When I was younger I was obsessed with X-Files (the original series). Scully was an awesome role model for a young nerdy girl, and a lot of people went into the sciences because of her.
For me, I wanted to follow in her footsteps: become a forensic pathologist. My parents allowed me to buy autopsy books and forensic manuals, and I was convinced I would go through medical school and help solve crimes.
Then life happened, and I veered away from that dream. I went down a different science path and ended up in the teaching field, which I am happy I did.
Could I have pursued the forensic pathologist dream? Possibly; I did get accepted into a medical school while I was finishing up my Masters. Would I have been happy? I don’t think so.
In the grand scheme of things my dream of pursuing inventing, then writing, in my free time of teaching is what has made me happy. I like to burn the candle at both ends for my jobs then take a longer break and focus on my hobbies. It’s been working for me like that for over a decade.
Dreams change. Passions fade or switch gears. Wisdom grows with experience over the years.
Things change. Life changes. The point is it is okay to switch gears and chase a new dream, even if many years have passed.
When I pursued my dream of inventing, the goal was to change the world. Since I specialized in alternative transportation, my dream was to revolutionize the way people commuted. As you know, an accident happened (read about it here) that made me shy away from inventing. I do have a patent pending for something completely unrelated (my Teazzed straw) but for the most part, I was done with inventing. So I fell back on my other love: writing.
Who knows what I will pursue within the next decade? Will I continue to write? Will I pick up another hobby? I’m really digging working with Photoshop but I’m still in the beginning stages of manipulating and adjusting photos.
Whatever your dream is for the time being, keep pursuing. Whatever makes you feel alive, whatever brings you happiness and fills the time—dive into that. The end isn’t the most important; it’s how you lived.