Ever since I was little, I’ve always enjoyed watching award shows. Every time celebrities went up to accept their awards, I would listen intently to the speeches they gave. I noticed that they often shared a theme. They would always include this one phrase — “chase your dreams.” At the time, I found it very inspiring. But as I got older, I realized how toxic it actually was.

The issue with telling people to chase their dreams is that it’s not always easy to do. There are so many barriers that prevent people from doing what they truly want to do. I used to want to be a singer, but I didn’t have enough money to fly out to audition on any of those competition shows. Fast forward many years later, and my new dream was to be a manga editor. However, the language barrier, travel costs, and difficult Japanese exam that was required to be one prevented me from ever believing it was possible.

This isn’t to say that there’s no hope. I understand that a lot of those celebrities started from nothing, meaning that it is possible. Just take BTS for example. When they were first formed, their company, HYBE, was so poor that they had all seven members share the same room.

But still, chasing your dreams isn’t easy. It is very rare that someone achieves their dreams. And as someone who has always had wild dreams about what I wanted to be when I was older, those “chase your dreams” speeches gave me false hope.

That’s why I have always had an issue with those celebrity speeches. They make it seem like anyone can achieve whatever they want if they just wish hard enough. But that’s not always the case. I’m not trying to be a downer — I’m just trying to be realistic. I’ve gotten older and now I understand that those dreams I once had were just that — dreams. 

But I’m glad that my dream of being a singer didn’t work out. I’m okay with the fact that I’ll never be a manga editor. Because I’ve found other passions — writing and editing — and even though I never dreamed I would go to college to pursue it as a career, I certainly don’t regret it.

So, if you don’t end up exactly where you want to be, that’s okay! Sometimes, life gets in the way and we aren’t able to pick our first choice for our future. Our dreams aren’t always achievable. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t good things in store for us. It’s just that life takes us down a different path sometimes. Don’t lose hope — you have a bright future ahead of you, no matter what you choose to do!



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