some were both (like getting an MBA as a single working mother). Other dreams I’ve traded for my son’s dreams, hopefully they will come true.

Sunny
Sunny
10 years ago

I just remembered this poem. Thought it was timely.

Dream Deferred – Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Veronica
Veronica
10 years ago

Linda obviously there is no perfect answer to this question as everyone is on a different journey and perspectives will vary depending on whether a said person has pursued their dream and achieved it or not achieved it. I think for most people I’d say, yes it’s okay to give up on a dream if all it’s doing is creating more and more stress in your life (by not achieving it). However, I think there is A LOT to be said for staying the course when it comes to a person who is a winner. A person who has tenacity and has that ‘deep down DRIVE’ and discipline that is lacking in others. Reading your blog, you are one of those individuals.. a winner. You’re in that class sorry to say, who CAN stay the course. Of course it’s not like I know you, know you Linda, but I speak from my heart when I say you’re the kind of person who I could see to DIG DEEP and make it happen if you stay the course and keep your dream alive. Not tryin’ to be corny at all over here. Interested to see what you do. :)

ZestyJenny
10 years ago

Yes. My husband and I spent a year planning to open a distillery. We spent thousands on a class to become master distillers. We signed contingency leases on a space. We researched all the ins and all the outs and knew exactly where we were going to purchase each piece of equipment, where we were going to source our ingredients. We created a brand and a website, designed lables, printed business cards. We attended conferences, made contacts, and our city started buzzing with the possibility of how cool it was all going to be. It was all very exciting.

But then it all started becoming more and more clear that we didn’t have enough money. That this was a VERY EXPENSIVE business to start. (the still ALONE can cost 25k to 100k+) We met with consultants. When the first one told us to get out before we lost your house, we thought, “he’s just a nay sayer! we believe! we can do it.” When the second one told us we’d need a minimum of 350k we still thought, OK, we can still do this, we just need investors. When we started putting together all the numbers and creating a pitch for rich folk, we had to face the facts that our dream and our pretty logo and zippy name and the dream of MAKING SOMETHING awesome, had blinded us to the fact that this was not a great money making business to begin with. Super expensive to start, tons of federal bueracacy, not a lot of return on investment. WOMP WOMP.

We had to let it die. We returned to our jobs at The Borg a little more grateful for the security and in the end, glad to have gained all that knowledge and to have worked on something together.

It still stings, though. (and I have now writtena novel in your comments.

Slauditory
10 years ago

I have not ever given up on a dream, though I’ve come close. I only dream of doing things I can reasonably do if I try hard enough, though. I know not everything can happen right away, so I’m fine with slowly building my way up (like writing this book at a glacial pace).

Allison
Allison
10 years ago

While I can think of a few things I’ve given up on, I think that I subbed things that make me feel the same way the original “dream” would. A career I thought would make me happy was replaced with another one that does… or a way of life- I thought I wanted to be single and awesome and living in a large city… with a happy marriage with one son and one on the way, living in a very secluded area.
For me, I’ve found that it’s more about the choices I’ve made making me happy, and then I really don’t care about what I may have given up on. Those things don’t really seem to matter (at least right now) because what I have right now makes me happy. Of course, ask me in 10 years, and I might have another outlook.

Cords
Cords
10 years ago

some really interesting & great comments. I love your blog!

I’m not sure exactly about the dreams thing. I’ve never been overly ambitious…as a kid, I wanted to be a PE teacher & live at the beach (I grew up inland) and I’ve been doing both those things since I was 21. Now, I just want to hang out with my husband & my family, try for a kid in a year or two & travel as much as possible.
My cousin & his wife however, had a dream when they first got married to move to a coastal town about 8 hours from where they live. Their kids are now 7 and nearly 9. About a year or two ago they decided they really wanted to pursue that dream, or it was probably never going to happen.
They’ve bitten the bullet & they are moving this weekend. They don’t have jobs there yet, but they are giving themselves 6 months. They’ve put their house up for rent for 6 months and got a 6 month rental in the new town…if it all turns terrible, they can still go back to their old place & at least know they gave their dream a serious shot. I don’t think many people with kids & jobs would even contemplate doing that – but they are giving it a go & then at least they’ll know they tried. I really admire them for that.
I suspect (like some others) that this is about the dream to move to oregon. If you can’t figure out a way to move there permanently right now, maybe you can figure out a way to move there for 3-12mths and see how it pans out, like my cousin did? If you can figure out how to get yourselves there temporarily, maybe things can work themselves out to be there more permanently when you get there? Might take a year or two to get yourselves financially ready for a crack at something like that but it would be worth it, I reckon!

Karen
Karen
10 years ago

The dream I gave up on was having a second child. It was not easy to give up on that one, but pursuing it relentlessly wasn’t doing our otherwise happy family of three any good. Now, a few years later, I can look back and know it was the right call. But I still wonder “what if” occasionally.

At the time I had a whole convoluted analogy for it. It went something like this: I’m on this fantastic tropical island, and periodically (let’s say, hypothetically, every 28 days) a ship would pull into the harbor and I’d try desperately to get on it but I never could. And it killed me because other people I knew just waltzed right on — it looked so easy! Why couldn’t I do it? Slowly I realized I wasn’t enjoying my own paradise because I wanted so desperately to get on that ship. So I made a choice to enjoy the island I was on, all the while waving to the happy passengers pulling away from shore, headed for the other island. Sure, my smile was 100% fake for a while, masking my bitterness and jealousy. Now it’s real and I’m glad about that.

Of course what made the difference was that I could see that what I had was good. Really good. That certainly makes it easier to shift your gaze away from dreams for other things.

Good luck. It’s never easy.

hayden
10 years ago

Yes, I think sometimes it does make sense to give up on a dream. For example, I have given up on my dreams of becoming an astronaut or a marine biologist. I suspect that the important thing is to make sure you have another dream in your sights, you know?

A Random Person
A Random Person
10 years ago

I have, yes, because at the time, it was causing serious issues with my marriage. It was a mistake, but I think the crux of the mistake was sacrificing myself for him, when he was not willing to do the same with me (I am being SO vague, mostly because I do not want to spill my life story, but I want to give enough details that my opinion might actually help? Anyway). Divorced now. Revising dream and starting again, albeit nearly 8 years later.

Mama Ritchie
Mama Ritchie
10 years ago

My mom just said to me yesterday that she thought women were more flexible in marriages because “we tend to adjust our expectations accordingly.” She’s divorced. But it’s been bugging me all day. Do we settle for mediocre to keep peace rather than pursue our dreams?

Anonymous
Anonymous
10 years ago

I went to law school and mostly sucked at it. After law school, I took a loooong time (3 years and thousands of $$) to pass the bar exam. When I finally did, it was right when the economy was tanking. I tried for nearly 3 years to get a job. I had many interviews and even some second interviews, but nothing ever worked out. This whole time, meanwhile, my husband and my family were supporting me.

I went to court exactly once for a pro bono case and it was the scariest thing I’d ever done. It wasn’t even that big a deal but it was not something I had prior experience in, and it drove me nuts for a long time. My heart rate is jumping just thinking about it.

Then the last possible job opportunity didn’t work out, and the guy told me, no kidding, to get off my butt and get a life for myself. And that afternoon, I cried, partly because Jesus, what a jerk, but more because I felt Done. And it felt more comfortable being Done. That night I started writing essays to apply for the alternative teacher certification program I’d seen in an ad that week.

I’m in my first teaching position now, teaching pre-K. It is completely nuts. It is the hardest I’ve ever worked. Every single day is frustrating. But there are moments when I get to see that a kid really owns something, something I taught them, and then I realize why people do this for a living. I think I tried everything I could realistically and healthfully do to be a lawyer; I think this is what I’m supposed to be doing instead.

So if feeling Done feels better, then it’s possible you might actually be Done. But if the idea of feeling Done feels horrible, then keep chasing, by golly. I would go so far to say if it feels one iota like giving up, and does not feel completely like letting go, like finally being able to breathe, then you’re Not Done, with whatever it is.

Aimee
10 years ago

Yes, I’ve given up on dreams, because as I got older and changed, a couple of my previous dreams no longer fit. I did hold onto one, and it took twenty years to come to fruition, but it was more important than the others. We took a giant leap of faith to make it happen. (That would be moving from the South to the Seattle area when my husband was out of work, and we knew almost no one here. It was worth the leap, because we know we’re now “home.”)

Jenny
10 years ago

And dang it, that was NOT Anonymous, that was Jenny, longtime fangirl.

willikat
10 years ago

oooh this is a tough one. I think it all depends on how you frame it. I’m guessing since the title is a reference to California Dreamin’…maybe it’s about Oregon? Or maybe just dreamin’. OK, nevermind, doesn’t even matter. I think that sometimes when I have a dream I think it’s a failure if I don’t fulfill it. But I think that’s a dangerous thing too. Sometimes we discover the dreams we had didn’t actually encapsulate what we really wanted. Or as my friend says “Sometimes the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.” Or sometimes it’s just a pause, not a finality. But I do think it’s important to always have one. Otherwise we are resigning ourselves to the status quo. I see a lot of great advice here. Do let us know someday what you decide.

Cindy
Cindy
10 years ago

Yes, and I think setting dreams aside can be helpful.

Extraordinarily simplistic comparison, but some of my dreams have been a little like my Zappos shopping cart. I’m searching around and suddenly I want everything. It all looks good. I put more and more in my virtual shopping cart until I have too many items and I can’t make up my mind. At that point, I close the website and walk away for a day. When I return to the website and review my cart, it never fails that there are many items there that aren’t all that important to me and I delete them.

By setting dreams aside and letting them rest for a bit, it gives me perspective on what’s really important and what only seemed important because I was fixated on it. Easier said than done, but that’s my 2 cents.

Amber
10 years ago

As long as you have good reasons for doing so and feel it’s the right choice for you, I think it can be really healthy to give up a dream.

And sometimes giving the dream – and yourself – space allows the dream the room in needs to grow. Dreams don’t like pressure any more than the rest of us. So maybe giving it a rest will allow the dream to reappear in a few months or a few years or when you’re 67.

(I mean, I assume. Obviously, I have no idea what happens when you’re 67.)

And if not, who cares? New dreams will appear.

Tracy
Tracy
10 years ago

I have never given up on a dream if it was something I truly wanted. What I have done is put a dream aside while I worked on other things that would make that dream more attainable later on down the road. And I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t obsess over my waiting dream while doing what I needed to do first. As a result, here I am in my second semester of college, with a current GPA of 4.0. Took me five years to get here, but putting that dream aside was one of the wisest decisions I have ever made. Because it was what made my dream come true.

Lisa
10 years ago

Oh, this is such an interesting topic. I’m very stubborn & I am disinclined to give up on dreams. My stubbornness and drive have served me very well. I’ve always had dreams & goals & I’ve been so lucky to have met most all goals I’ve set & that have helped make my dreams real. Life is short- if you want something bad enough, it is worth trying & trying & trying. That being said, dreams are open to interpretation & revision & that’s totally okay.

In my own situation, I’ve been trying to be a creative professional for years. I wanted an MFA in Photography, so I got one & it was a mighty struggle for many reasons. Once I graduated, I learned quickly that it’s hard to get a job as a photographer- you need to know more, so I learned graphic design & some web design. I couldn’t find a job doing that, so I created my own freelance company. I did that for several years & made some money, but not a lot. Recently, my biggest client, a big corporate company, offered me a full time job as a creative jack of all trades. Working for a big corporation was never on my lists of goals, but here lay this opportunity to do creative work for a secure paycheck, so I took it. Some of my friends might think I’ve sold out, but at the end of the day, my dream was to do creative work full time & I’m doing it, so dreams may end up being realized in ways that you’ve never imagined. Life may be short, but it is often all about compromise too. Best of luck.

Ellie
Ellie
10 years ago

The older I get, the more I try to hone in on what I really want, and what I can shelve. I try and ask myself what I’ll think when I look back 10 years from now. What’s the opportunity cost? Could I spend time doing other things that would not exactly be “the dream” but would contribute in other ways. When I ask the right questions about “the dream” the answer usually seems clear.
That being said, if it’s a true dream, don’t give up, maybe just back down until the path seems more clear.

Mouse
10 years ago

Like several other commenters, I’m in the process of giving up on the dream/expectation of having children. It is true that “life is what happens when you’re making other plans”, so I’m trying to live life instead of make plans.

More importantly, I’m dying to know your context for this question!!!

Dawn
10 years ago

There’s a lot to be said for timing, and if the time isn’t right, then I am all over shelving the dream for a while. Maybe a few weeks. Maybe a few years. Maybe forever. I figure if the timing does become right and everything lines up, it’ll be clear enough to me that I’ll think, “Huh, I should take another stab at that.”

Emily
Emily
10 years ago

I’ve given up my dream of a full-time freelance career in lieu of a soul-deadening corporate job. I had always planned on freelancing once I had children, but then my husband got laid off after we had our first child and fell into his dream career…which happens to be freelance. So now my husband is living my dream, while I toil away at a job I dislike greatly. Which usually I don’t mind so much, except for weeks like this week, when I hate my job, company, etc so much I want to just want to go home and cry every day. Um, where was I? Oh yeah, I gave up on my dream, and I regret it more often than I’d care to admit.

Eric's Mommy
10 years ago

I’ve given up on a lot of my dreams because there is no possible way they will ever happen.

Gwen
Gwen
10 years ago

I think that there is a difference between a dream and an aspiration. An aspiration *can* be be shelved for whatever reason while a dream never leaves, it’s just sometimes lost.

bj
bj
10 years ago

yes, and I have not regretted it. In my case, I’d say that the “dream” was incompatible, for me, with other things I wanted more.

Shawna
Shawna
10 years ago

Well, I would say it depends on the dream and whether chasing it would improve your life or not. Good things can happen along a journey, even if you never get to your planned destination.

However, if it’s haunting you so that you feel like a failure for not getting it, yet you really have no way to get from here to there, yes, I think it can be healthier to release that particular dream. If your path brings you back to it later, great! But if not, so be it.

bj
bj
10 years ago

ooh, I love the zappos cart analogy. Also, I think that sometimes a dream can be a means of obsessively focussing on what you don’t have, rather than what you do. Or the pursuit of a fantasy rather than a reality (like Anne Shirley and Royal Gardner rather than Gilbert Blythe)

E
E
10 years ago

I think I finally have given up on the dream of moving closer to my family and embraced the life we’ve built here. It’s way too painful to pine for it all the time. On the other hand, it’s winter and when summer’s heat comes back, I’ll probably throw myself full force back into longing.

sooboo
sooboo
10 years ago

I’ve never totally given up a dream 100%. I don’t see the point. Some dreams are harder to attain than others, but still worth shooting for when you can. What else is there to do?

Kelly
Kelly
10 years ago

I did. I wanted to be a nurse for years but could never get into nursing school because all of the programs in my area were super impacted and acceptance was by lottery, so you could apply and apply and get nowhere. Then I found a school 400 miles away that had a 3 application limit, so if you weren’t accepted after 3 tries you’d be guaranteed a spot on the 4th try. The semester before I completed the prerequisites, they switched to a lottery system. That was 2 years ago and now I’m 36 and pregnant with my first child so I think I’ve given up on nursing school. I’ll be a mom with a job instead of a mom with a career. It’s ok.

just words on a page
10 years ago

No. I worked for 16 years to have my son. I am not kidding. We finally had him through egg donation. But I never gave up on my dream. No siree Bob or Linda, or whatever.

Laura
10 years ago

Yes. But it felt less like giving up on a dream than making an adult decision that that particular dream wasn’t really right for me.

“Dreams” are so fetishized in our society sometimes. I feel like it helps to look at each one not as some mystical calling, some magical soul need, but simply as an idea. Some are good ideas, some are great ideas. Some turn out to be bad ideas. Or good ideas with bad timing. Or ok ideas for you, but great ideas for someone else.

squandra
squandra
10 years ago

For me, it’s been less about remote possibilities and more about priorities, and conflicts of interest.

It’s not just the dream, in a vacuum — it’s the life that includes that dream. And if reaching — or even pursuing — a goal means giving up something I’m certain I want to keep … Well, then it’s not really a dream, after all. Because it’s not a life I dream of.

If I climbed further up my particular company’s corporate ladder, my career would probably be more fulfilling. But that would also mean moving my family to a place we don’t want to go, so — it’s a moot point.

I can still pursue a more fulfilling career; I’ll just need to find a different path to it — one that doesn’t conflict with my non-negotiables. To chase anything that does, obviously, wastes my time and effort.

That’s my experience with dream-examination, but again — I think it’s different from what you’re talking about. I think when it’s a question of remote possibilities, maybe you have to examine not just whether you truly want the whole life that includes your goal, but whether you truly want the whole life that includes PURSUING it.

Barbara
Barbara
10 years ago

I think it’s important to remain open – to allow God to fingerpaint is what I call it – rather than hold to details of something I imagine I want. Even when I feel very strongly about something. While I can and do imagine it down to the last detail sometimes, I go with the FEEL of what I want, the essence, rather than cling to my details. That way I give the details to God, and I won’t miss what comes my way because I’ve put blinders on in the form of what I think it’s supposed to look like.

sara moon
sara moon
10 years ago

not so much given up on a dream…more like given up on a much loved passion because i couldn’t fit it the fuck into my days and ended up feeling like a “failure”. so, what i did a few years ago was boxed up all my art supplies (literally) and stashed them in the garage. i knew one day i would be ready to have art be a part of my days…but couldn’t stand the constant reminder of “yeah, that’s not happening…again”. now, i have just recently started unpacking the boxes since i am in a better emotional and physical place. i think this could apply to your dilemma. put it up on a shelf…to rest…until you are ready to weave it back into your actions and attention. just rest. all is not lost. just on hold. xoxox

Julia
10 years ago

Two notes for you that might be helpful:

1) Read/listen through this about the “economics” of quitting something (or, giving up a dream as it were): http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/09/30/new-freakonomics-radio-podcast-the-upside-of-quitting/ It’s okay to let some dreams go.

2) Also, sometimes it’s easier to think about “modifying a dream” rather than “giving up on them.” Growing up, I wanted to be an artist. At a certain point, I just realized that despite my love for art, there was just no way that I was going to be able to make that dream work. So, now I work in an industry that is not my dream, but helps give me both the time and the money that I can pursue art in my spare time – and still love it because I’m not using it to bring in my bread. I still feel fulfilled by my “modified” dream.

kristylynne
kristylynne
10 years ago

How important is this dream to you? Will you be happy if it’s never attained? Or will you always wonder “what if” and feel like you failed in your life? Is the dream time-sensitive, i.e., do you need to do it while you’re young? Or can it wait a few years? How much must you sacrifice in order to force the dream to become reality? Will it be worth the sacrifice?

kristylynne
kristylynne
10 years ago

How important is this dream to you? Will you be happy if it’s never attained? Or will you always wonder “what if” and feel like you failed in your life? Is the dream time-sensitive, i.e., do you need to do it while you’re young? Or can it wait a few years? How much must you sacrifice in order to force the dream to become reality? Will it be worth the sacrifice?

I wanted children but am infertile, and through sheer force of will (and a lot of money for medical treatment), I was able to have two wonderful boys. We have tons of debt, but lots of joy. It was worth it. So, I say, if it’s really your dream, fight for it.

Aunt Linda
Aunt Linda
10 years ago

Dreams (as opposed to actual goals) can have enormous consequences on the people around you. Their welfare has to be counted into the decision. A dream has to be flexible enough to change with your environment … if not, it isn’t a very good dream.

Emily
Emily
10 years ago

Yes. We haven’t completely given up but have realized that where we are is a better situation for our family in general and have become much more comfortable with the idea of staying where we are. Part of the dream would have made other people happy and trying to pursue the dream was frustrating and depressing for us because it was all on us to make the dream happen. Are there days that we wish we had the dream come true, yes of course, but there are other days we are so glad to have what we do.

Becky
10 years ago

I had been dreaming of doing professional theatre since I was 10. I have been in hundreds of shows, learned thousands of lines, done an internship in Chicago, gotten my BA in Theatre Arts (emphasis on Musical Theatre performance) – and I’m good. Really good.
But, we wanted a family, and I wanted to be able to provide a stable life for my kids. So, I gave up my dream – rather than live like a starving artist – and now I work for social services. I ache for the stage, I still dream about performing – even just for community theatre…just so I could get back on stage. But, now we have so much going on, and it’s just not feasible to make that kind of time commitment anymore. Not with young kids.
I do look back and regret my decision sometimes. I feel like we would have found a way to make it work. But, what’s done is done, and we’re happy. I do miss the theatre – and I hope to be able to get back on stage someday.

Lisa M.
Lisa M.
10 years ago

I’ve dreamt of having kids, but I’m on my 4th IVF cycle, and I don’t think it’s going to happen. So after this one, I’m giving up, because the anxiety/stress/heartbreak is really unhealthy for me. And everyone says that once you give up, it happens naturally….well, I know that it won’t happen naturally, because both of my fallopian tubes are completely blocked. So, this will truly be giving up. I think giving up on this is the right thing to do, and my New Years’ resolution is to be happy with what I have. Previous strategy: being unhappy about what I didn’t have. Sorry, kind of depressing, but I think it’s a healthy decision.