Remember when you were a kid and you used to say, “When I grow up, I want to be a [insert dream here].” Then you became a teenager. Most likely, the dream changed to something else (rap star, anyone?). And then we became grown…and sexy.
Our dreams may be different, but they’re always there. We know them and all have them. Personally, I can see myself writing the memoirs of Hip Hop’s most elite. It’s easy for me to fantasize about it. However, there is one problem with our dream jobs as adults. They usually come with a price.
We always have to compromise some of the things we love in order to live our dream (unless you truly live a fuss-free life…in that case, congrats!). In my case, jet-setting with stars to tell their tale would be difficult in the life of a single mother. As we progress in life, it’s not just about what we want to be when we grow up. More things start to take precedence. For me, being there for my child takes priority over constantly flying, at the drop of a hat, to cover a story. And then ultimately, the real question becomes, “What would I prefer my legacy to be?”
Even stars in the music game have this problem. They are living their dream. Their words and stories are being heard, or as DMX would say, “I have the ears”. They’re loved, followed on Twitter, and liked on Facebook. This is their moment, but there’s another story behind the scenes. They are away from their families, their kids, their loved ones for months at a time. They have fans as well as haters coming at them. Tough skin is required in this game. And it may be just my opinion, but having the paparazzi follow you around everywhere isn’t fun either. Alas, this is the trade-off for their dream.
So are we chasing our dreams away by not wanting to compromise the things we treasure now?
Yes and no. Just as when we were kids, things change. Our style, taste in clothing, and goals tend to take a turn as we evolve in our lives. When we become adults, we begin to become less selfish and not only interested in ourselves.
Before we know it, life happens. We take jobs to pay the bills. Our daily life becomes so hectic we barely have time for ourselves. But in the end, I think we have two options to pursue our dreams.
If all the trade-offs for your dream are worth it, then push everything else aside and pursue it to the fullest. The second option is to still chase your dreams, but to a lesser extent, and put time aside for the other things you love in your life. Whatever method you prefer, things will still happen because hard work (full-time or not) will always be rewarded in some manner.
Kevin Liles once wrote a letter that said, “Sacrificing family for the sake of an ad on radio, a new artist’s signing, more BDS [Broadcast Data Systems] spins, etc…missing the very first steps of both my children. My first family became Def Jam. Whether right or wrong, I stand by that decision ‘til this very day.” That was his choice. Mine was to take another route. We both managed to live our dream, but to two different magnitudes. And yet, it works for each one of us.
Everyone has doubts about their choices. Of course, there are times we look back and wonder if we missed our shot. But have we chased our dreams away? As long as you’re still breathing, I don’t think that can happen. And perhaps we’ve only “missed” something because we are meant for something greater.
In the end, my (personal) take is that as long as we keep it moving, do our best, and keep progressing towards a path that makes us happy in every sense (professional, personal, spiritual, financial, and mental), our dreams will eventually come to us. The energy we put out is will always be returned to us. Ultimately, our definitive purpose is to follow our passion – all of them.
Whatever your journey may be, don’t forget to be happy and thankful for it. Each day we are able to wake up gives us another chance to chase our dreams!