Growing Into a Dream

Chase your dreams. Dream big. If you can dream it you can do it. It’s all so exciting and inspiring, but like everything, this concept has both light and shadow.

In college my dream job was to work for a renewable energy company that had a fun company culture— preferably based in sunny southern California. At 21 years old I believed my career was limited to a 9-5 office job, and so if I had to go to work everyday, it might as well be in a welcoming and positive environment working towards a cause I was passionate about. After a series of trial and error, I finally landed my dream job as an analyst at an emerging clean tech company in Philadelphia, PA. My coworkers quickly became good friends, I had semiannual trips to our LA office (!), and I was even teaching yoga to my coworkers after working hours. I was living the dream I had curated and more.

After a year and a half in the role, I wasn’t feeling as aligned as I once had. My internal landscape became quite prickly. I began feeling ungrateful- “…but you had worked so hard and others have helped you so much to get to this point!”

I began reflecting and contemplating – is this what I want for my current self, at 25 years old? It was difficult to admit to myself that my desires have changed.

My desires now demand more flexibility. I dream of living near the beach, working my own hours, and having a schedule that has space to teach yoga. 

I began to gain interest in a career that would compliment the lifestyle I was seeking, programming. I got my start by taking classes with a local non-profit, Girl Develop It. Their beginner friendly classes not only taught me the basics, but left me feeling empowered to learn more on my own. I got into the routine of waking up early before work to teach myself how to code. I was determined. After 5 months, I realized that a coding bootcamp would catalyze my shift in careers, but that would come eventually, I thought — it doesn’t have to happen right now.

I’m not ready. I don’t know enough. Why leave my job now? There’s still space for growth and opportunity in my current role. I fed myself excuses. 

Ultimately, clinging onto an outdated dream was no match in comparison to my zeal to make the leap.

In a few weeks I’ll be starting my 5 month bootcamp to become a Software Engineer. I don’t know what will follow, but I do know I want to build a lifestyle that my soul desires. I don’t feel ready, but that’s the point.

I’m on the other side of all the confusion, resistance, and fear. Through it, I learned that I outgrew a previous self’s dream in order to grow into a dream that fits all the pieces of my current self. And if I’m lucky enough, this will not be the last time I go through this dream cycle.