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Stay the Course; Follow Your Dreams

Updated on September 13, 2016
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Dohn121 is a freelance writer who currently resides at the foothills of the Shawangunk Mountains of New York's famed Hudson Valley.

Author's Note and a Word of Caution:

Please be advised that the following article may discourage or encourage you to succeed or fail in life, like it or not. I may be supporting or arguing the fact that you should or should not follow your dreams however ridiculous or practical they may be. I can neither confirm nor deny the effectiveness of my own advice as I am my own guinea pig in the entire ordeal so results will vary (readers please be wary of this and take heed). I will not be responsible nor be held accountable for any or all successes or failures that you may or may not enjoy or worse, befall. However, I might just one day smile at you and say to you, "I told you so" whether it be in a negative or positive light. So, in the immortal words of Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi, "May the Force be with you."

An Attempt to Murder My Dream

Just the other day, I got into a heated argument about my place in life and the direction I’m heading. The person in question will remain anonymous as this person married into my family. I’ve had arguments with this particular person before, but nothing nearly as serious or inflammatory and the reason being is because the subject was me and more importantly, my dreams. Coincidentally, Anonymous Person and the first and last name of this person’s initials are A.P. With that said, their initials will remain A.P. The following is a dramatization of what actually transpired:

A.P.: “So what are you doing with yourself?”

Me: “I’m editing my novel and am writing on the internet.”

A.P.: (Snorts) “Are you making any money doing this?”

Me: “No, not really.”

A.P.: “Then why are you doing it if it isn’t making any money?”

Me.: “Because I enjoy it and know that it’s something I need to try and do…I want to publish my novel someday. Besides, why do you have to be paid for something you enjoy?”

A.P.: “You know, people everywhere write thousands of books and never publish. They waste away their lives and go nowhere.”

Me: “Well, it’s my dream to get published.”

A.P.: “You are a dreamer. You’ll never get anywhere by dreaming.”

Me: (Visibly pissed) “I’ll remember you said that for when I do get published.”

When growing up, I was only told to follow my dreams and that I could accomplish anything, so long as I put my mind to it. I’m sure that you heard the very same thing when growing up as well. I was told that I could become an astronaut, a United States senator (being an immigrant from Laos, I couldn’t ever become President), a doctor, an artist, and that the world was my oyster as long as I was willing to dive head first and dive really deep. I was told by my father that, “America is the land of opportunity where hopes and dreams are realized.” And I as a gullible “dreamer” believed him wholeheartedly every step of the way while walking along that Yellow Brick Road.

What Did You Want to Be When You Grew Up?

In the Face of Failure

It takes a lot of fearlessness and courage to pursue your dream and attain your lifelong goals. I often think about how life would be like if I fail and fail while trying to achieve my goal of getting published. When I start forgetting more than I’m learning each and every day of my tired life, I’ll look into the bathroom mirror and see before me, a defeated old man staring back at me, in which I’ll ask myself honestly, “What have you done with your life?” And when my life begins to slip away while lying upon my ill-fated death bed while losing consciousness, I’ll say to myself, “Damn, I wish I made an effort to get published.” Alas, another life wasted and spent in futility, having spent my entire life living in the purgatory known as mediocrity. Surely, to die before ever reaching my goal would be the worst fate I could suffer. This is my biggest fear.

I don't ever want this to happen.

My Dream Car

A Nissan Skyline GTR...Sure, as my father a devout Buddhist would say, "When you die, you cant' take it with you." Yeah, but I could just enjoy for a little while, right?
A Nissan Skyline GTR...Sure, as my father a devout Buddhist would say, "When you die, you cant' take it with you." Yeah, but I could just enjoy for a little while, right?

Please click to enlarge

Courtesy of samuibeach
Courtesy of samuibeach
Courtesy of samuibeach
Courtesy of samuibeach
I'd love to be able to take my entire family on annual vacations in the tropics.  I wouldn't mind cooking either.
I'd love to be able to take my entire family on annual vacations in the tropics. I wouldn't mind cooking either.

Giving It Your All

So what if you gave your all, having written your “Opus” of an unsolicited novel and placed it on an aluminum foil pie-dish (because you couldn’t afford a silver platter) or in other words, your “heart” and placed it in the awaiting white gloved hands of a literary agent or prominent publishing house and said to them, “This is all that I got; this is my everything—my all—my hopes and dreams and this is by far my best work…So please, please, please consider it for publication.” And so these same folks take your work and poked, prodded, and toiled with it: Maybe they read only the first three chapters. Maybe they read only the brief synopsis and leafed through a few of the pages while skimming your Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and consequently gave it their Stamp of Disapproval with a middle-finger and when finally they had enough of your laughable “work” they hand it back to you whilst pinching their noses shut to expel the odor that now emits from that same aluminum foil pie-dish. But now your work or heart isn’t what it was when first you submitted it for publication. Now that “heart” of yours has a damn meat cleaver jutting out of it and that aluminum foil pie-dish is no longer an aluminum foil pie-dish but a chopping block. The pain of rejection hurts that much—so much so that you want to just to give it all up and go back to that day job you despise. Who knows, maybe you’ll go home and set your novel on fire. Didn't your mother tell you that there would be days like this?

Sailing Takes Me Away

One of my dreams is to sail around the world while writing a novel about my adventures...
One of my dreams is to sail around the world while writing a novel about my adventures...

My Fear of Regret Outweighs My Fear of Rejection

Yes, so let me reiterate: My fear of regret outweighs my fear of rejection. In other words, I’d much rather die trying than live a life filled with regret. Say it however you want to, just say it out loud and dammit, say it proud! Having worked in several “real jobs” after college graduation, I find that I was happiest during the time I was barely getting by while working forty hours a week at a local supermarket and writing my novel that I’m currently editing. To many of you, this may sound pathetic or sad, but to me, I had much less stress in comparison to working seventy-plus hours in a corporate office barking orders at people who were old enough to be my parents. I really hated that. Maybe it was because I had too much compassion for the people that worked so damn hard for me or for a company that believed everyone who didn’t have their own office as being expendable. Sure, I was making good money, but I was miserable whilst watching my dreams of getting published slip away each day. My family and I escaped death and Communist persecution 10,000 miles away to come over here to America. I'd like to see to it that they didn't make a mistake in doing so and that their efforts were not in vain.

A Backyard Retreat

I'd love to someday have my own log cabin like this one just a brisk walk away from my main house for writing.
I'd love to someday have my own log cabin like this one just a brisk walk away from my main house for writing.

What's Your Dream?

All of us have a dream, don't we? I don't care if your dream is to become the next American Idol, the next Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods or Joe Montana; we all have dreams, no matter how big or how small. Maybe you're a 300-hundred pound plumber who dreams of one day starring in the Russian Ballet, or maybe you're a malnourished rocket scientist who dreams of becoming a celebrity chef--whatever...We all have them and we shouldn't let ANYONE stand in the way of us reaching our goals. Doing so will discredit us for ever dreaming in the first place. All of us have dreams and the moment that we push aside our dreams is the moment we begin dying--when we allow naysayers, jealous friends, and skeptics alike kick us in the pants and tell us that we suck. Be better than that! Be who you always wanted to be and better! Be stronger than fear! Be stronger than doubt! But for the Love of Maria, be stronger and braver than what you already are, because you know the road your on and you probably know where that road will lead, otherwise you wouldn't have any dreams in the first place and so are living it already. My advice is for you to follow it to the ends of the earth. Chase after your rainbow. And even if you don't a find a pot of gold at the end, at least you'll get to run through a grassy knoll the entire way.

Thanks for reading me and don't ever give up on your dream!

© Copyright 2009. All Rights Reserved.

I would like to personally thank Mystique1957 for writing a hub in response to this hub titled "To dohn121 regarding 'Stay the Course; Follow Your Dreams.'

Building a Lasting Legacy

A temple or wat in Pakse, Laos where my father grew up.  I'd like very much to donate one of my own.  My father already has.
A temple or wat in Pakse, Laos where my father grew up. I'd like very much to donate one of my own. My father already has.

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