Samuel Jackson, Charles Darwin, Julia Child, Martha Stewart, Vera Wang. What do these successful people have in common? They all gained their success later in life.
What do you want to do when you grow up? Who do you want to be? These are questions we hear and say all the time, to those younger than ourselves. Some want to be astronauts, some artists, some want to teach, and some want to be doctors; these are the answers that we receive from the youngest minds, the minds still entranced in the magic of childhood.
As we grow up, our answers change. That little astronaut now dreams of studying the stars; he/she immerses him/herself with the planets, with the material that reflects these stars. But no longer an astronaut.
That artist gave up that dream in the process of the fading away of that magic that is our childhood. He/she is now an angsty teenager who doodles in class, and dreams of those days where dreaming was an everyday part of life.
Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we forget our dreams like this? Maybe it is the beast that is reality that sweeps them away, or the monster that is adulthood and responsibilities, or the pressure of building this financially stable life for ourselves and our loved ones.
Dreams, nonetheless, are dreams. I wish that every little kid, when asked this question of what they want to do or be when they grow up, answers by saying that they want to be happy.
Happiness is what is important. Do what makes you happy (as long as this happiness does not involve hurting yourself or others).
I once had a professor (one of my favorite professors for many different reasons) that said that he has been a teacher for about 35 years, and he said that every single day of those 35 years and even now, he has never woken up any of those days and has hated his job. “Whatever you do in your life, wherever you end up, whatever career path you choose, I hope you find something that you can do for 35 years and be happy doing it every single day”.
Choose happiness. Dust off those beautiful dreams you held so close to you long ago, and find them again. Life is too short not to do what makes you happy.
“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.”- Lewis Carroll
Ceilidh Adams is the Opinion Editor for The Comment. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org