300 Days ’til 40: Shifting Your Dreams

27 Apr

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible. ~ T.E. Lawrence

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. ~ Walt Disney

Over the course of my lifetime I have had many dreams for myself.  As I have grown, these dreams have shifted in multiple ways.  Some of my dreams I have let go of as life and maturing, perspective and time, have changed my person, my character, and ultimately that which I hold valuable enough to want to pursue.

When I was young I wanted to be a famous actress.  In my mind (as an unpopular, nerdy, pudgy, constantly teased child) being famous was the answer to the constant pain of rejection that I felt by my peers.  When they were aware, my grade school teachers did attempt to step in, but it really did not work (ironically, I went into education in spite of that).  When I was a tween (though that particular term was not coined at the time) I really wanted to be a talk show host – I watched Sally Jesse Raphael on TV and I REALLY wanted to be her (okay, true confession, this dream still does live inside my heart a bit, but the reality of life and providing for a family means I know that this will remain a dream, as the pursuit of it would seem ludicrous).

When I was in high school I went to an Arts high school and finally put to rest the famous actress dream…. I wanted to be chosen and work based on the merits of my ability, and not luck of the draw with being in the right place in the right time for a casting call.  I wanted a career that was certain to put food on my table…. I did not want to wait tables until a call came (if it ever did).  Then, I was certain I was going to be a clinical psychologist – until I got to my first university and my first professor was very behavioral-therapy oriented, which I was not – I lost all interest in psychology.  Then I transferred universities and thought I would be an English teacher – until I enrolled (and subsequently dropped) my first English grammar course…… I fell into school counseling and psychology for graduate school, and then went on to get a post-graduate certificate in educational administration.

Now I hold a wonderful job and work with a good staff, great students and parents…. and yet…… I still dream.  Now I wonder if and when I should return to school for a doctorate…. this question has surfaced as a result of my blogging and search for deeper meaning…. will the degree give me more meaning and authenticity?  Some programs do help push their students towards new meaning and self-evaluation……..  will the degree just give me a title and is the program more of a means to an end so that I have the title for the next chapter of my life? This is something I will continue to question as I head towards 40.

What about you?  How have your dreams changed and evolved?  I think that dreams are critical for our personal development and to give us hope and a vision for our future.  I personally believe that dreams are critical for us, whether or not we ultimately choose to pursue them – their presence adds to the quality of our daily lives.

Dream and give yourself permission to envision a You that you choose to be. ~ Joy Page

Dreams do not have to be about career, dreams can be about relationships, homes, children, volunteer work, health and fitness routines, or how you see yourself interacting with the world around you.  Dreams are healthy…… even if they seem silly, do not give them up, they will nourish your soul.

Dreams are the touchstones of our character. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Today, 300 days ’til 40, I will continue to give myself permission to dream.  I will allow myself to follow some dreams, no matter how silly, knowing that sometimes the pursuit of the dream is just as important as obtaining or accomplishing it.  Sometimes chasing a dream is a wonderful experience, even when it is not caught.

May you chase your dreams too.



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78 responses to “300 Days ’til 40: Shifting Your Dreams

  1. Kerry Dwyer

    April 26, 2012 at 23:27

    Follow your dreams. No one ever died wishing they had spent more time in the office. They regret the things they didn’t do more often than the things they did. It is not possible for everyone to follow all their dreams. But everyone can follow some of them even if only a small one surely. These words are not my own just those that are engraved on my memory.
    PS – I love spell check.

    • 400daystil40

      April 26, 2012 at 23:31

      All you say is so very true! Yes, we never regret the pursuit of our dreams… it is the guilt and regret for never trying that can haunt us!
      PS – I love spell check too, when it works! 🙂

  2. pinkagendist

    April 26, 2012 at 23:28

    I had a one track dream… I wanted people to love me, more importantly I wanted someone who I admired to fall in love with me. Juxtaposing it with your dream, I’d say I didn’t want to be a well known actor, I wanted a well known actor to love me 😀
    Lo and behold I’m 34 and I’ve been with a Royal Shakespeare Company actor for a decade.

    • 400daystil40

      April 26, 2012 at 23:30

      Wow, your post made me smile! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂 Yes, sometimes the dreams do work out! I wish the two of you all the best in your life together. 🙂

  3. artblablablablog

    April 27, 2012 at 00:06

    I think I dream more than I am in reality. And when my dreams come true, I dream of something else. It makes life fun. I equate dreams with goals. I am surprised by how many people have no goals anymore. Sad.

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 07:57

      Yes, I agree – there is a fine line between dreams and goals and they often do overlap. It is indeed sad how many people are just existing day to day with no dreams on their horizon….. 😦

  4. Knoob

    April 27, 2012 at 00:17

    I agree, dreams are critical. Having something to strive for is what gives us strength. Sometimes I think my dreams are too flimsy to keep me going … that’s a real problem.

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 07:56

      Yes, they are so important – and you bring up a good point, sometimes we may need to push ourselves to expand our dreams in order to have that drive and motivation.

  5. rabidmongoose

    April 27, 2012 at 00:44

    The Joy Page quote is very meaningful for me, thank you for sharing it. I had a vision of my future self once, and it was very powerful. As Ziglar once said, “No matter where you go, there you are.” At this point in my life I’m less focused on the tangible aspects of my life, and more focused on becoming the person God intended me to be. I believe that if I, “get the man right, the world will be right.”

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 07:55

      Yes, isn’t it a wonderful quote?!? (Okay, I am biased, of course I think so or I would not have included it!) I like your philosophy of focusing on placing your life in the right perspective and knowing that the rest will fall into place. I am glad you posted that so others can read it as well!

  6. missytree

    April 27, 2012 at 00:47

    Beautiful post. My dream is to consis
    tently be in alignment, see through the eys of my inner being. From this expansive view, I get the feeling that all else falls perfectly in to place xox

  7. Pamela

    April 27, 2012 at 01:07

    Now I know why so many of your posts resonate deeply with me! We have had very similar dreams. I’ve wanted at points to be an actress, journalist, teacher, English professor, editor, social psychologist, school psychologist…I’ve pursued some of those goals in different forms through my life and I’m eager to see how some of them morph during the rest of it. I’ve managed a bookstore, written freelance unpaid articles, worked in higher education in different areas, and obtained two degrees in Psychology. The most important dream that I wanted to fulfill was to be a mother and a writer; both of which I’m actively doing (though both are unpaid!) I am considering how to integrate my interests in education and psychology in my writing pursuits, and whether I will need further education to progress my goals. I want to publish poetry and travel with my husband and daughter. Ultimately, I want to keep a balance of achieving with loving and enjoying my life with my family. It was really interesting to hear your path.

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 07:53

      Wow, we must have a similar personality type! 🙂 I worked at a bookstore once too – it was one of my favorite jobs of all time (getting paid to help people find books – too cool!) Like you, I also want to find that balance as I continue to walk the path. Thanks for your insightful comment! 🙂

      • Pamela

        April 28, 2012 at 01:16

        Too funny! INF/T J? But then, MBTI isn’t very reliable (though it is fun…)

  8. timzauto

    April 27, 2012 at 01:08

    I think we all need dreams to follow….what fun would life be without them..

  9. viveka

    April 27, 2012 at 01:14

    Live or follow our dreams … ???!!! If it was that easy – my dreams has changed so many times during my life … and in away I want my dreams to be dreams too. So fare I had a fanatic life – meet wonderful people around the world – great job that has paid very well … then I decide to finish work and own all my time … do thing I want to do when I want to do them – then the cancer came along and suddenly a lot of the dreams became less important and it has shrunken my life with 35% – I know without all the treatments I wouldn’t have a life at all. Not bitter .. but sometimes I wish I could have my life back.

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 07:51

      I think we all shift our dreams during our lifetimes…. and we can have those that remain dreams (that is healthy – ie: winning the lottery) and those dreams that we do have the pleasure to watch come into existence and play themselves out. You make a very very good point….. health issues humble us and our dreams and create a very different reality for us all. We balance the resentment of time taken away from us for treatment with the gratitude that we are still alive -and struggle to manage the simultaneous feelings of frustration and relief… all the while wanting our old lives and dreams back.

  10. Fay Moore

    April 27, 2012 at 03:28

    Wow! Had to borrow this one and give you credit. It will be posted 4/30. Tremendous sentiment — From today forward I am a DAY DREAMER.

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 07:47

      Thanks so much, I look forward to seeing your post – please come back and post a link so all the readers can enjoy it as well! 🙂

      • Fay Moore

        April 27, 2012 at 17:35

        Will do — if my feeble memory prompts me. 🙂

  11. writerwannabe763

    April 27, 2012 at 03:31

    My dreams as a young woman came true…I married, had children, and then raised them to be loving and competent adults who have families of their own. Now I am older and I guess what I’d consider a dream a desire to give to our community my time…and do some volunteering at our local hospital. I’ve had the time for quite a while but my health was not such that I could do so. Now, God willing I can….Diane

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 07:46

      It is wonderful to watch your dreams come true, isn’t it? What a wonderful feeling of pride and accomplishment! I am sure you will fulfill your dreams by giving back, which will hopefully be as rewarding for you as for those you assist. I am glad your health is now in a place that allows you to follow this dream.

  12. Louise Behiel

    April 27, 2012 at 03:33

    Great post. I’ve dreamed bit and small and big is more fun 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 07:45

      Yes indeed! Big dreams are more fun! 🙂

  13. appletonavenue

    April 27, 2012 at 04:47

    Your post made me sad, because I’m having trouble ridding myself of dreams and maybes and what ifs.

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 07:44

      Ah, but perhaps the key is to not rid yourself of your dreams, but allow them to grow with you and to keep dreaming new dreams. 🙂

  14. narf77

    April 27, 2012 at 07:33

    I read a most interesting thing the other day whilst trawling the net. Apparently daydreaming is not only good for you, but it hints that the daydreamee (is there such a word?) is a lateral thinker who is able to solve problems. It’s now scientific fact rather than wives tale that daydreamers are the true thinkers of the world. I too was the unpopular nerdy overweight girl who was too shy to stand up and say what she wanted but in a way, it has made me who I am today and given my life over again (God forbid!) I would still choose to be less attractive and less popular because it developed my character and I am not shallow or vacuous like so many of my prettier and more popular classmates are now. Go to a school reunion…nothing like them for levelling out your feelings about the school bully (mine had brain damage and was to be pittied rather than feared) and the pretty bully girls (overweight, boring and bad company). Those of us who are born unpopular are the majority. Why don’t we just take a leaf out of Mr Ben Folds book and get together and celebrate the incredible good fortune that we had being born as one of the silent majority! Thank goodness we are not like those skinny makeup addicts who can’t think their way out of a paper bag! 🙂 Love these posts and I feel privilaged to be sharing your journey to 40 with you

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 07:43

      Wow, do you remember where you read that? If so, would you mind posting it here so that I (and others) can read it? I agree with you! It is interesting that you mention also being that individual who was unpopular – most of my closest friends today were those who were terrorized in school (what does that say about us all?) Yes, reunions do put things in perspective! The one person who was the worst offender never graduated from college, was a teen mom, etc…. there is no question who ended up doing a bit better in the end. Yes, I agree with you completely, I do not want to be an outer-image focused make-up addict! I would rather be that deep thinker who really questions and looks at life! I think the internet post you mentioned is so true – some of my best problem solving happens during those moments when I am dreaming. I wish I had the time and energy to put all my random day dreams into practice! (Maybe I need to keep a journal of it all so I can at least come back to it and decide what to pursue!) :

  15. Laura Conowitch

    April 27, 2012 at 08:09

    I recently bought the soundtrack to the original play, ‘Don Quixote”. I’ve own the book, and a movie version. This classic is very much a favorite and ‘To Dream the Impossible Dream’ is one of the best songs ever. Everyone should have a Don Quixote in their soul.

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 23:39

      I think I may just need to go to iTunes and download that song now!!! 🙂

  16. Lela Bonchjela

    April 27, 2012 at 09:02

    I’m quite surprised that I didn’t see Martin Luther King’s ‘I have dream’ hehe. We had the same dreams! I wanted to be the next Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera. Then, I wanted to be a host or radio presenter. I studied mass comm and have a diploma. Went to work for 3 months, then decided I wanted to pursue my other passion-Art. Now I am teaching Art in a secondary (high) school. In January this year, I started taking a part-time degree. I’m dreaming of a career switch upon graduation. It has always been a dream to sell my art or craft-works. Now, I’m n the midst of setting up a wedding business, on top of my stable job. I just can’t stop dreaming and I totally agree with you, allow yourself to dream is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

    And, doctorate is great! I always tell my friends and family to upgrade themselves, further their education. My mom is almost 50, but she is still taking up courses here and there =) Knowledge knows no age. I hope you’ll get what you’ve always dreamed of and what you’ll be dreaming of.

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 23:38

      Your comment made me laugh – I could have completely launched into the “I have a dream” speech here! 🙂 Wow, it sounds like you have been on an amazing path! I wonder if you are a bit like me in that once I have pursued something I get bored, particularly when the challenge is no longer there, and then I want to move on to the next challenge – the challenges help me feel alive! How wonderful that your mom is still taking courses! She is young at almost 50 so you must be young too! 🙂

      • Lela Bonchjela

        April 28, 2012 at 09:07

        Yes, I’m turning 25 in a few weeks’ time 😉 Hmm… It’s not that I get bored, my idea of life is fulfilling all our dreams, slowly but surely. I think everyday is a challenge, I might be teaching the same thing over and over again, but the students are different, that’s a challenge 😉

        • 400daystil40

          April 28, 2012 at 19:24

          Yes, definitely! I always say that education is ever-changing because the population we serve is ever-changing! 🙂

  17. Lela Bonchjela

    April 27, 2012 at 09:04

    Dream, wake up and achieve them 😉

  18. cav12

    April 27, 2012 at 09:09

    Very true. If you have dream reach out and go for it. That’s what I am doing.

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 23:35

      Yes! I wish you the best as you follow your dreams.

  19. The Quiet Borderline

    April 27, 2012 at 11:35

    This is what I seem to have missing. Dreams. I don’t have any dreams or aspirations and it’s been put down to the BPD of having a lack of sense of self. I can’t even say that I have dreams or aspirations – Anything. It’s very difficult because I then don;t have a sense of direction in life and it all seems very pointless. Tough.

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 23:33

      I wonder if you replace the word “dreams” with “goals” if you will be able to find yourself chasing some……

      • The Quiet Borderline

        April 28, 2012 at 22:06

        I wish that were the case. But I honestly can’t sat that I have any goals either!

        Anyway, 1 year and 9 months in therapy and now with a new therapist and in a new place, hopefully this will be the time for positive change and progress.

  20. Paws To Talk

    April 27, 2012 at 11:47

    It is so important to dream! We dream about kibble, toys and playing with our humans. Also, we dream about helping others with our blog.

    Bella and DiDi

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 23:33

      I LOVE this comment! Thanks (though it did send the cats running!!!) 🙂

  21. Katie

    April 27, 2012 at 12:01

    I shall have to spend the day wondering what dreams are in the hearts of those I speak with.

  22. Stuart Otway-Smith

    April 27, 2012 at 12:13

    Reblogged this on Smile if your sexy! and commented:
    Thank you

  23. edwardonbebop

    April 27, 2012 at 14:03

    Reblogged this on Edward On Bebop and commented:
    What are my dreams ? What are your dreams ?

  24. edwardonbebop

    April 27, 2012 at 14:04

    I think I don’t even know what my dreams are !

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 23:32

      Oh no! You need to think about what they may be – allow yourself to dream!

  25. sued51

    April 27, 2012 at 15:50

    Another good post. I think I have found it harder to dream as I have gotten older because rationally I know they can’t come true. Reading your post made me realize I am focusing on the wrong types of dreams…”career” type dreams need to go by the boards, and the old dreams need to be replaced with more realistic “workable” dreams like changing my outlook and personality. A life without dreams is an empty life!

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 23:32

      What a good point, you are so correct…… we need to look at the reachable and unreachable dreams and have a balance of them all! 🙂

  26. dpbowman

    April 27, 2012 at 16:42

    “Dreams are the touchstones of our character. ~ Henry David Thoreau”
    I think this is the crux of the matter. Our dreams point to who we are. Not those dreams of fame, but that dream that startles you when you relize you could earn a life out of what you would do to be free. That dream that makes you better. Mine is to be a writer, so I chase it by writing. Will I ever earn money? Who knows, but I am making a life and it is making me better.

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 23:31

      I love the Thoreau quote! Thank you for sharing it! I love your perspective too – we can be writers without being rich or famous… if we follow that dream we are living it on some level.

  27. silverbells2012

    April 27, 2012 at 19:17

    Oh yes, my dreams have changed!! Once upon a time, I really wanted to teach – and I do. However, since I bought my house two years ago and discovered gardening, my world has changed. Top that with the fact that my workplace is becoming increasingly toxic, I now dream of moving into a different type of work which fits in with the new me.

    • 400daystil40

      April 27, 2012 at 23:30

      I think that happens for so many of us… as for specifically shifting out of teaching – I think the average teacher burnout rate is something like 2-5 years… not surprising with all the ridiculous laws and expectations, union fights, lunch room gossip, etc…..

      • silverbells2012

        April 28, 2012 at 10:14

        I’m doing well at nearly 20 years then! I only seem able to do about four years max though before I need a break (just come back after six months sick leave this time).

        • 400daystil40

          April 28, 2012 at 11:32

          i wonder how the profession would work if we all actually got the breaks we needed before we got sick!

          • silverbells2012

            April 28, 2012 at 11:40

            Yes! In my working environment, though, it is more the fact that it is toxic (eg on Thursday I arrived at work to find a meeting had been called 2 minutes before it started, which I couldn’t attend as I can’t arrive for the time the meeting was held at. At the meeting a deadline was laid down which was impossible for me to keep to, as I don’t work Friday or Monday.) Guess most working people have problems – it’s not confined to the teaching profession.

          • 400daystil40

            April 28, 2012 at 19:23

            Very true… but how awful to feel like you are being set up to not succeed…. can you talk to your supervisor about that?

          • silverbells2012

            April 29, 2012 at 18:00

            Tricky one… means I will have to be a assertive, which makes me uncomfortable!

          • 400daystil40

            April 29, 2012 at 19:24

            Yes, standing up for ourselves is often a challenge, but can be very rewarding! 🙂

          • silverbells2012

            April 29, 2012 at 19:33


  28. Ancient

    April 30, 2012 at 17:09

    You’re never too old to have dreams, that’s for sure! These are some absolutely epic quotes you’ve gathered here too, mate. I really enjoyed this 🙂

  29. Spider42

    May 1, 2012 at 21:25

    One must never stop dreaming!
    And as far as mine go – well there are some that remain relatively constant (such as wanting to be a writer), but the conditions, situations and all the details are up for grabs at any given time. I also love to dream HUGE, including at times taking over the world 😀 perhaps thats the writer in me playing with possibilities (which it often is) and at times its me reacting to something I see in the world and at some its because a part of me would love to be king – something I think in varying degrees we all have but would almost never admit.
    I don’t plan to be king of the world nor intend to be, but like a lot of other stuff, I accept wanting it as a part of me – like the bad things in my character and such around which I (as every person does) have learnt to restrain, behave and adapt (like people with severe tempers or alcoholics, etc, etc). And I strongly believe that want it or not, say what you will, change is an inevitable constant in life and with it all other things evolve and grow as well – dreams included.

    I can break it down in these two ways really:

    “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
    – Oscar Wilde
    (I know, it gets used a lot by intellectual wannabes and people who have never read wilde but like seem cool and “smart”, but the truth of it remains nonetheless)

    “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
    – Douglas Adams
    (hands down one of the wisest and most brilliant realisations to have, not just blind acceptance of the fact but thinking and realising the weight and gravity and sheer chaos of life in it all – destiny or chaos, take your pick)

    • 400daystil40

      May 1, 2012 at 22:26

      Yes, definitely! Hmmmm, a dream to take over the world! Not bad! I am not sure I would like the pressure of being royalty….. how about a nightly news host??? 🙂 You are so right, the only constant thing in life is change. (and maybe taxes, right?)
      I LOVE the quotes you included!!! 🙂


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