A homestead tucked in the green mountains of Vermont, a barn filled with horses. I arise early in the morning and begin feeding horses, turning them out and mucking stalls. By mid day I return to my home and start working on designing and developing websites until late afternoon. I walk to the pastures and bring in the horses, feed them dinner and give the barn a sweep before returning to cook myself dinner. This was the life I envisioned for myself. Instead I find myself half a world away from my beloved Green Mountains, my cats, my horse, and my family. My days are spent in front of a computer screen writing or coding (hey not a bad thing, but I want more). I’m surrounded by an international metropolitan city, this isn’t what I envisioned my life being like.
In my struggles to reconcile the two I find myself drawn to articles and posts about finding your place in military life, in being happy with it. Yet it seems I always finish reading them with disappointment lingering around me, even resentment and even anger. Why? The advise contained within them, it seems it amounts to nothing more than “just give in”. Give up those dreams that you had, this is your life now. The military controls it and to be happy you just have to let go of those things that drove you and accept what’s in front of you. You can have those dreams, but know they aren’t compatible with military life and you really should just be happy with what you have.
Give up? On my dreams? Settle? Excuse me?!
Yeah, I don’t think so. That’s not me. (And I’m pretty sure that’s not YOU either.)
Let’s be clear there is a difference between settling and changing your plans to accommodate reality. Sure it may not be practical, or it may in fact be physically impossible but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something to move in the direction of your dreams.
I know that my little off the grid homestead, 10 acres of land and small private dream boarding stable isn’t going to be happening anytime soon. Not as long as my husband is in the military, we move to who knows where ever three years and it’s just not realistic….for now.
Does that mean I should give up on my dream?
Neither should you. You’ve got dreams. I know you do, maybe they are very different from mine, or maybe not so much. It doesn’t matter, your current lifestyle probably doesn’t match them for any number of reasons. That’s not a good reason to give up on them though! Sure it might be more difficult to grow the live you’ve envisioned, and yes, you might not be able to do somethings now for practicality’s sake, but dreams shouldn’t be so easily dismissed.
So Milspouse, don’t give up on those dreams.
Make them work. Yeah, I can’t have my dream homestead, but I can live as sustainably as I can wherever I do live. I can recycle, I can garden, I can go plastic free, and ditch paper towels. I can do all these small steps that take me one step closer to the dream I have. You can do the same. It doesn’t have to be something big, maybe it’s as simple as setting aside time for you to write, or draw, or take that cooking class at the community college. Dreams are built on the tiny steps we take every day. Dreams are there to keep us motivated to keep us striving to meet the goals we set for ourselves, not to be easily attainable.Dreams are built on the tiny steps we take every day. Click To Tweet
Keep striving. Keep Dreaming.
You don’t have to settle for a life that’s unfulfilling. You don’t have to settle for the life you have now. In fact, DON’T SETTLE. Don’t just take life as it comes for you. If you want to do something, figure out how you can work towards it and go for it. It may not be the path you expected, but the destination doesn’t care how you get there only that you do. Your dreams don’t have to be your sacrifice to be content in your life. Your dreams should motivate you to keep working for them, not be a detriment to enjoying your life now. So go on, dream! Aspire to something more than what you have now.