i want to live in a city and in the countryside. with tons of friends in my skyscraper apartment and alone in a cottage with flowers all around me and no roads for miles. having dreams that are completely the opposite of one another astound me sometimes, but that’s the price of being human.
I often feel a sense of dread when people ask me about the future. I’m not some genie or fortune teller, eager to tell stories of the upcoming year with ease and laughter. I am the girl who is more afraid of the unknown than I am afraid of most things.
There’s always someone somewhere trying to tell you how to live your life. One day it’s a neighbor, the next it’s a taxi driver who is driving you to the airport at 5 in the morning. (True story!) For some reason, everyone wants you to have it figured out – the dream job, the next home, the people you’ll be doing life with.
It’s awful hard when my dreams are heading in opposite directions. Some days I want to work for a media production company in a big city in an apartment with my closest friends. Other days I want to take a van and travel the world working remotely, live in cottages and hostels, take narrow roads to paths untouched. My dream of being a world traveller doesn’t quite line up with taking a job in one place. And it feels impossible to decide between the two career paths.
People talk so much about having one dream, they never quite talk about having too many. Not that I think you can have too many. I believe you can dream. You just might find you can’t do everything.
There’s something about our society that tries to get rid of the truth that we can’t do everything. To be honest, we aren’t all made to be missionaries, go to space, and become a physics professor. Some people can do all three and some people can only do one. But not everybody can do everything.
And as much as I’d like to, I can’t spend all of my twenties around the world when I want to build a home somewhere. I want community. I want a job I love. I want a place that I spend time furnishing – a place that slowly becomes a home – as I bring in new trinkets every once in a while and spend time loving it as it is.
That said, the travelling dream doesn’t need to die. It just needs to get a little more specific. I’d love to see Ireland and Italy. It’d be cool to stop in Czech Republic and visit Australia. I definitely want to live in France – if only a month, I want to live there, taking a little bit more French with me wherever I go next.
Canada’s really cool. Apparently, rainy in Vancounver but still cool. I think visiting Toronto would be awesome and I’d like to go back to Montreal someday.
I’m not sure what region of the U.S. has my heart quite yet. I’d have to visit more south and check out the west coast at some point. I do have a dream of visiting every state, we’ll see how far I can get with that.
I wish we could accept dreams for what they are: possibilities. They aren’t written in stone, signs of faith. They are possibilities of realities we long to come to pass. We can put some much pressure on a dream because of how long we’ve held it or how long our parents have told us it’s what’s best for us.
Our best dreams are the ones we want persistently. It’s one thing to want to be a firefighter when you were ten and to want to be a marine biologist at fifteen. For me, my dream of going out of state to college was a dream I didn’t exactly think could come true. I didn’t think it was possible, but it was something I wanted consistently. It was something I worked for and longed for.
And the same can be said for my dreams now. I have always desired to travel, though I haven’t started planning what that would look like. I’ve loved media for a long time, I just haven’t put my finger on how it fits into my future.
There is no easy way to settle when it comes to contradictory dreams. When they seem like opposites, you either have to choose, to make a compromise, or to begin dreaming a new dream altogether.
Perhaps I’ll get a job in the media industry that’s remote so I can travel and work. Or maybe I’ll settle into a new city I love building a home with new people. Or I’ll take a year and backpack across the world, to have a different post-grad experience. This last one seems highly unlikely. But who knows? Who truly knows what the future has in store.
Even when we make big plans, we learn that our lives don’t turn out the way we plan. The biggest example of this is COVID-19. When we were supposed to be having graduations, taking summer trips, saying goodbye to friends, we ended up in our homes, safe but disappointed by the turn our lives took.
This reality wasn’t quite the dream, but we have all found different ways to appreciate right now. This season is a little different than what we thought it would be but there is something here.
Keep chasing your dreams, friends. Even if they seem contradictory. Even if you don’t think they are possible. Especially if they don’t seem possible.
Don’t let your anxieties and uncertainties keep you from the happiness you desire. You deserve to feel joy by finding yourself in the exact place you dreamed you would be. Believe in the power of hard work, time, and some luck, and who knows? Maybe you’ll get something even better than what you dreamed.
Have you had contradicting dreams? What were they? How did you get through them? Comment down below. I’d love to hear your stories.