Do you have to pick a dream or can a dream pick you?

How do we get what we want especially if we don't really know what we want in the first place?  I have never had a "dream job", a "dream man", a "dream wedding" or a "dream trip".  

How do we get what we want especially if we don’t really know what we want in the first place?

I have never had a “dream job”, a “dream man”, a “dream wedding” or a “dream trip”.

This doesn’t mean that I never had dreams. I had plenty of those. But they were never attached to physical things. Instead, I dream of things like feeling safe, happy, fulfilled, passionate and loved.

As a young girl, I found the choices in school incredibly daunting as I never felt like I actually wanted to become something particular. And it wasn’t that I wanted to marry rich and become a comfortable housewife (as my mother kept on nudging me towards half-jokingly, but also kind of seriously). Instead, I felt like the options were too many and it wasn’t that I didn’t want any of them – I wanted all of them!

I felt like any choice or particular dream would limit me. I had this very strong belief in myself that I could literally do anything if I put my mind to it and worked really hard. I worried more about what I would lose out on than I actually would gain. It was like standing in front of a row of open doors and not wanting to close even one of them of fear of missing out. I couldn’t choose!

You see I have never been amazing at any one thing.

There has never been a subject where I particularly excelled. Nothing that came “naturally” to me. An interest that was much bigger than the others. A sport I was more suited to than the rest or even anything I actually disliked doing. I have always been pretty good at everything. Not excellent, just good.

It would have made my life a lot less stressful if something would have come to me easier than the rest. If one subject would have jumped out I would probably have felt some kind of calling to dedicate my life to that particular area of expertise.

But no. I was pretty ok at everything and because of that, I felt like any choice would be a wild guess. My neurotic inner voice didn’t want to make any decisions that I might regret later. So I didn’t really make any decisions at all.

I didn’t go to university. I honestly still have no idea what I would have studied. If anyone asked me today what I want to be when I grow up, I would tell you the same as 10 years ago – I have no idea!

I didn’t find my careers, my careers found me. Modeling kind of just happened when I was a kid because Mom was a model. I was good at it, it made me money and I enjoyed the traveling and meeting new people. So I  stuck with it.

I started the blog so that I wouldn’t have to be on the phone to my family in Sweden every day, telling them what I was up to here in London. It was never meant to be anything more. The rest just happened and since I was good at it, I enjoyed it and kept going.

How do we get what we want especially if we don't really know what we want in the first place?  I have never had a "dream job", a "dream man", a "dream wedding" or a "dream trip".  

Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly hard working and I’m really good at what I do (if I may say so myself). But it has all happened after the choice was made for me.

If I was going to be a model, I was going to be the hardest working model out there. Same thing with blogging. If I was going to be doing it, I wanted to be the expert. It was the only way I could justify dedicating myself to a subject.

And to be brutally honest the subject could have been almost anything.

Some days I wish I would have been less indecisive and just chosen a direction and stuck with it. But then I look at where I am now and I’m completely content and happy. I sometimes wonder if I have wasted my talent. But for that thought to count, I would have to have some kind of idea of what that talent is.

My life has been a series of non-choices and still, I have lived in 4 different countries, I have 3 jobs and I’m really happy. I have a dreamy man ( that I never dreamt of), a dreamy wedding (that I only started imagining a year before it happened), 3 dreamy careers (that I never really chose) a dreamy house, a dreamy dog and a dreamy kid. I’m living the dream I never really had.

So the conclusion is that maybe you don’t need to know exactly what you want in life? Maybe some things will just work itself out as you go along. Maybe the choices are just an illusion. Maybe I would have ended up here no matter what I would have chosen?

This way of life is actually quite exciting. I’m feeling like I can turn a corner and bump into something new at any time. It keeps things really interesting. I’m not sure it is for everyone, but for me it still makes me feel like all options are open and that I can be anything I want to be and do anything I put my mind to.

Anyone else out there who hasn’t really picked a path? Maybe the dream picked you? It would be nice to know I’m not alone. Or the opposite? Who was born with a calling and grew up with a dream? Please share in the comments.

Photo – Ida Zander. Blouse – Geo by George

8 Comments

  1. Sandra Larsson

    Thank you so much for this blog post Tess, I really needed this! I am 33, work as an Executive Assistant which I’ve done for years, and have no clue what I want to do. Everyone says ‘just follow your dreams’ or ‘just go for what you have always wanted to do’. But…what if I don’t know? I have no idea! I don’t have that one big dream that some do. I am starting from scratch, trying to work it out. But it’s daunting and it’s a little intimidating when social media is packed with people ‘living the dream’ or writing encouraging post which, while they have the best of intentions, can be stressful for someone who feels she should’ve worked out her ‘destiny’ years and years ago and is still nowhere near. So thank you for this post, it was just what I needed today.

    1. I’m so glad I’m not alone in feeling like this. You make ME feel a lot better!

    2. I could have written this comment myself! I am 33, a PA (for 5 years now), never went to uni. although was doing quite good in school (not excellent) but ”without a dream”. Sometimes I wish my parents would have ”forced” me to study exonomics so that I would have a well desired (and well paid) jobb by now 😁 I would never admit that to anyone though.. I recently had a baby and somehow that have given me more of a peace of mind.. I dont have time to think as much about what I should or should not do and for me that has really helped me to feel more content with life in general. Not saying that a baby is the solution ro everything though haha..

      1. I completely agree with what you are saying about having kids. They give you a proper purpose when everything else seems so fleeting.

  2. Yes yes yes! I can relate to this so much! Thanks writing this post.

    1. Thank you I’m so glad you feel the same and I’m not alone!

  3. Finns en fin sång av Nick Drake: “One of these things first” : “I could have been a sailor, I could have been a cook, sen är det filosofiskt, men ambivalensen är där ^^

    1. Åå, jag vet vilken du menar. Exakt så!

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