Following your dreams is hard. It’s not particularly what any of us want to hear but its the brutal truth. In fact, there are days when I come to the conclusion that following your dreams plain and simple sucks. Don’t misunderstand me, I will never let go of my dreams. These days the word ‘dream’ has become a bit of a dirty word. Saying the words “I’m going to make my dream come true…” tends to get the same face as all those women on the X Factor who say they are the next Whitney Houston and then open their mouths and sound like cats being strangled. It’s sad. But it’s true. A lot of people consider dreams almost as secrets we all have but something we aren’t meant to take seriously. Particularly if you are smart. Then you really get the incredulous looks when you say your dream is to go into anything creative/arts.
The problem with dreams is you’ve got to believe. Dreams, if you ask me anyway, take three things. Luck (of which I have very little), Hard Work (of which I do a lot) but most importantly, Self Belief. To use a very bad (and corny) Disney analogy, Cinderella said that “Dreams are a wish your heart makes” and as anyone who has ever watched a Disney movie knows, to make wishes true you have to Believe. Okay, too corny… I know. But the underlying moral is right. To quote (once again, I apologise for my repetition across posts) “It’s hard to keep momentum when it is you that you are following.” Particularly with writing, in a busy lifestyle, every time I sit down to write a word, sentence or page, I’m so aware of the other things I could do with my time. Things that pay me mostly. Whenever I feel guilty, I have that ‘am I good enough’ conversation with myself. And I will be honest, there are times when I come back with an unmovable no, and come exceedingly close to packing it all in. On those days, the only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that if I stopped writing altogether, I’m pretty sure I’d loose the small amount of sanity I still possess.
To get to my (rather rambling) point, the reason that a lot of people get to fifty, look around and wonder where their dreams went is because a lot of people are afraid to try. I work in a people based environment so I get asked a lot about my intentions for life, and I will be brutally honest, there are days I want to go home and cry because I’m sick of the judgemental looks. The ‘grow up and get a real job’ speeches that pure strangers have the cheek to give me. Believe it or not, I’m a pretty decent cynic, so I know that the chances of my dreams actually coming true are slim but I don’t see why that should be any reason not to try. So this post today is dedicated to anyone who ever had, has or will have a dream. They think us dreamers are loopy or nuts but they are wrong. A thanks to all those people out there who remind me I’m not the only one struggling up this mountain. And a ‘keep going. It’ll happen’ to anyone who is feeling self doubt.
Below are links to some of my favourite songs to listen to when I need to be reminded of why I keep at it…
That’s Life: Michael Buble
I just love this song. Sinatra or Buble, that’s just taste but the lyrics are just perfect. It sums up that up and down movement in life and with its easy jazz rhythm it always makes me smile and most importantly, it makes me get up and keep going!!
Crazy Dreams: Megan Hilty
I sing this song to myself quite a lot. I don’t find it sad, I find it uplifting and inspiring. It also has a very important message that I have to remember “Crazy Dreams really do come true.”
Every Storm Runs Out of Rain: Gary Allen
I know a lot of people associate this song with the loss of something important but it works just as well for life in general. Another good song to remember that no matter how violent the storm, the sun always comes out in the end.
Rain on my Parade: Lea Michele
I chose this particular performance on purpose. I like it for three reasons. Firstly, because Lea Michele is living her dream. Secondly, because I love this version of this song, it has so much bite and determination. And thirdly, the look in her eyes. You can see in them that she’s not going to let anyone stop her and I think that’s pretty inspiring.
Dream On: Glee
Okay, so I’m a little bit of a Gleek. But I honestly, prefer this version to the original, judge all you like. I love Matthew Morrison and Neil Patrick Harris. I also love the song and the lyrics. If ever there was a song about keeping on dreaming no matter what is thrown at you, this is it.
Gives You Hell: All American Rejects
This is my guilty pleasure. This is my ‘turn it up to full volume and scream at the top of my lungs when I’m having a bad day’ song. Honestly, try it. I like to picture the faces of anyone who ever said I would fail. 🙂
Tony’s Opening: Neil Patrick Harris
This one is more for those theatre people out there (of which I like to consider myself an honouree member). Every lyric in this song is completely true. It makes me laugh and it makes me remember my six year old self watching Grease and wanting to be Sandy. I admire any man who can go on stage and celebrate his dream as brightly and colourfully as this.