Letting a Dream Die

I’m currently in the process of letting a dream die.

A dream that has been so close to my heart for what feels like a very long time.

And it’s hard. And it makes me very sad. And I’ve cried a lot.

Colette Butler recently posted a video about letting a dream of hers die. It was emotional, raw, and vulnerable. A lot of comments on it said that she was setting a bad example for her kids and fans, that she shouldn’t just accept the life that she’s been given and fight for her dreams, but I can’t help but to applaud her. She’s not giving up, she’s packing it up and leaving it behind. Moving on.

I have a really hard time of letting things go. I hold on to memories, I have always struggled with forgiveness, and I hold deep grudges. It’s probably unhealthy. I get emotionally attached to dreams, friends, and ideas. When I have to let something along those lines go, I hurt. A lot.

One of the most prominent times of pain I’ve experienced from letting something go was a friendship I had to give up on (that also gave up on me) my senior year of high school. While I had been friends with this person for a long time, they started blaming everything wrong in their life on me, and therefore proceeded to manipulate and emotionally abuse me for months while I still had hope that they could change and go back to being the person I once knew. They were suddenly so different, so I was mourning a loss that I didn’t even know had occurred yet. But the thing is, I cringe and am honestly a little insulted by the idea that someone could say to me, “I wish you’d go back to being the girl I once knew”. It can be so frustrating for someone to question your growth even if you’re seemingly growing in the “wrong” direction. Their wrong isn’t your wrong.

Back to dreams. And letting them die.

I always felt like sharing and writing down my dreams was the best way to live my life. It kept me motivated and close to those around me, since I knew I could share intimate parts of myself and still have their support. I also felt more accountable, since many of my friends would ask for updates on my future plans. Having dreams has always been extremely fulfilling for me. However, I’ve noticed that I’ve needed to be more lenient and let go of expectations about the outcome. I’m the type of person that holds people to their word, so if they don’t meet my expectations, I get disappointed. Definitely a tragic flaw. Definitely.
I’m currently mourning another friendship. After months of disappointments, I’ve had my (hopefully) final breakdown. Even though it can hurt so deeply, I no longer can live my life in a state of disappointment. My expectations of my friendships and the reality are so different that I find myself questioning my morals, which is something I feel like I rarely do. Letting go is so hard and cuts deep, but if I don’t change something I know that with time my current wounds will get much deeper.

Unfortunately, that’s just where I am right now. I get disappointed easily, so I’m trying to redefine key aspects of my life, focus less on the negatives, and spend more time with my happiness.

I’ve just been trying to accept that sometimes, I’m going to let myself down. I’m going to give up on things that are so hard to let go of and life is going to continue to disappoint me. Many of my dreams are going to die. Some slowly, while others will crash and burn. Maybe it’s okay to change my mind, grow apart from people, and move on. Those are all parts of living a balanced life.

Though it’s hard to know if it is time to let go of a dream, sometimes that random breakdown on a Wednesday night will tell you everything you need to know.


Lizzie Bromley