November 10, 2014 (Original post here)
Learning when to let go of a dream can be one of the most difficult things to learn in life. For so long you have built an identity around that dream, but there comes a time when some dreams must “die.” It’s a sad truth, and in college I’ve come to learn that the idea/concept of letting go of a dream is easy, but actually going through is the start of a difficult journey in building a new identity.
A key reason why I left Hawaii to attend college on the mainland was to pursue my dream of becoming a professional bowler. Yes, you read right. A professional bowler. I’m talking about a legitimate career traveling all over the world competing in tournaments and doing something that I truly loved. I had dreams of making it big. On the mainland I knew the opportunities were limitless and I wanted to take advantage of it.
I began bowling collegiately, because naturally that’s what most professional bowlers do. I loved it. I loved the competitiveness that filled the air, the anxiety, the stress, the support I got from my teammates, everything about it I loved. I just loved competing in those high pressure environments.
However, I had to focus on school and the fact that I was going to graduate soon. During my Junior year of college I came to the realization that I had to be realistic with my endeavors. I gave myself a harsh reality check and I had to come to the realization the I could no longer follow my dream of becoming a professional bowler. Every tournament that I should’ve bowled and every day I should’ve been practicing/conditioning, I was busy with school work or looking for a job. The reality was that that dream of mine had to be put away.
When I came to terms with that, there were a lot of changes that took place. I hated the fact that I had to give up on something, I hate giving up on something I know I could’ve finished/accomplished, because I had put so much time, blood, sweat, and tears (literally). I hated that because of the circumstances my life was in, I couldn’t pursue something I loved. For a while I was very bitter about having to let go. Once I had a chance to “mourn” the death of my dream, I was able to reflect upon what I had gone through.
I let go of that dream and I essentially let go of a part of me. I had identified with being a bowler and becoming a professional, but that was no longer a part of me. I needed to take time to figure out who I am without bowling. The transition was a little difficult for me to go through because I did feel lost. Luckily, my boyfriend did a wonderful job at helping me through this transition. My life may no longer revolve around bowling, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have to bowl at all. However, there were more important things that needed to be focused on.
Letting go of a dream can be a disappointing and difficult thing to work through, but it provided me the opportunity to figure out what other interests I have. I’ve been lucky enough to figure out a new purpose and I’ve been able to find something else to dedicate my time to.
When letting go of a dream, it makes way for new opportunities.