Deciding to chase a dream is the moment you decide you want a very particular kind of ice cream. And you go to the store, and you can’t find it, so you ask the sales clerk, and they’re all, “We don’t have that type of ice cream here.” Then you’re like, “BUT I NEEED IT.”
You can’t explain why, but you are wholly and utterly incapable of changing your mind. You want your ice cream, and you’ll sooner be in Antarctica on an ice cream farm before you give up your quest. (I’m pretty sure Antarctica Ice Cream Farms is where we get ice cream. I’m at least 2% sure.)
So you frown at the clerk, stomp out of the store, and go to the Freezie Something Store down the street. You demand your ice cream.
“Ooooh, sorry,” says the Scooper Gentlefolk. “It’s going to cost you a twelve-billion dollar education and divine inspiration and the left half of your soul to get that kind of ice cream. Are you sure you don’t just want lemon?”
BUT WILL THAT STOP YOU? No. No it won’t. Because your taste buds are on a mission. And you will not be satisfied with anything less.
What next, though? Do you go into student-loan debt? Do you say goodbye to that other half of your soul? Do you search the skies for the flowing cloak of the Almighty Muse? Do you throw a slushy at the Freezie Something Store and stalk off to find another establishment that sells The Ice Cream flavor you desire?
I can’t really answer that. Because people acquire The Ice Cream in different ways. They go to schools, they learn by experience, they dive into a baptismal fire (because The Ice Cream can’t melt, because it’s frozen by the power of indestructible analogies), they wing it, they work hard for their education, or all of the above. Some people need the sit-down education, and some people wake up after a lifelong career, sit down, and the Ice Cream magically appears before them. Everyone is different, and everyone’s path will be different, too.
No matter when your lifelong mission started (millenia ago, at birth, in 3rd Grade English when Teacher handed back your first A+ test, yesterday at the flea market when you found that very strange object, today when you suddenly began craving frozen Antarctic products, or tomorrow when a stray idea wanders into your home like a housebreaker (but for some reason, you invite trouble to stay, because why not?)), don’t give up.
Because after all that hard work? That ice cream will taste pretty freakin’ fantastic.