Letting go of dreams is a sad, weird thing that happens in adulthood.
Right now, I want to pursue one thing wholeheartedly, but I can't help but daydream about the other things that interest me.
When I was a freshman in college, I learned about graphic designers. My closest girl friend, Cate, was a graphic design major (and a damn fine one I believe). She opened my eyes to the design world, and I was immediately interested. I was enrolled as a elementary education major, and thought I wanted to teach 1st grade. But, while I was doing that, I was journaling, playing with pastels and paints I had zero experience with, starting my blog, and reading the graphic design major course schedule over and over again.
I felt so drawn to this medium, but I was too unconfident in myself to go for it. I had only taken a few art classes, just for fun, before college, and I thought I didn't have enough baseline experience to get into the program. Every time I walked through the design building, I wished I belonged there. Throughout the rest of my college experience, I felt this small pull towards graphic design, but never tried to apply.
I tried four different majors before I found one that I wanted to graduate with – journalism.
To feed this interest, I started appreciating and learning what I could about graphic design. I'd try to think about why I liked this design versus another, or what "good design" looked and felt like. The knowledge of what makes something good and how to make it is alluring.
Even after college, I wondered what could've been if I had pursued design. I kick myself for not believing in myself enough to try. It's easy for my curiosity about this dream of being a designer to turn into a shame spiral. It's been two years since I graduated and I still overthink about what I should be pursuing in life.
Of course, I'm young. I have options, time, and the internet. If I wanted and focused, I *could* pursue anything. But, realistically, I can't (and shouldn't) do it all. By forcing myself to narrow my interest, I'm allowing myself to pursue one thing. With enough time, I hope to become skilled in that one thing.
I've already picked my dream. My dream is to be a writer. (I use that term loosely because I don't know what that looks like yet.) Out of all of the dreams and curiosities, I've had, I've refused to let this one go. Now, I believe in myself enough to go forward with writing.
It's harsh to realize that there are many dreams that will never be nouns for how I will describe myself.
I'm realizing that letting small dreams go is an essential step to make space and use your energy to focus on the expansion of your one dream. Saying no to many small dreams allows me to wholeheartedly, and energetically, say yes to my one big dream.