Should you ever give up chasing what you want?

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This time exactly one week ago, something amazing happened. I, Corin Leigh Jackson, was offered a job. Not just any old job, oh no, but a job that I actually want to do. One that was worth me going to Uni for, one that needs me to be the person that I am – which is pretty hard to come by these days I can tell you. As someone who began looking and praying for such an accomplishment well over a year ago, you can imagine that I was pretty thrilled. Not just thrilled either, I was god damn relieved. Relieved that all that time and effort put into internships, writing for free, putting portfolios together, serving people drinks at 2am, testing my sanity in customer services, well, it wasn’t a complete waste of time. And I’m pretty good at wasting time.

‘Maids have dreams too you know. And they don’t generally involve foot rubs and cake…’

Relief. That feeling you get when you wake from a nightmare, when you nearly fall over but don’t, when you think everything has gone catastrophically wrong when actually everything’s fine. It’s wonderful thing. Wonderful because it’s so short lived. Things are only ever 100% ok for a few minutes at a time. Those are the minutes in our lives we should aim to keep buried away in the backs of our minds, as a reminder that things do go right, and will do again.

I had that feeling before, when I got into Uni. You know when you just feel like everything will be ok from now on? Imagine being shit at sport and reaching base one in rounders. It’s a bit like that. I’d lost sight of that feeling. I no longer believed deep down that everything would be ok, and I started to doubt myself. It’s a damaging thing, to doubt yourself, because that’s when others will start doubting you too. So much of the way people perceive you comes from the way you perceive yourself. Similarly, only when you trust yourself to reach your goals, can you trust the world to help you along your way. Positive energy is a bloody powerful thing.

I’m so envious of people who can put a positive spin on everything they do. Much to my own annoyance, I’m just not one of those people. Which is why I cannot urge people enough – people like me – to never give up chasing what you want, even when it gets a bit tough. The things you want line the basis for the very purpose of your existence. If we didn’t want anything, we wouldn’t be living at all. Just waiting for things to happen, and not caring whether they did. I’d rather spend my whole life fighting for something I want, than float along with the knowledge that I didn’t even try. It’s true what they say, if you don’t try then you’ll never know. And even if you never get there, at least you cared about something enough to try.

‘And they would be happy together forever and ever…’

However, there does come a point where fighting for something you want, but will never have, can put a curse around your life. If you’re too fixated on something that will never be yours, you’re in danger of losing sight of all the other things that could be. The answer? It’s fine to chase a dream, to fight for a goal, as long as you don’t believe that it’s the only thing that will ever make you happy. Be in pursuit of happiness, always, but not in the form of something else. The thing you want may make you happy, yes, but you should never feel that you couldn’t be happy without it. What I’m trying to say is that the journey you make, chasing the things you want, should be a story of happiness in itself. The end result is just a bonus. If you’re chasing something, and it seems out of reach, take a minute to sit and think about the journey you’ve made towards it. If it’s a happy, fulfilling journey, then carry on. If it prevents the opportunity for happiness along the way, consuming you, maybe it’s time to have a rethink. Life really is too short.

After all, we go through life always thinking that if we just had that one thing, everything would be ok. When, in reality, there will always be something else. So, whereas you should never be afraid to chase the things you want, or give up on them when chances are slim, you should always take the time to appreciate what you’ve already won.

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About corinleigh

I like to live in the moment, whatever 'the moment' is, in hope that the future will take care of itself. This ideal boils down to two major things: a) I am a victim of fate (and a victim of all the ideology and cliches that go with it) and b) I enjoy everything that is bad for my teeth... tea, coffee, chocolate, sweets, red wine, cigarettes... I may or may not end up toothless. Who knows. Who cares?

2 responses »

  1. I love your post, it’s beautiful! Fits perfectly to my current situation. One of my biggest dreams was to study one semester abroad at University of Chicago. Now, although I got the best toefl scores ever imagined and I could fulfill all requirements, I’m not sure about applying for real. Why? Simpy, money matters. And I can’t afford saving about 6000 euros besides my fulltime studies and my Saturday job. Is it fair? No. How can I change my view about it?
    The pro of not going would be that I’d not lose time in my studies (which is important to me) and have no problems with taking credits for courses done in a foreign country. Sad truth is that a semester or study year abroad is a disadvantage to your overall study time 😦
    So now I decided that I can always consider doing my master in the US or abroad, in general. And I’ll try to apply for an Erasmus study opportunity in Berlin (which is a way more structured and funded University than our Vienna uni will ever be) next semester.

    It’s true what you wrote. It’s important to reevaluate your dreams and to stay true and happy on the way towards your goals. Very well explained! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, I’m so glad you agree. It’s always tough when you feel like money issues are starting to rule your life and decisions. It doesn’t seem fair when some people have money and others simply don’t. However, even if you had all the money in the world, there would still be something else you want, and something else standing in your way. It’s not life being cruel, just you aiming for higher than what’s obvious and accessible to you. Which can only be a good thing. It sound sounds like you’ve taken exactly the right attitude and I wish you all the best for the future.

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