To everyone who is pursuing the life of their dreams: keep going.
There is no path in life that will come without friction. There is nothing you can do that will not challenge you and change you over time. But the stress is worth it if it means you get to live out the rest of your days exactly as you wish to spend them, doing exactly what you want to be doing.
When people are too sure about their five and ten and twenty year plans, it’s often because the path they are on is someone else’s. They can see the final destination because they are following someone else there.
But to forge your own? It means that you have to envision an end goal that nobody else can see yet. It means that you have to do what everyone else thinks is impossible. It means that there won’t be anyone you can look to and think, ‘well, they did it, and so can I.’ Those things will not exist for you. Your power will have to come from your perseverance. Your inspiration will have to come from your own mind.
You will have to work out the logistics of your life on your own. You will have to choose your next steps. You will have to be willing to reinvent yourself over and over again. You will have to be humbled, you will have to give up sometimes. You will have to wake up every day and be willing to put yourself out there, again and again, knowing you run the risk of rejection and loss. You will have to show up anyway.
When you reach a big goal you’d dreamt of for years, you will be disappointed to find that you aren’t met with the feeling of having “made it.” At the very most, it will be a brief satisfaction, and then a hunger for another mountain. This doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. It means you are ambitious.
When you are doing the work that you are meant to be doing, you will find with it an effortlessness. It will come easily, even if showing up to do it day-in and day-out is hard. The truth is that in the blueprint of your character is a set of skills and interests and desires, and where they all intersect is what you are meant to be doing.
But most of all, what you have to learn is that in pursuing the life of your dreams, you will have to stop glorifying your suffering. You will have to stop downplaying your accomplishments. You will have to stop dwarfing your success to make other people comfortable. Why? Because if you live the rest of your life thinking that you must hurt for what you love, you will. If you believe that doing what you love cannot also come with extraordinary abundance, that will be the case.
It is a rare opportunity to be able to fully actualize your potential. That you have made it this far is a gift in itself. It means that you’re not strapped down or sidelined by responsibilities or expectations that other people put on you. It means that you are free.