I was recently listening to “so far away (by SUGA, BTS)” and the word “dream” came up so many times it stopped me in my tracks and made me reflect.
In the last few months, I’ve gone through the realization that the career path I dreamed of pursuing since childhood was perhaps not really what I wanted, but that I pursued after being influenced by external factors. Over time, I lost my desire to keep showing up to work for it and pushed myself to complete my work for a while.
I was working on an auto-pilot. What was I putting in so much effort for? I kept asking myself.
But the thing that was so unnerving about this whole thing was realizing that I didn’t know who I was outside of my goals, and beliefs surrounding it. Who was I without it all? What was I missing out on because I was working for something that didn’t feel like mine?
How could I make myself feel free and explorative again? Why did no one else around seem to feel what I did? If I were to change my paths, what would my new path even be? And how could I stop feeling lost like this? The song captures this feeling of losing your footing in life like this quite succinctly.
Today I thought, what’s wrong with not having a dream? Isn’t this also just one of the experiences of life? Why do we praise people for having big dreams so much? What’s wrong with living humbly sometimes?
Now I’m thinking, maybe it’s okay to not have a dream and just exist. It’s just another way to experience life out of all the different possible ways life can be experienced. It’s the kind of experience that reminds you that there is a version of you that exists even without the existence of any goals or dreams that you keep working towards.
We are not our goals or dreams. We have an identity outside of that too. Our selves. Our innermost selves. But it’s easy to forget all that if you get wrapped up in chasing your goals and lose touch with yourself.
Perhaps our most basic selves are not the ideals, work titles, and personas, we represent. Perhaps it is our final attitude towards the things and events in life that make up our basic selves- when all our abilities and titles are stripped away from us, when we’re forced to stop working on all our dreams, when we have nothing else left to look at except for our bare, confused, inner selves. It’s not pleasant, but necessary.
A dream is just one external expression of who we are, but not having a dream doesn’t mean the negation of our heart, or our basic worth and identity as human beings and living creatures in this life- as our own selves.
Perhaps a dream is just one more color on the mosiacal tapestry called life whose colors are ever-shifting. You see, it’s great when you have a dream. You might feel like there’s something to work for, something to wake up for. But a dream is like a cloud. Sometimes it’s there. Sometimes it’s not. Perhaps it depends on the phase of life you’re in.
But, there is magic without dreams too.
sunrises and sunsets
colorful blooming flowers
the cat’s meow
skies with shifting colors and cloud shapes
the twinkle in people’s eyes and their jovial laughter
your sense of humour
the beauty in the lonely moments of sadness and pain
the warm feeling of being surrounded by people you love
the peaceful feeling of connectedness with nature and the contentment that follows
the warm words of your best friend that are balm to your inner wounds
All of these things still have the capacity to exist without the existence of a dream- without the existence of some big goal or personal purpose in your life.
So, if you don’t have a dream right now, I hope you remember that your existence, and your life, don’t necessarily hold any less beauty compared to someone with a big dream, mission, or a life purpose. It’s simply a different kind of beauty that exists in the experience of our existence, and its simple beauty still calls for our appreciation.
When a dream is there, that’s cool. But when it’s not there, that’s cool too. It’s just life being life.
all the other kids with the pumped up kicks you better run better run faster then my gun -sings
I know many people who are struggling to find their dreams and I have been trying to help them find their passion. It’s only today I realized ‘it’s ok not to have a dream and just exist’. Thanks for this motivational post
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Thanks for reading and your lovely comment Momal! 🙂
I was also trying really hard to find my passion/purpose a while ago. Then I watched this TED Talk and realized I needed to start doing something small and extracting value from it instead of trying to find the exact best fit for myself by only using my imagination and research!
Stop searching for your passion: https://youtu.be/6MBaFL7sCb8
There’s more about experimenting and building an identity capital for yourself without knowing your exact path in the book “The Defining Decade: Why your twenties matter- and how to make the most of them now”.