Remember That There Will Be Unhappiness When You Chase Your Dreams -- But It Will Be Worth It

by Lauren Smith

When we were younger, adults often urged us to follow our dreams. They would talk about the joy it would bring, the personal satisfaction we would gain and the ability we had to accomplish anything we wanted to do. Despite these kind and supportive words, they forgot to mention one little, important detail: Dreams are hard — sometimes, nearly impossible — to achieve.

Rather than being something that we can simply see out and and enjoy, our dreams tend to be the most unattainable parts of our lives. Every day, we get up and fight for what we want out of life and every once in a while, we make some headway only to realize we are still nowhere near where we want to be.

The most difficult element of this is to find the motivation to try, despite the fact that dream chasing is this hard. For Gen-Y, it is heralded to seize the moment, quit your stable job that you hate and run as fast as you can toward your dreams. The expectation is that the moment you make the change and follow your heart, you’ll automatically find happiness you never felt before.

And while this may be true for the first week or month, soon it’ll fade away. What once sounded like a great idea may not anymore when all of a sudden, you’ll find yourself without a life direction, unemployed, broke and extremely unhappy with the ever-looming threat of sinking into depression. While this may sound a bit dramatic, it is a terrifyingly real threat. Entering into the career of your dream in a completely unstable way can leave you worn, battered and more stressed than you ever were in college.

You may think that a lot of this doesn't apply if your dream is to go into a business that happens to be lucrative. But even then, there will be so many heartbreaks along the journey. There will constantly be obstacles in your way that seem so insurmountable that you may start to wonder if your dream is even worth it.

Maybe you dream to be a lawyer — well, be prepared for the intensity and stress of law school. Dream of being an actuary? Study and pass the plethora of exams, then try to tell me that you didn't feel any stress or unhappiness throughout the process.

The truth is, no matter what you choose for your career, stress and unhappiness will always be present in one form or another. Just because you finally switched to chasing your dreams doesn't mean it’ll be butterflies and rainbows on the other end. It’ll be just as stressful, disheartening and rough as your previous, lackluster job. But there’s one big difference: it’s your dream.

It’s everything you could want in life. It is what keeps you going every day. Oftentimes, it’s the only thing you could ever see yourself doing. Though it may be just as difficult as the life you previously lived, it doesn't mean that it wasn’t worth it; it’s more worth it because of these reasons.

Your dreams and desires are an inherent part of who you are, and because of this, you can and should achieve them. The path will never be easy and some days, you may feel like giving up, but you have to remind yourself that one day, it’ll all be worth it.

And more importantly, you must remind yourself that you are worthy of your dreams. Those adults weren't lying. We can do whatever we set our minds to do — just remember, it will never be easy.

 Photo via Coffee Nuts Tumblr