Well. I feel a bit egotistical posting in a share your wisdom thread. Don’t know if it’s wisdom so much as life lived, but I’ll answer your questions.
As far as following your dream- I can tell you two things I know. Blind ambition will eat you up inside until there is nothing left, no matter why you’re ambitious. My father didn’t want to grow up in a town where everyone was a coal miner or unemployed because Wal*Mart came in and shut all the Mom and Pop stores down cold. He left Indiana and never turned back, went to the East Coast with his hangers on (the family), and started in communications.
He worked to the exclusion of all else, the pursuit of the almighty dollar. Joined Rotary, read Who Moved My Cheese, did all the stuff business people do. He barely noticed when I failed Math, or when I got a tattoo, or shaved my head, made out with drug addicts and losers by the ton. All he did notice was that his son didn’t play competitive sports and his wife and daughter were too fat.
He wrote us off as bourgeois idiots that would never live up to his idea of the perfect family. He never praised anyone, told us all to be humble perfectionists who always put our nose to the grindstone and never complain, and to show absolutely no weakness, or get the fuck out of his way.
Now he’s an old man with a new wife that tolerates him because he brings in the loot, and a couple of estranged kids who only call on Christmas when it’s appropriate. I hope the money makes him happy when no one sits by his bed while he wrestles with whether or not God will find him wanting.
That said, loving what you do for a living isn’t impossible. All it takes is research, innovation, and perseverance. It’s just like weight lifting. It may seem daunting for a 120 pound dude to become a beefcake, but if he sticks with it, and consistently strives to better himself, he will succeed.
The second thing is in regard to love and relationships. How you know you’re in love is when you realize you’re willing to compromise to stay with someone. When you’re willing to ACTUALLY change, not just pay lip service and then go back to your old habits. Long term relationships are all about communication and compromise, and so many end up in divorce because one person just isn’t willing to do what they must to be a member of a team.