Jack Kerouac once said, “All human beings are also dream beings. Dreaming ties all mankind together.”
I am a dreamer, an optimist, an idealist, a stargazer to the MAX, and I (naively) expect everyone around me to also be dreamers, although not always to the same degree.
My family laughs at my crazy thoughts and ideas, and my sister likes to call me a ‘special kind of human’, but they have never tried to reign in my fantasies. Which I am unbelievably thankful for BTW.
Only recently was I slammed back to Earth with the realization that not everyone shares these idealistic traits.
Last week during a conversation with an old high school friend, I began to share my struggles with finding my place in life due to my unwillingness to accept a “conventional” job. I told him I just couldn’t stop chasing the dream of a life that I had planned out in my head. A life that failed to include a 9-5 job with the trade off of a miserable existence, and his response to me was that sometimes ‘you have to be practical’.
My first thoughts were: ‘Jaw drops to the floor’ What a Buzzkill. Dream crusher. Soul stomper.
I’m not going to lie, the entire next day I didn’t want to get out of bed. I was crushed that this person didn’t share the same philosophy on life that I did. He made me feel stupid for dreaming and I was downright depressed about it.
This friend told me that his job makes him unhappy and consumes 80% of his time, but he makes enough to enjoy what he has. Whereas I, full-time seeker of my purpose in life, lacks financial resources but wakes up fulfilled and thankful for life.
This isn’t to say that I am happy all the time because surely unemployment and lack of purpose do not make for a happy individual, but I know from experience that I was not made to be practical, and so I choose not to be.
For someone like me, being practical is the easy choice. The back up plan. The plan Z.
In the grand scheme of life and particularly in our society (although I do believe this is changing), he would be regarded as accomplished and hardworking, while I would be labeled lazy and incompetent.
And yeah as a human being I would think I was quite the failure too.
But the truth of the matter is that I tried living that life of money over happiness, and it made me physically ill. I couldn’t sleep at night because I was filled with so much dread at the simple fact of having to wake up in the morning to go to work. I counted down the hours, minutes, and seconds until I could leave the office, but would instantly feel a wave of despair wash over me with the realization that I had to do it all over again the next day.
This to me is not living. This cannot be what life is about!
Being practical simply is not natural for me. I have always been a dreamer, and although those dreams are not exactly achievable right now, I just know that my life will be more than sitting in an office for 8 hours a day.
Trust your instincts dreamers.