I don’t know where this notion began that our dreams must coincide with our jobs. I have lots of dreams and one of them is to be a writer. But until I got my first job, I didn’t realize the beauty of keeping my work and my passion separate.
Having a job puts less pressure on your passion.
Writing was always my therapy, not my vocation. It was strange for me to choose it to be my major, but everyone around me said, “You’re writer. Study Writing!” I hadn’t thought of myself as a writer yet, and I think the label did more harm than good. Now having worked as a teaching assistant and exploring the possibility of teaching as a career, I have finally found the joy of writing again. It took four years, but writing is slowly becoming my therapy once more. Allowing my career to be separate from my passion set me free my own expectations. It gave me room to explore, fail, and write for simply for myself and not for success.
A job gives your dreams room to grow and change.
I was very legalistic when it came to my dreams. Not only were my goals specific, but they all had deadlines attached to them. (1) Graduate high-school a year early (did that by the way). (2) Publish my first novel before graduating college (still haven’t done that). (3) Get married before 25 (still have time for that). But putting deadlines on my dreams only added unwanted pressure. Seriously, how many of us have expected too much of ourselves, too soon? Getting a job that isn’t your passion is not a death sentence, it actually sets you free to pursue your dreams and, possibly, allows them to change.
Your job gives you time to dream.
I don’t know about you, but I need to time dream. Since I’ve become open to the idea of letting my dreams change as I get older, I realized I also need more time to let them grow and become a vision in my mind’s eye. There’s a yellow brick road for every dream, but we have to find it before we can follow it. Each of us—at one point in our lives—thought life would be different for us. Well it isn’t, in case you haven’t noticed. Getting a degree in the subject that we love does not guarantee our dreams will come true. At the same time, it does not doom us to failure either. Therefore, consider pursuing a career in something you are interested in, but you may not “love.” Let your dreams take the time they need to grow and change and make you the person you were always meant to be. Follow your yellow brick road wherever it leads you, from Kansas to Oz and back again.