Posted in Goals

Following Dreams

“Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not cliches but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path. ” -Phillip Sweet

I have spent my entire life looking up to my older cousin.  He’s always had such big dreams and has done so much to accomplish them even when the world seemed like it was against him.  He’s always seemed so sure of himself and the things he wanted.  I’ve always wished I could be more like him.

My cousin always wanted to be a musician.  He loves music and was always very good at it.  He can pick up an instrument and learn to play in no time at all.  When he was young, our family thought it was cute and supported his love of music.  As we grew up, that changed.  We were both outcasts in our family because my grandmother considered us “not country enough.”  He never seemed bothered by this even though it tore me apart.

Around the time he was in high school, he grew his hair long and formed a heavy metal band with some friends.  He took it very seriously, and they played lots of shows.  He was happy and getting to do what he loved, but our family made fun of him for it.  They told him it was just a fad to cut his hair and grow up, and that he sounded like Nickelback (it made no sense that had a screamer in the band and it was a different type of music altogether).  I think he may have taken it more as a challenge because he just threw himself into his music even harder.

After he was out of school, he took a lot of crappy jobs.  He put his music first and that meant he needed off for shows.  When a place wouldn’t let him off he’d quit.  I mean it’s not the best thing to do, but it was his life and he knew what he wanted to do with it.  At some point, his band broke up after going through lots of different stages.  We all thought he’d quit music after that.  Our family gave him a hard time about not having good jobs and changing jobs so much and for wasting so much time on a music career that they didn’t believe would go anywhere.

He started doing music solo and posting videos on YouTube.  He did some covers and some originals.  It didn’t really take off too much.  He started settling more into his life.  He got a more serious job and worked his way up to manager.  He also had a health issue for a while.  His music took a backseat for a while.  Our family finally thought they had won that he’d just quit.

He started playing again and posting videos.  He played shows solo and recorded his music at a studio.  He actually sells his singles on music websites like Itunes.  He has a small following.  He always believed in himself through all this he even got his own lyrics as a tattoo.

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” ― Maya Angelou

This may not seem like his dreams came true because he’s not a rich rock-star, but he is living his dream in a way.  He’s happy, and he’s doing what he loves.   He’s working to get his music out there.  He has so much confidence and drive.  He never let anything or anyone stand in the way of his dreams.  I feel like people should fight for their dreams in this way and do what they love.  I know that I wish I could accomplish even parts of my dreams like he has.

-Love, Dee