Kellyn Simpkin-Girl In Front Of Eiffel Tower France Hat Paris

“Follow Your Dreams” and Other Clichés


Throughout my life, I have heard the same thing over and over again. Do your best, follow your dreams, believe in yourself. These words have never meant anything to me, and I never paid attention to the people repeating these motifs of Americana. However, I unintentionally did all of those things this year and it changed my life. 


When people told me to follow my dreams I felt like the words were empty because I only had one dream: I wanted to travel. When people say they want to travel, usually they mean one vacation a year or to work at a job that requires travel. I wanted to spend more time at airports than I did at home. I wanted to stay in a different country every month. I had no idea how to attain this but I built my life around the idea that I would see the world. I learned another language and made sure my major had “international” in the title. I have done all of the work to allow myself to travel competently and reach this goal, but I didn’t know how to do it and get paid. Without another immediate option, I decided to study abroad.


This was the best decision I have made in my entire life. I did it for myself, and I paid for it myself. I saved for years, and had a huge budget so I could do everything I had planned on doing. I went to twelve countries, saw some of my favorite artists live, and had some amazing, unique experiences that I would not trade for anything. Although it was only a six month period of my life, I am a walking cliché of a study abroad girl. I reminisce on the time I called Paris home and I tell everyone I know to go abroad if they can. The only problem is that I wasn’t getting paid. I want the rest of my life to feel like those six months, but I need to find a job that allows me to hop around countries and relocate whenever I want. 


The problem with telling people to chase their dreams is that most people don’t have dreams. I mean, I don’t even have a passion. That’s something you are never supposed to admit but it’s true. The things that excite me are as follows:


-Good food


-Rap music

-Boba tea

-Writing articles


-Lana Del Rey

-Stand up comedy


None of these things are career ideas, except maybe writing. Even then, I am not a journalism or English major, and I don’t like sharing what I write most of the time. I work as a sports videographer right now, and I really enjoy it because it allows me to travel but it’s a boys’ club and it doesn’t pay well. The point is, I don’t have a clear dream. I am about to graduate with a degree that I don’t love and while that is fine with me, I know it is not what I want to do for the rest of my life. I used to want to work in the foreign service but I can’t morally allow myself to represent an America I don’t believe in. I guess I’m just lost, but the state of the world right now does not help me find my way. I can’t change the current situation, but I guess I will accept what is happening around me and try and make enough money to survive comfortably. That’s the best I can hope for right now. My dream has now been reduced to survival and the comforts of an entry-level corporate job.