My stay with Azeb Wondwossen…she took a picture of me

You therefore have this strong desire to accomplish more, see more, and “be someone.” When you share your big dreams with others, they don’t really take you seriously. You have big dreams to follow your passions, change your life, or do something significant. You may be dismissed, told they’re unrealistic, or both. I can relate because I’ve been there. It stinks; it undermines your self-confidence and leaves you feeling foolish, isolated, and trapped. You reside in a small town that is so close-knit that it seems like everyone is aware of your plans before you are. Every morning, your alarm goes off at the same time, and you travel the same route to work. Your job is unfulfilling, you wake up at 5:45 in the morning and don’t get home until 7 in the evening after sitting in rush-hour traffic and wondering why your boss can be so damn mean sometimes. You long for a better way of life, travel, and a career that excites you. You have this awesome side project that, if pursued seriously, might allow you to support yourself. They’re right, I’m being stupid, and I’m not good enough for my dream job anyway, you think as you withdraw back into yourself. So you keep working at the job that makes you anxious on Sunday nights, decline opportunities related to your dream job, and stop talking about it. The truth is, not everyone will share my belief in my story, but that is absolutely no reason to give up! Try not to take their opinions personally because, by definition, you are the only one who can make your dreams come true. The chances are that they don’t understand, that they’re projecting their realities onto you, or that they simply want what’s best for you, which usually entails stability, security, and safety—the exact opposite of what you want at the moment.

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