California Dreamin’

When I was 18, I would look up at the stars and fantasize about getting out of my small town and making it big. I was a dreamer, and I believed I was destined for greatness. I imagined that I could be on Broadway or be a movie star if only I could find my way to the city and try real hard.

But when I moved to Hollywood, I was immediately put in my place. Amidst the fierce competition, I realized that I was not a star, but a speck of dust in an infinite galaxy. There was an endless supply of beautiful, talented, and resourceful women fighting for the same roles, and I was not special. That didn’t stop me from trying, but after seven years and no big break, it seemed that the only thing I was destined for was poverty.

In order to pursue my dreams, I had sacrificed both my well-being and my finances, and I had closed myself off from developing other career prospects. Most of the time I spent trying to “make it” was consumed by trying not to starve, and I was quickly becoming too old by Hollywood standards. By the time I was 28, I knew it was too late. I left LA and those dreams behind to start a new life in San Francisco.

It was not an easy transition. It required months of introspection with a healthy dose of self-compassion before I could truly let go of my childhood dreams and come to terms with my new reality. It felt like a part of me had died, and the only way forward was to take the time to grieve the version of myself I thought I was meant to be.

Then one day I woke up and noticed this vibrant city, full of possibility, and I looked up at the foggy SF sky to daydream about my future. But this time, I created dreams that were rooted in self-awareness and purpose. My dreams were no longer motivated by egotistical desire, but by a need to contribute something meaningful to the world.

That was almost 10 years ago, and my dreams haven’t changed much since then. I still want to make it big in California, but my vision of success is no longer defined by money, fame, or outward validation. My dream now is simply to create art that inspires others to realize their potential and live authentically. I want to keep finding ways to bring greater depth, honesty, and beauty to my work and hope that I can continue to pursue my creative life in one of the most inspiring and dreamy places on earth.

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