I wanted to ride on horses and elephants. For some time I wanted to be a hairdresser, then I wanted to make cartoons. Now I’ve grown up and I no longer know what my dreams are. I’m the kind of person who has always known what my dream for my life was, but now I don’t have one. I’m pretty sure I’ll go to university but after that it’ll be a free fall.
I think we are all shaped and modeled to want an education, carrier and family.
All the freedom we have here in Denmark has led to all of us living the same way, having the same dreams and the same goals. We are told in school that college is the way to go because that opens the door to university and there you can get a real education. That’s what I was told anyways. I started college without question, which hasn’t been horrible but I wish I had know the other options out there. College can’t be the way for everyone, can it?
What are your dreams?
Or what do you want to do when you grow up? Are questions that haunt us from the day we start preschool. It is so important to know what you want and what you dream about as soon as possible. We are in such a hurry growing up. Why? We are so busy living the dream regardless of it being our own or societies. But what if you don’t know what you dreams are? What if your dreams are so fragmented that you can’t put them into words? If you were to ask me what my dream is my answer would be something along the lines of “Uhm…well…I…probably something creative…not an office job…boring…I don’t know…internationally…freelance…uhm?” It can be so hard to put your dreams into words when you are young because your dreams change almost by the hour. We are constantly learning what we like and what we dislike. It is scary not to know what you want, especially if you think all your friends have it all figured out. I think that’s why so many of us use the standard answer of “I want to study and then get a job”.
With all the freedom we have in Denmark shouldn’t there be more possibilities than education, carrier, family?
Year after year we see thousands of students applying for law, medicine, trade, economy etc. while other studies don’t get enough applicants so they have to shut down. Why? Is it because “we know someone who studied this and he is doing pretty well so we’ll try that”? Is it because we all want to change the world or make a ton of money so we study what ever gives you the best odds? Is it to please ones parents? Is it because privilege has made us less willing to take chances and therefore we do not choose the more risky carrier paths?
One of my friends always knew she wanted to be a hairdresser but she still went to college… Just in case.
Why are we padding ourselves that way? We forget that sometimes we have to take chances and risk losing everything or we wont evolve at all. In Silicon Valley you have to have at least one failed project to be taken serious. I think we could all use a mindset like that here in Denmark. We are too afraid of failing.
Why do we even dream? Do we even dream?
If we all end up living the same lives, does that mean that we all have the same dreams or that we all don’t have dreams at all? Is it even possible to live alternatively to the traditional “education, carrier, marriage, children” way? I mean if you just differ a bit from that by lets say not having children you have to defend that decision every time you meet new moms who flushed and tired tell you how amazing it is to have children.
Or if you have a job that is unusual, and at every family gathering you get the same question “when will you find a real job?” Will you be able to that? Isn’t it just easier to conform to societies expectations? Is there even room in our society for us to experiment with alternative ways of living or are we automatically put and held in our respective boxes?
Why is it that the question “what do you dream about” always has to do with carrier?
For instance I dream about traveling around the globe and how cool would it be to live in a castle? I have some less glamorous dreams as well like getting a dog some day. It’s like all those dreams are forgotten when we are asked what our dream is. It’s not that kind of dream you want to hear about when you ask that question. They are way to personal for the world of small talk. But aren’t they as important? Maybe they are even more important than carrier dreams. They are the ones that define us. Maybe we don’t have to change the common dream of family and carrier, maybe we just have to make room for the other dreams as well. Maybe we should make it easier to take you child out of school to go on vacation. Maybe we should have flexible work hours.
Maybe it is more important to make room for dreams like running a marathon or climb a mountain in South America.
Will a dream be worth less if a lot of people have it?
I know I’ve made it sound as if having the same dream is problem. I think that we do share some common dreams like having a good life, be healthy, have personal freedom and so on. We all share these kinds of dreams and that doesn’t make them less important. I think we often forget that we have these kinds of dreams. They drown amongst the dreams of fast cars or new shoes, dreams that are more tangible and easier to focus on.
Maybe we need to stop dreaming about the future because we forget the present.
We forget that the only thing we know for sure is that we exist in this very moment. We don’t know if we will be run over by a bus in a minute or if Nørreport station will blow up. We only know that right now we exist. It is great to have dreams and goals for the future. It is fine to have dreams that society wants you to have and it is fine to have dreams that differ form the norm. It is important to strive for those dreams. But maybe we’ve become to focused on what the future will bring? So many things can happen and your life can take so many turns. I think we need to stop living in reverse. Lets start living life as it happens and worry about understanding it later. Lets live in the now and appreciate that we don’t know what will happen tomorrow, in a year or in ten years. Lets stop trying to put our dreams into words. Lets instead dream about the now.