Honest Journal

Where Do You Go When Your Dream Isn’t Your Dream Anymore?

Alexandrea Brewer

I am a 27 year old, single, wild hearted, fearless female. In the last seven years I have lived in five different countries and visited countless others. I’ve been living my dream life.

My latest stop, Canada, had everything I could have hoped for – the perfect Nanny job with two amazing parents and their wonderful children, a lovely house,plenty of disposable income, friends, and exploring every long weekend. After living in the Caribbean for a few years, I was delighted over having seasons again. I was secure and settled in. I was sure that this was what I wanted. It felt good. It was the dream life.

Then some familiar old feelings began creeping in and that wandering spirit began bubbling. My mind started working overtime and that restless feeling I knew all too well was demanding to be heard.

For a while I listened with half an ear and entertained those thoughts and feelings with just a small corner of my mind. I had only been in Canada for 9 months, but it was time to make a decision about renewing my work visa.

I kept telling myself that this was exactly what I wanted. I had created an amazing life and shouldn’t give it all up for some beating heart moments of rash thoughts and ideals. I wanted this incredible job. I wanted to give settling in and commitment an honest go.

Looking back now, I knew the truth but didn’t listen to myself thoroughly enough. A war waged in my mind and I fought my heart with my head.

Saying these things aloud to friends and family, and with so much conviction, almost felt like I was telling the truth. But my soul shook and heart pounded as I spoke, and yet still ignored the flashing neon caution signs inside. I told myself I had everything I had wanted and was being greedy.

I applied for the visa and committed to another wonderful year of Nannying. I convinced myself I was content and happy with the opportunities it would bring.

But what happens when you get it all, and then realize it might not be what you want anymore? Where do you go when your dream isn’t your dream anymore?

Suddenly life felt like it was rushing by and yet in the same breath completely standing still. I was uninspired, unfocused, lonely, bored, but somehow apparently living the dream life. Without even knowing what it was, the confusion sunk me into mild depression.

I knew something wasn’t right. I had days where an overwhelming sadness would stir somewhere way down deep in a place I couldn’t quite uncover and for reasons I couldn’t determine. I wanted to retreat, sleep, and the places my mind could wander would scare me. My thoughts rode a roller coaster so unpredictable I felt like there would be no getting off.

Feeling lost for the first time in years unnerved me immensely.

I had used words like ‘independent’, ‘free’, ‘wildly happy’ and ‘following my soul’ to describe myself, so now why did they sound like false advertising? It shook me to my core to feel weak and uncertain of who I was and what I truly wanted.

Going to a counsellor and beginning to write, really write, from the depths started to bring me back to me, but to a different me.

I wrote fearlessly, unapologetically and with no intention of showing anyone. I wrote for me, about me. It was amateur, raw and unedited.

I muddled through what I thought were insane emotions. I began thinking of new plans and options previously never considered.

I wanted to run away from the way I was living but didn’t know how to tell anyone that I got what I wanted, and yet wanted to give it all up.

I fully realized that my current ‘dream life’ was not actually my dream anymore. No longer did I want to move to a new country where I knew no-one.No longer did I want to be a Nanny after 8 years. No longer did I want to shy away from commitment for fear of losing independence. And not for one minute more did I want to be away from my family.

These were honest revelations that took months to allow myself to feel okay about.

Now this dream life consisted of wanting to return to New Zealand after 6 years away,  diving into committing to a relationship despite it being riddled with long distance obstacles, challenging myself with a new career, and  knowing my family again.

All of these things paved a new path I never saw myself on a year ago.

So what did I do when I realized my dream wasn’t my dream anymore?

Well, I got lost. So lost. Then learned that the gut feeling and the little voice in the back of your head is almost always right. That is your soul speaking to you, listen to it! Maybe it’s not always right to act on it instantly, but it’s always right to listen and acknowledge it. Breathe, trust yourself, feel your feelings and trust your soul for it will never lead you wrong. And to let an old dream go only makes room for a new one to be realised.

She’s a wanderer, a wonderer, an adventure seeker and a dream believer.
She ventures to discover herself, her soul and to never think what if.
She lives her life without waiting or hesitating only to be rewarded by finding the world is on her side. She’s an honest free woman.

– image credit: Alexandrea Brewer

You Might Also Like

  • Loved this. I graduated with a Masters degree, and after an internship in my field I realized I just wasn’t passionate about it anymore. I took a job in another field and have loved it. Not sure where it will lead me next but it absolutely was the right decision for me!

    • sbuchanan

      Thankyou for the sweet words and for sharing a little of your story too.
      How fantastic that you were so self aware and brave enough to change your path and to also have it pay off. How wonderful for you to be so open to whatever may flow in next!

  • The Something New

    This really hit home… Right now I’m struggling to figure out what my next dream is. I have a a great business job before I’ve even finished my bachelors, I live on my own in a wonderful city, but somethings missing. I used to think that this was my dream- and maybe it actually was and now I’m stuck between dreams.

    • sbuchanan

      That ‘something is missing’ is what got me too! It took me so long to figure out that that ‘something’ was actually the dream as a whole. All the pieces individually were great but together it made up something that wasn’t cohesive.
      I hope your new dream is realized soon and you can see the path to walk to get there.

  • Bao Her

    Thank you for shari this part of your journey with us. This really resonates with me. I Feel that all the things I’m doing now – studying in New Zealand, being on my own independently, being single, And away from home…I though this was me living my dream out. But I feel sad and lonely and depressed. This is not my dream, anymore. Your story affirmed for me that I’m not the only one who feels the tides have shifted and a new part of my journey is about to unfold. A new dream is about to begin. Thank you, thank you.

    • sbuchanan

      Thankyou for your kind words! Isn’t it such a hard realization to come too?

      I thought I was the only one who felt this way too and thats why I wanted to share my journey. We always hear about finding your dream, following the dream but hardly ever about changing the dream once or twice or maybe three times.
      Im so happy you are settling into accepting the change of tides. All the best with the journey, and don’t forget to share your story too for others feeling lost :)

  • Kurissa Jones

    Thank you so much for sharing this honest reflection. I am in a similar place in life and knowing that I’m not the only one who has felt this way is very comforting!

  • This is wonderful!