Sometimes I think we discredit people living their ‘dream’ lives as if they haven’t worked to get there. It’s as if they haven’t busted their butts, pushed their limits, and challenged the norm to stand where they are. We look at people who are ‘living their best life’ and judge them, chalk their existence up to the perfect little squares on their Instagram feed.
But in reality, those images don’t show the struggle. Those images don’t show the pain, the grit, the tears, and the late nights they spent wondering whether or not they were on the right track. The little boxes on a social media site don’t share the heartache, the fear, or the questioning. They don’t show how hard that person worked to be successful—or may still be pushing for that feeling of accomplishment right now.
That’s the truth about the glitz and the glam of working your ‘dream’ career or living your ‘dream life.’ It’s not easy to get there. Yet it’s worth it—every single step, every single fall.
The ‘dream life’ won’t just arrive. You won’t just wake up one day and find yourself surrounded by opportunities and people ready and willing to support your every whim. You won’t sit down at a desk and be fulfilled by every position. In fact, the first jobs you take will probably not be ones you particularly enjoy. But they are the first steps towards your future. They are the foundation, however ‘unglamorous’ or simple they may be.
The ‘dream life’ won’t come easy. You’ll take a job you hate, or accept a good one where you’re surrounded by people who don’t support your vision. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, there will be a pit in your stomach telling you to go or do something else. Even if you feel you’re on the right track, your mind shifts and suddenly you wonder if things are supposed to be different. Then you’ll question if you’re even going the right way after all.
You will fall, so many times you’ll lose count. You’ll trip over yourself, change your dreams, and question yourself and the people you love. There will be doubt that creeps into your veins, telling you ‘no’ or to stop where you are.
When you finally realize what and where you want to go, everything stands in your way. The road is so damn difficult you want to turn back. But this is the moment that everything changes—the moment you decide a life worth living isn’t be easy—and you walk forward anyways.
Your dream life will be painful. It will be gritty. There will be struggles, confusion, and fear. Your days won’t glow like pretty pictures on an Instagram feed. Your success won’t be shiny, or monetary, or even recognizable at first. In fact, you’ll be discouraged and empty, questioning your purpose and worth.
But something inside you keeps moving you forward, something inside you pushes you, even when you long to give up. There is a little tug in your heart, a little energy in your veins. And somehow you will muster up the courage to continue, knowing it will be worth it in the end.
And it will.
Featured Image Credit: Jeff Kepler