People Who Gave Up On Their Dream For A More Secure Life Break Down Whether They Regret Their Decision
Between Hollywood movies, the encouragement of some early teachers, and real-life sports heroes, it's tough to grow up without an internalized belief that you're supposed to "follow your dreams."
You push on into the teenage years and then into young adulthood during college or the first years of work. For many, those years bring a confusing tension.
On one hand, you feel a bit weary of dream-chasing. Being poor sucks, healthcare is a thing, a lack of stability can bring an intangible but miserable amount of stress and anxiety.
And yet, another voice in your ear is telling you not to sell out, to keep pushing for the dream.
But many people make the move towards stability. They get themselves a job that brings stability and at least a little enjoyment.
If you hold those early narratives near and dear, their stories may surprise you.
Dream Jobs: Not the Only Route to Fulfillment
"I went to school for and worked as a video game developer. I saw the crunch times, the frequent layoffs, and general instability of the industry and decided it wasn't for me after all."
"Been doing work in various industries trying to find something I want to do for a living. Came to the conclusion that I will never like working."
"So I am settled in at an aerospace manufacturing plant that has been in operation since WWII and I can and probably will spend the rest of my working days here."
"I've decided that it's better for me to get my life's fulfillment from my hobbies and relationships instead of my work."
A Dream Made Ugly by Reality
"No. I was on the path to becoming a professor, and I don't regret leaving academia AT ALL. The pay is terrible, the requirements to achieve your dream can crush the soul out of you if you're not careful, and the chances of achieving actual job security grow dimmer by the day."
"There are some things I miss about it, but I really can't regret choosing a good paying, if somewhat more boring, office job that gives me security and disposable income to pursue my own hobbies and travel (before the pandemic, of course)."
All Those Bassoon Haters
"It was fine, but no one gives a sh** if you're a professional bassoonist and there really isn't enough paying work."
"I did it professionally for eight years before quitting to raise kids. Now I work in IT. If I had to do it over again I'd have just gotten a real job and not put so much time into an instrument that I don't like playing."
The Exact Right Amount of Time to Chase It
"Honestly turned out great. I realised my band wasn't going to get a record deal after a few years and then after playing for other peoples bands for a while it started to become less fun."
"I got a 'proper' job, started working on my career and used my new spare time to start playing rugby again. Now I've got a really good job in a sector I enjoy working in, married, kids, nice house all that stuff and I still play rugby on Saturdays (pre pandemic) to keep things a little different as well as keeping in shape."
"I don't really see it as giving up on my dream. It was just recognising that it wasn't going to happen. I'm very fond of that period of my life and having spent quite a few years chasing that particular dream I don't have any regrets or what-if's about being in a band."
Enjoying More Than One Thing
"I was an actor. I was doing ok at it, had a few tasty parts on tv. I'm a software engineer now."
"I don't regret making the decision to do something else more secure, I like writing software (probably more than I enjoyed acting in fairness). I regret seriously sucking at auditions for the last year or so of my acting career, I likely could've gone much further had I committed properly to it."
Allow Yourself to Grow
"Chased my dream, took decades, and did better than I thought I could. Stayed focused throughout. Thing is, I should have re-evaluated long ago. Turns out I was chasing the wrong dream."
"I regret not recognizing that the dream can and should change. If you blindly chase one dream, the finish line isn't necessarily fulfilling."
A Great Setup
"Came from a very traditional patriarch indian family. Pushed into finance made lots of money was utterly depressed. Found love, got married quickly, had 3 kids quickly."
"Became a stay at home dad as wife kicked a** in her field of work. Best career trade off ive made in my life. As i whip up the meanest batch of strawberry banana pancakes this AM :)"
Do Not Underestimate the Power of Lacking Worries
"18 months ago I left my mediocre career as a stuntman for more secure work as a DoD contractor. I'm now living life in Japan with a loaded bank account and my wife can focus on her writing."
"Although I miss performing stunts I now enjoy my day to day life without worrying about finances or health insurance."
A Tough Balance
"About 18 months ago I left my tertiary education in a creative field to take a job opportunity which I applied for, but never thought I would get. It was a paid traineeship with a guaranteed transition into six figure salary, which I will reach in March."
"My annual salary is about to be more than twice as much as I ever thought it would be for the rest of my life."
"But every day I go to work I fantasise about leaving and returning to my creative career. I'm still reckoning with how to balance my life and hopefully have the best of both worlds, but my attempts so far have been really challenging."
"Whether or not I'm capable of doing both is yet to be determined since my secure job absorbs so much of my energy."
"Wish me luck!"
Listen When the Second Thoughts Come
"It turned out just fine. I regret nothing."
"When I was an arrogant young man, convinced that I was smarter than everyone else and that intelligence alone would translate to professional success, I dreamt of becoming a CEO and making oodles of money."
"After a few years in corporate America, though, I realized that (1) being successful actually requires a lot more than just raw intelligence and (2) making lots of money in corporate America requires lots of shi**y personal and ethical sacrifices."
"I quit my job, traveled the world, and ended up moving (permanently?) to a foreign country. Five stars—highly recommended."
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Can you see Harry Potter at a football game in the Midwest? Chowing on a corn dog, throwing back some good ole Pepsi-Cola? Or can you picture the Harry universe living and loving in the great U. S of A? What would casting look like against the backdrop of the great harvest plains? I have so many thoughts and ideas. The first thought, the change would never work. Keep the story alive on British soil.
But, for fun, let's chat about the idea.
Redditor u/Cuish wanted all the Potter heads out there to share what American tweeks would occur in the Potterverse within America, by asking:
If Harry Potter was set in the United States, how would the story change?
I just can't see anyone else saying those words other than the people who did. And it's not that America can't do great fantasy, look at Buffy. Which also benefitted from the Brits. Coincidence?
Pay Upharry potter art GIFGiphy
"Quidditch coach is the highest paid "professor" at the school."
"Harry would probably live in New Jersey. Ron would probably live in Kentucky or Tennessee, and Hermione would probably be from California. They would go to ileverany (I spelled it wrong it's the North American wizard in school), which is in Massachusetts. There would be a train but only for people in Boston-New York-Philly-DC corridor. Everyone else would use flying cars. Outside of that it is a typical American boarding school."
"Airport terminal 9 and 3 quarters."
"Eagles instead of Owls. Sasquatch instead of Centaurs."
"We have owls though? Eagles would be more of a flex but like, owls would still work better as they fly night and day. OK. Eagles would be an option. The useless 1 miles per gallon of gas muscle car of the owl world. Americans are super obnoxious. We suck. I get it. Sorry. Lmao."
"Too conventional. Leave it to the Wizarding World to adopt the mythical Ben Franklin's turkey idea instead. Idk how the heck that'd work as a delivery service, mind you, but still."
RelicsHappy Harry Potter GIFGiphy
"The school would be a defunct military base because we don't have any incredibly old buildings, and the uniforms would be military style instead of robes. 'Murica."
Well those sound like some solid choices. Who doesn't love taco Tuesday? And why are sports always the first go to change?
Happy 5th!Happy Birthday Dancing GIFGiphy
"Taco Tuesdays at the Great Hall."
"And a freaking epic (but pointless) Cinco De Mayo party. For non Americans, it's mostly an excuse for Americans to drink on a Mexican holiday. It gets cringey. But hey, on other hand, tacos and margaritas."
"Nathan Fillion would've been cast as Guilderoy Lockhart."
"They would change 'philosopher's stone' to 'sorcerer's stone'."
"The editors wanted Rowling to change the name to "Sorcerers Stone" so that the readers would know the book is about magic, and not some philosopher with a theory about a stone and sends a random guy on a mission to find it. Most people that are not American underestimates an American's brain capacity. I'm American. We are not as stupid as you think."
The Drop Off
"No train ride to Hogwarts. Instead, parents will be dropping them off by car. A huge parking lot just outside Hogwarts, and instead of Diagon Alley, a large Wal-Mart exists surrounded by nothing more than another parking lot."
"It's hidden by being inside a Walmart parking lot. But when you reach the edge, almost to the building, muggles get all turned around and suddenly notice the Walmart was at the other side of the parking lot. This can repeat until the muggles either get inside a real Walmart, or go away."
Commercial GainFlying Harry Potter GIFGiphy
"This quidditch match is brought to you today on ESPN by Swiffer, the official broom of the Quidditch Cup."
"Quidditch in the old South West Conference was crazy… I remember when Texas A&M offered Eric Dickerson that gold Swiffer and he took it and rode it up to Dallas to sign his letter of intent with SMU."
Nothing here really seems necessary. It was fun to dabble in the thoughts though. Keep perfect as is.
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Life isn't as simple as one may think. It's not always easy to take a step back and look at the big picture, but when there's over seven billion people on the planet, there's no way things are as cut and dry as they seem.
Everyone's experiences are different going through life. We may not be able to see the complexities it if we haven't lived it ourselves.
So we went to Reddit because we wanted to see what's not as simple as people think it is.
Redditor Queasy_Researcher_27 asked:
"What's not as simple as people think?"
There's never a bad time to learn something new, so keep reading to get a different perspective on life.
Driving a bus.
"Driving a bus. It's very tiring focusing on the road for up to 10 hours a day and having to look in the mirror every 5 to 8 seconds while making sure all your passengers are safe and well on top of try to work out what other motorists are gonna do in front and behind you."
"Really, driving in general should be like this but most people ignore most of these aspects and that's why we get accidents involving inattentive drivers."
"Thank you for taking your job seriously, though. An inattentive bus driver would be phenomenally dangerous."
"Getting out of poverty. Especially if you're born into it."
"This. Very few people who haven't experienced poverty, understand how systemic it is in keeping people trapped in it."
"Even grocery shopping while broke is hard....more money you have the easier it is to take advantage of the offers and weekly/daily deals."
"Its not even as simple as being poor. I think finding comfort in poor is a huge part of it."
"I was raised middle class. And being able to go out to a nice restaurant without worry was one of many luxuries that are now nostalgic to me. And even when my family dropped all support and I had to work up from nothing again, I was never comfortable until I was back there again."
"On the flip side, I have no idea what it would be like to be rich rich. Like designer clothes, fancy cars, knowing-the-right-people parties. There's a 'lane' of upper-middle class-rich that Is foreign to me and I have absolutely no desire to push or work to get to that. I wouldn't know what to do with it if I did."
"I'm not saying that those that grow up poor are stuck that way or don't know how to get out of it or anything like that, but there's something so damn nice about what-you-know. I can imagine if all you know is being broke AF it would be so much harder."
Mental health matters.
"Getting out of depression."
"'Just be happy.' Yeah Mom, I like being sad all the time..."
"Relationships! I thought it was simple. You love someone, they love you, that's all you need. Ohh how wrong I was haha."
"Welcome to the club. It's even worse when you have to give up before you even get a chance to truly love the person. You just have to go on with life knowing that you wanted to and were willing. So yeah, relationships, don't recommended those lol."
"Same. I could never understand why my friends would brake and then get back together with there a**hole ex's after what they made them go through until I was in my own relationship and had my own a**hole ex."
Moving on from relationships.
"Moving on, even when you want to."
"There are relationships I've moved past, but doubt I will ever truly 100% get over. Years of time, therapy, meditation, burying myself in my career, hitting the gym and getting in the best shape of my life and even now these people occupy more mental real estate and influence how I go about making decisions."
"Hey man that's natural, it's just what makes us human. As long as people can embrace that it is easier to understand and deal with."
"Relationships form the strongest memories, so it's natural for them to always be there and pop up when you least expect it."
This effects the last two.
"None of us are ready to talk about this one bud."
"Learn English, it's super painful because it isn't consistent and [doesn't] make any sense most of the time (at least for a Spanish speaker)."
"It's worse for someone from a language like Russian, since you have to figure out what the hell an article is and how to use it (Slavic languages don't have them). My wife has been living in the US for 10 years and still routinely messes them up."
"There's also the inconsistency between when to add an S to a word. For nouns it's when they're plural. But for verbs it's when they're singular (third person)."
"And the TH sound can be very difficult for someone who is an adult to master, since vocal cords harden with age to your preferred language."
"Making a movie, it takes hundreds of people to make a film and most of them actually put effort and care into the project."
"I went to a filmmaking summer camp for 2 weeks. While was SUPER fun, it took a lot of effort to put the movie together and I learned just how long it takes to really make a movie."
"Same goes for making games, hundreds of people sometimes who all care very much for the product they produce, however chewed up it gets by publishers."
Making friends as an adult.
"Making new friends as adults."
"Yeah this is me. When i was a kid I was just able to approach someone without thinking too much of it, I'd consider anyone I've talked to as a friend. Idk what age hit me when i realized that we're just acquaintances. Now I just can't go up to someone and make a conversation without an intention, and you also have to feel what that person is thinking. Maybe its just me overthinking this."
Though these things are not as simple as they seem, we are all going through life together. At some point or another, we may find that we need to walk a mile in someone else's shoes to really understand the difficulty of the situation.
Variety is the spice of life. Without the difficulties and challenges that come along the way, life would be pretty boring.
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Double standards are something we all live with and, quite likely, find extremely annoying. Things like men being expected to hide their emotions—or not have them at all—or women being expected to stay home and support a couple's children, everyone is generally harmed by double standards.
This is especially true when the double standard isn't clear until someone violates it and then has to deal with anger, ridicule, or sometimes even violence as a result.
Content Note: this article mentions suicide and sexual assault, reader discretion advised.
Reddit user RichPesaventoum asked folks on AskReddit:
Politicians aren't perfect, even the ones you like.
"Ignoring character flaws in politicians you support while demonizing ones you disagree with over the same thing and similar flaws."
"I hate when people assume that because you are in support of a certain party that you blindly agree with every policy, every speech, everything they do. It shouldn't be that way. We're allowed to be displeased or hate things and yet still support the majority of what they do, or at least see them as the better candidate."
It's normal for guys to like kids too.
"That guys that like kids are pervs but women can love kids. I am a dad to a 3 year old girl and think kids are a ton of fun, but society thinks if I like kids I am a perv or something."
"I had trouble with this when mine were young. Some parents would totally trust me with their kids for a play date when my wife was somewhere, so I assumed other parents would too and got answered with awkward silence."
"Kind of nice to have high schoolers now instead."
So should I care, or...?
"Parents: You need to stop what caring what other people think about you!"
"Parents: Look at you! Imagine what other people must think about you!"
"'why don't you come out of your room and talk to people?'"
"'Look who finally decided to show up!' Tells another embarrassing and degrading story about you"
Everyone deserves rest.
"That poor people are basically not allowed leisure. The scion of some billionaire industrialist can lounge around all day, throw parties and wreck fancy cars and everyone is just sort of okay with that. A poor person wants to sit down for a second, and out everyone comes, pitchforks and torches in hand, demanding they surrender the right to free food for their children or whatever."
"The upper-class advice for struggling people is always 'just give up everything that keeps you from blowing your brains out, and work harder for me'."
"At some point, even luxuries can be a necessity."
Assault is assault, regardless of gender or sex.
"Celebrating teenage boys being sexually abused by an attractive older woman. It's statutory rape, but there will always be scores of men saying things like 'wish that happened to me when I was his age' or similar statements."
"I'd go further, that double standard is part of a larger more inherent double standard."
"Male sexual assault, rape, and victimization being treated as a joke (often times literally if you watch enough tv or movies) if the aggressor is a woman. Underage boys being victimized is terrible don't misunderstand but it's a fundamental part of the wider double standards that enable it."
Girls need armor too.
"Games with male characters in practical armor and female characters in armor-colored lingerie."
"Yes, yes, I know, oversized bosoms draw a lot of male attention. But it's a huge red flag that women aren't part of the target audience."
Just don't hit people.
"'No man should ever hit a woman but if a woman hits a man then obviously he must have done something to deserve it'. Abuse is abuse and nobody deserves it."
It's irritating when you do it, too.
"Hating certain behaviors in someone else but making excuses for the same or similar behavior in yourself."
Greed is always a character flaw, no matter how much money you have.
"Being greedy is seen as a character flaw, but being a billionaire is seen as a great accomplishment."
"Such is the great contradiction of a society that is obviously built to reward selfishness but shames people for being selfish. It's almost like that messaging exists to keep the poors in their place."
"The right people get to be selfish, you don't."
Everyone has emotions.
"Probably that it is okay for a woman to be emotional, but if a man does it he needs to 'man up'. Drives me slightly insane."
"Unless that emotion is anger, then it’s reversed."
Double standards hurt everyone. It can be hard to notice them if you're on the side that benefits from them, though. If you take a look at your own life, you might be surprised to see how many double standards we're all affected by every day.
They say one man's trash is another man's treasure - and sometimes that saying is pretty literal.
Lots of people build entire businesses picking up cool stuff on bulk-pickup trash day, and upcycling it into something even better that people are willing to pay for.
Sometimes, you might even end up with something pristine and usable right away.
Reddit user JampackedAlborn1976 asked:
And for real ... some of these people scored BIG TIME. Like big time. Like really big.
Like Refrigerator Bigjust ask leslie jones GIF by Saturday Night Live Giphy
"Our current refrigerator is a double-door one with exterior ice and water dispensers. We got it for free, with absolutely no problems whatsoever. It's just a few years old."
"How we got it? My dad (civil engineer) was doing some work on someone's apartment when they said they had bought a new modern French door refrigerator and that they were just going to discard their current refrigerator."
"My dad simply asked if he could have it.. and they said yes." - SauloJr
Immigrants In ActionDog Brazil GIF Giphy
"I immigrated to the US from Brazil when I was 12. And every Saturday, my mom, stepdad, sister and I would go out at night to upper middle class neighborhoods the day before trash pickup to rummage through the garbage they were putting out."
"We found perfectly good TVs, VCRs, microwaves, couches, lazy boys, tables, books and comics, etc."
"I couldn't believe these Americans were throwing out like that. We furnished our entire house with that stuff. The entire Brazilian immigrant community in my town did it. We were flabbergasted." - PhillipLlerenas
With A NoteTelevision Bunny GIF Giphy
"My wife yelled at me that someone put a big TV outside with a note on it. Walked across the street and it was a brand new Samsung 37 inch HDTV."
"They were actually renovating the apartment building and got an upgraded TV. Even had the remote taped to it with batteries, I guess I have really nice neighbors here in NYC." - MadLintElf
Life Hack!studying busy philipps GIF by Drunk History Giphy
"If you want high end stuff out of the garbage for free, follow these steps:"
"Pick a city with a large university in it. If it's a school well known for its law programs, or medical, or engineering, all the better."
"Search for luxury apartment complexes that market themselves towards students. Look for things like included shuttle service, pools, fitness centers, etc. The more expensive and swanky the better."
"Figure out when finals week is at the end of Spring semester."
"Dumpster dive at those luxury apartment complexes during that week and the following weekend."
"Very wealthy international students will arrive in the US, fully outfit an apartment with nice furniture, big TVs, audio systems, gaming consoles, you name it, and when the semester ends they just junk it all because they aren't going to fly it back to wherever, and it's too much effort to spend the time selling when they do not care about the money."
"It's a smaller scale phenomenon a little like all the luxury cars abandoned at the airport in Dubai." - whattothewhonow
Literal Gold Treasurevalley of the boom david kim stanley GIF by National Geographic Channel Giphy
"I found a gold coin at goodwill for 5 bucks. It was in a case with someone's name and company name."
"It was their gift from the company for retiring. I assume the family threw it out when he died not knowing it was solid gold. It was in a in a thick solid plastic case that had to be cracked opened."
"It literally said 1 oz fine gold on it. I figured 5 bucks was worth the risk it not being real."
"It was a South African KRUGERRAND 1 oz coin. Everyone was just too busy to read it lol."
"Bought it and took it too a pawn shop and sold it for a couple grand." - streetmitch
The Best Day Of My LifeWill Smith Wow GIF by 1LIVE Giphy
"When I was a kid, I grew up right outside the Los Angeles area in the suburbs. My stepdad was a garbage truck driver for the city of Beverly Hills."
"I swear in the late 80s and early 90s we'd have so much basically brand new stuff (still in boxes) brought home on a regular basis."
"I'll never forget one day in particular. My stepdad came home and was like 'get ready, come to the car, I'll need your help.' So I go down there and in back seat of his car he had a few large black garbage bags."
"We haul them up to our apartment and he's like 'go ahead, open them.' Inside was what I could only describe as an 80s kids trove of treasures."
"One bag contained just about every Ghostbusters and GI joe toy you can imagine, they were played with but had every little accessory, there was a bunch the playsets and everything."
"In the other bag was pretty much every LEGO of the early 80s sets, still in their original boxes. I was a big LEGO nerd but was totally thrown off by the old school space ones because they looked nothing like the 90s space sets. I think they even said "NASA" the minifig's chests."
"That was like a random day in July, it felt like Christmas. I was 9 years old and it was basically like the best day of my life up to that point." - Zombgief
Who Throws Away Money?spongebob squarepants money GIF Giphy
"A jar full of quarters."
"Annual spring cleaning projects happen in a lot of towns where anyone can put almost anything on the curb and it's taken away for free. It's to stop open dumping or stuff being dumped in ditches."
"Sometimes people deal with estates from winter by just dumping all their grandfather's stuff on the curb for the cleanup to get the house empty immediately. Most often they don't even bother to look at what they are throwing away."
"In 2012 on north road in Akwesasne I found an estate pile that I shuttled back and forth with my bike trailer getting lots of older tools like a scythe, hammers, saws, screwdrivers and wrenches, a 22 rifle with 100 round of ammo, a bunch of ar15 magazines, cast iron cookware, oil lamps, a hand crank food mill with all kinds of accessories, a black raven axe head (worth $100 easily since they are a collectable), and a quart size mason jar full of change mostly quarters."
"That was spring and the sheriffs office did a gun buyback in the fall where I took the mags and got $20 each for them (30 round mags suddenly illegal under the safe act of fall 2012. The buyback was a local political move). I still got the 22 and picked off a lot of woodchuck with it in my gardens." - Bogtrotterso1980
Filing FeverFiles Workload GIF Giphy
"I own a small company which is located directly in front of a state funded program facility. The state decided to have this office shred all of their files as they were going to switch to electronic data (exclusively)."
"We found two of these old rotary filing cabinets outside of their office. They're worth almost $3k each!"
"They just placed them there and we saw them and asked what they planned on doing with them. They said, 'Hmmm.....either donate them or trash them.' The state told them simply to get rid of them."
"We jumped at this and took the two into our already tiny office because there was no way in hell that we were going to let these gems go. (We do use paper files, unfortunately)."
"They wanted to give us two smaller ones but seriously, our office is very small. I made some phone calls and they were picked up immediately by other office workers/friends." - GlitzBlitz
This Sucks - In A Good Way!mrs doubtfire vacuum GIF Giphy
"In the 1990s my moms work had a really nice high end Hoover that stopped working. They threw it out."
"My mom took it home because my dad tinkers and repairs things easily. Turns out since it was a bagged vacuum all the dummies had to do is REPLACE THE BAG."
"Like it never occurred to them to do the most easy and basic step. My parents were excited to have a really upgraded vacuum. Maybe like $500ish." - schweddyboobs
Tiffany's TrashAudrey Hepburn Movie GIF by The Good Films Giphy
"My dad found an old stained glass window laying out by someone's trash. He thought it would look cool hanging in our cabin, so he stopped and grabbed it."
"It sat in our garage for a few years before he looked at it more closely and found "Tiffany and Co." branding on it. He got in touch with some stained glass window dude who figured it was worth about $40k fully restored, so my dad sold it to him for somewhere around $30k." - throwaway_stopdrink
Have you had any awesomely trashtastic treasures? Let us know!