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Do You Ever Get Tired Of Chasing Your Dreams?

You know the times where you question the paths life has led you. The dreams you pursued or did not pursue. The moments you see people living your dream life and they are still miserable and you wonder if it is worth aspiring towards? Over lunch today, a friend shared about some challenges faced by hercolleagues who are PhD candidates.  To her they seem too busy for life or love.To her, is the price they are paying to pursue their dreams really worth it?

I know all about paying prices. In my country Nigeria, I am expected to be married by this age. I have been too busy travelling the world, pursuing my goals. I am in my late 20s and it seems a life-time ago that I was a teenager. But..It was only yesterday. Looking back, should I have married immediately I graduated from my bachelor's degree almost 8 years ago? Would I have been happy? Maybe..Maybe not. I am quite happy with my life and like everything else; I know marriage and kids will come when it will.

But I do get tired of the hardwork it takes to pursue my dreams. How do I deal with the tiredness in the pursuit of my goals, as well as the nagging questions that plague my mind-would achieving my dreams be worth the sacrifice I have made to get them?

Only the years can tell if travelling and seeing the world in my 20s beat getting married straight out of college. There are many women like me who chose to build a career while we can and push starting a family and/or marriage till later in life. To my mind, there is no good or bad choice in any of these, it depends on what each individual consider important at different stages of life.  The choices I have made have given me great opportunities to learn about different cultures, peoples, languages, as well as explore different careers. I once worked in business development in the telecoms industry, as a human rights advocate, as a tutor, now it seems my heart has settled on a career in governance and development. Would all of these have been possible if I had stayed in my small community in Lagos, too scared to follow the dreams that held me bound? Would it have been easier just following through the expected paths;-graduate from university, get married, have kids, find a comfortable job that pay the bills…and then what?  I wanted a different life-and I pursued it.

To all the questions in my head, I learnt a phrase recently-Proximate Satisfaction –learning to be happy now. I am happy with the choices I have made, my career is taking wings and it is such a great feeling to know my dreams were valid. When I get tired, I remind myself, this was my choice. Unlike a lot of women from my part of the world, they cannot make the choice of when or to whom they want to get married to; a choice to pursue education or a career or even the simple freedom to move around freely without any fear of danger or harm.

In my tiredness, I remember that over 400 days ago today, more than 200 young girls were abducted from their schools in Northern Nigeria. They might never have the opportunity to feel or 'enjoy' my form of tiredness. To many of these girls, my tired state will be their dream come true.

Image via Camden Watts
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