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People Who 'Followed Their Dreams' Explain How It Worked Out For Them

The long road to the Mountaintop!!

What is a dream? You can't trade your dream in for another one. Those are the immortal words of the glorious Viola Davis. They were part of her speech for her SAG Award win. And Viola is always right.

Dreams are a necessary contribution to life. We can't control them, often they tend to control us. Our hopes for our lives effortlessly without thought meld into what feels like a destiny, so of course we have to chase them to the bitter end, and it can be a very.... bitter end for many. Dreams aren't easy to attain. It seems unfair. When one has a calling, their should be a blueprint on how to get to it. So this makes "the chase" quite a ride.

Redditor u/Un13roken wanted everyone to share about the ups and downs, successes and failures of chasing that elusive life "dream" by asking.... To those who 'followed you dreams', where are you now?

I'm Out

the good wife fight GIF by CBS All AccessGiphy

Dreamed of becoming lawyer, hated it, now in the process of changing careers. Been a lawyer for about 3 years. Prosecuted for the first two before jumping ship and doing 3rd party now. I am kind of lucky and didn't go into debt during undergrad/law school (GI Bill) its just a grind and I'm not happy so figure why not.


Canine Bond

During the day I walk dogs. I get paid money to hang out with dogs. I also get a fair amount of light exercise every day. I get to listen to music or podcasts or audiobooks while getting paid. I'm my own boss all day. I wake up when I want to. Dogs love me because they know I'm the guy coming to play and give treats. And at nighttime I deliver pizza. So I just show up to peoples houses and get cash for driving around listening to more music or podcasts or whatever. It's a great paying gig. And adults and children alike love when I come to the door. Because I'm the guy who gives treats.

It's a cycle of rewarding behaviors.

Edit: I should also note that the pizza gig has gotten me a few dog gigs because I'll meet their dog at the door or know how to handle it when it comes out barking at me and then offer my services. The dog usually loves me immediately because I smell like pizza. It's a win-win.


Walmart came for me....

I started a business, sold it to Walmart, and now I'm 33 and retired.

Started my business with $2k from a scholarship while in college, and at the time my mom said, "don't do it, that's too much money!"

Side note: we've always lived below the poverty line.

Made $869k in the first year, then exponentially grew from there. Then I guess Walmart thought I was encroaching on their space and bought me out.

Bought my mom a house and car and retired her as well. :)


Extreme Success

like a boss win GIFGiphy

I didn't follow anything, but I have a family member who moved out to Hollywood from the Midwest on a whim, with the dream of becoming a stunt man, and is now a highly successful stuntman, and the richest person in our extended family by a massive margin.

So uh, follow your dreams I guess?


"screw it, this is my life not theirs" 

For awhile I tried pursuing a number of career paths my parents deemed appropriate (aka super profitable), including legal and IT but I got burned out very easily and my heart wasn't in it. Was very depressed and uninterested in what I was doing.

Finally said "screw it, this is my life not theirs" and found a job that has more creative freedom. Definitely don't regret it. Doesn't pay as well as the jobs my parents wanted me to have, but I have less stress and more energy these days to pursue my interests and hobbies.

It's not my dream job but I make enough to pay all the bills and save a little each month, plus comes with health benefits.

Best piece of advice I ever got: if you are lucky enough to find a job that you get fulfillment and joy out of, that's great. There's also nothing wrong with getting a job that maybe isn't exciting but gives you enough financial security to be happy and keep following your dreams.


Always Chasing....

I remember being told when I was younger that I wasn't expected to be able to live independently (I have Aspergers). I live to prove that sentiment wrong: living an independent life is one step of my dream, with subsequent steps to become fulfilled.

Had some close calls over the years – almost ended up homeless twice – and suffered with a lot of mental illness. Worked a lot of crap jobs within the food industry, had a few failed relationships.

I've yet to find the fulfillment I am looking for, but for the first time in my adult life it feels reachable and realistic.

Now I'm chasing some sort of job in agriculture or horticulture. I've volunteered at a produce garden for just over a year now and being out in the open, amongst nature, makes me feel great.


Everyday Drag

I went through two tragedies... I lost my sister (she was murdered by her husband in front of me) and two weeks later, I lost my 5 month old son to SIDS; so I decided to pick myself up and follow my dream of wrenching. Went to college for it and everything! First worked on light duty vehicles, in a shop that I barely made any money and hated it.

Went onto being a diesel mechanic and currently am in a position of which everyone hates me (presumably because I'm still new, and I'm a woman in man's world) at my workplace, and I have no respect. Currently looking into finding a new career path to live out my true dream, of a happy, adventurous life with my SO and my dogs! Still employed, but everyday is a drag, because everything I do is scrutinized.


PR Fail

never mind GIF by Scout DurwoodGiphy

My dream was to grow up have a stable marriage and raise kids. While I do enjoy my job and I've successfully moved from one career to the next a few times I wouldn't say it was my "dream".

One of the saddest things to me is seeing people I worked with in advertising being so angry and feeling betrayed that that industry didn't take care of them. It is one of the crappiest most amoral businesses you can conceive of and yet apparently there are people who "dream" of working in it.


Go Seahawks! 

I'm still young and trying to figure out what the hell I wanna do with my life but my cousin tried chasing an NFL contract, and actually landed one. He plays for the Seattle Seahawks now.


Just pick something obtainable and go for it. Don't over-think it. If you're young, you can always change course later.


Truth = Power

Happy Yes It Is GIFGiphy

"Follow your dream!" is not good advice. "Follow your dream by learning as much about the process of becoming a success as you can so you don't become a failure!" is far, far better advice.


and I still play games.....

Living with my gamer wife in my own house with 3 cats and a sweet gaming pc. My dream was always to continue gaming online and working as little as possible. Family always saying to get a job and go out and find a GF but I didn't really enjoy clubs or pubs etc. Few years back I asked someone in my guild if she liked me and she said yes.

This got me to get a job and what was originally just something to get money turned out to be an awesome job and now she is living with me and are 1 year married. My dream wasn't something spectacular but my dream of gaming online turned into something awesome... and I still play games.


Not so Great

Season 5 Whatever GIF by CBS All AccessGiphy

Sister got into her favorite college, moved to her favorite city, working at a job she always talked about growing up.

Honestly, I don't envy her at all. It broke her mentally and financially.


Starting Over

Dreamed of moving to Europe and starting over. I was really shy growing up, and wanted to move to a new country and reinvent myself. To some extent, I did. I moved to Germany, did a year at a Studienkolleg, which was essentially a preparatory course that got me used to the school system and taught me German, and now I'm applying to Uni. I essentially went from incredibly introverted to incredibly extroverted.

I went from the guy that would stay in on a Friday night to study for an upcoming exam to one that would book a joyride to Berlin on a whim and end up waking up in the wrong hostel. It was definitely a good decision, because I can decide things for myself now. I'm actually independent, for better or worse.


be creative

I finally published a number of fiction novels and still working EMS. I love emergency medicine. Being able to help people as well as share my creativity and stories is pretty amazing. I'm glad I chased what I wanted.



Wanted to be a teacher and make a difference. Now 2 years out of teaching, unemployed, getting over a drinking problem and have massive social anxiety. Teaching broke me and now I just want to be left alone. Some dream, huh?


The Stage

daveed diggs hamilton GIFGiphy

I'm currently (well before Covid) performing on cruise ship as a dancer on huge scale shows! It's amazing that I get to do the thing in life that I'm most passionate about and travel across Europe all while getting paid for it. It's also great that I don't have to house in the UK as my contracts are normally 4 months on 2 months off (I stay with my parents or rent when I'm off)! I'm living out my childhood dream and I'm also recording self tapes for west end shows!



My first dream was to be married to someone who challenges me to do better every day.

Married now, and don't need a job now because my husband has a well enough paying job so now I can work on my mental health while getting my crafting business off the ground and not worry about paying bills,



I invested my savings and retirement into starting a company, made a massive deposit with an Indian manufacturer, they developed and produced my product...

Now they won't send it to me because they are mad I got mad they wouldn't send it to me so now they won't send it. They sent a hundred boxes (only) and photos so yes the product exists and is ready to ship. Of course they want more money which I don't owe them.

How can I owe/pay them more money if I can't sell the THOUSANDS OF BOXES of product they refuse to send me?!!? They are being fools out of spite because I got mad they were being uncooperative... because they messed up prior shipments too (samples delayed for months, he ghosted me for two weeks, constant lying...)

Yes. So now everything lays around me in tatters and... WTF am I supposed to do?


Things that Sparkle....

I dreamed of being a jeweler since i was 16... I became One. But i am One of those people, who hate to sell... I love making, creating, sometimes getting peoples dreams come true. But i hate and even physically can't do marketing if selling... For The past 8years i managed to survive in that. I could feed myself and pay my bills. But that was that... Finally Covid hit, I got dumped in two months unpaid holidays with no savings.

And i made up my mind. Į found myself some simple, medium wage computer job from home, working 2 twelve hour days and getting 2 days off. I'm gonna keep jewelry as a hobby, put more time for my other art projects and just survive on a stable salary. Flipped my life in the past month... Panic attacks stopped, so I'm fine now and will see where ill end up. Art is almost never a good carrier plan, but is perfect hobby.


Catching babies....

baby documentary GIF by SundanceNOW DocClubGiphy

I followed my dreams to become a midwife. Now I'm entering my second year of school and I'll be catching babies this winter. It hasn't been easy and the program is tough. I can't believe I made it this far. The hardest part is the school admission. The program is cutthroat and really competitive.



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People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.