Sometimes Dreams Do Have to Die

Follow your dreams

Follow your dreams.

Find your bliss.

Follow your heart and your dreams will come true.

When you wish upon a star, well, you get my drift.

We’ve all heard them, heck, I bet most of us have said them.  Those wonderful platitudes.


a remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful.

I love platitudes, because despite what the definition says, obviously at some point they have been true, and repeated often enough as true, to become annoyances in our lives.  So, they were and are true, and I shall continue to utilize them!


But what happens where there isn’t an easy answer, where there isn’t a platitude you can pull out?

What happens when you realized that sometimes, dreams do have to die?

What happens at that moment when you realize that you’ve given it all you have and there just isn’t anything left to give?

How do you cope with the overwhelming loss of your dream? How do you even begin to move forward after investing years and years of time and energy? What happens in that moment when you realize that the dream isn’t going to come true?

Where is the platitude for that?

que sera sera

Oh look, there’s the platitude for that.

But does it cover the loss?

Probably not.

See this this is where dreams go to die

I have a dream that I realized, I have to let die.  You probably guessed this by now!

And, I’m not going to lie, when the proverbial light bulb went off over my head as the realization struck me like lightening, it was a shot to my heart.

I wanted to double over and cry.  I didn’t want it to be true.  I stood there, in front of the dryer folding laundry, because naturally, that’s where the epiphany had to hit, and I was floundering. What was I supposed to do? What do you do when dreams die? Have I really given it all I’ve got? Do I have to let it die? Maybe it’s not dead yet.  Maybe there is more I can do.

And as I stood there matching up socks, it also hit me.

This isn't giving up this is letting go

Sometimes there isn’t more you can do.  Sometimes, dreams really do have to die.

And, it’s okay.

It’s okay to realize that the dream you had so many years ago isn’t the right dream for you today.  That, by letting this dream die, you are making room for a new dream to enter your life.

And just like in a sitcom, the crises is had and averted in about the time it takes to fold a load of laundry.  It’s okay to let go.  Sometimes dreams do have to die; however, it could just be making room for something bigger and better.

Or, it could just be leaving.

There isn’t always a bigger and better waiting for you.

Just FYI.

In this moment, I’m okay with that, too.

letting-go Joseph Campbell

52 thoughts on “Sometimes Dreams Do Have to Die

  1. Maybe the dream was suppose to stay with you to keep you pushing forward? And maybe you came to this point, not because it died but because it was time to turn the corner. Maybe it was your intuition (that confused feeling where you felt it die) telling you that something else wonderful is ready for you?

    I read something one time about how we try to move from point A to Point D (or whatever letter). And then as we move through life, we see points B and C. We wouldn’t have known about B or C because we they weren’t there in our life and maybe didn’t even know those options existed. But to get to B or C we have to change course. It’s no longer a straight line to Point D but a sharp right hand turn to Point B.

    That’s my thoughts on what happened … you discovered your new points and now you’re going in that direction 🙂

    • I like your thoughts! And I like the idea, and am going to totally believe, the fact that the dream stayed with me to keep pushing me forward. It did motivate me, there were so many times my actions were based on it – and (now) I can see how it helped shaped me, how it helped me grow.

      And, as I’ve been thinking on it, I know I said that the dream has to die – and that seems like such a harsh word, but it was the word that fit, it feels like the right analogy. Having said that, in my reality, I picture a big tree and the leaves fall off and die, they land on the ground and are recycled, turned into compost to help fertilize something else. So, I’m sure it’s part of the cycle, and while it seems so harsh, it feels good knowing that dream can move on, and so can I! I can now see points B and C! 🙂
      Thank you Penney!

    • That’s a good point – and I have been working on being more in the Now, and I’m finding that it takes some courage to let go sometimes, and I’m stronger than I thought! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts – I love the idea of using the energy of the dream, that’s right up my alley!

  2. My head is spinning with comments and thoughts. I had a moment of near tears as I read this… WOW! What a moment, what an epiphany. Thank you for sharing and for making the universe a better place at the same time!

    • Thank you ortsofsorts! I’m glad I touched your heart and yes, it was an amazing journey to happen in such a short amount of time – which makes me think that the truth was staring me in the face and I’ve been avoiding it! But, yes, even a few days later, I still feel good about it!

  3. I don’t know what exactly were you talking about here but I did get the sense, the post started with you being confused and frustrated too maybe but then as you wrote all of it, everything unfolded and you kinda had the closure. Maybe closure isn’t the right word but you figured it out, how to deal with it?. So all I can do is send you virtual hugs !
    Hope everything works out for you Kate. Wishing you love,
    Zee ❤

  4. You know, Kate, this really touched me today. I have been thinking about this and how we can allow such a sense of failure to enter our lives when a “big dream” does not come true. Acceptance enables the energy to shift and allows us to move along- unburdened. Your words helped me to unburden.

    • I’m so glad you let me know how it helped! Everyone close in my life had the same reaction ‘how can I help so that the dream doesn’t die?’, but really, I’m totally okay if it dies – because I can see past it. I can see that there are possibilities, I can see that the dream may have been carrying me forward but wasn’t meant to be realized, I can see that there isn’t always failure to be associated with it!
      I’m so glad that you are unburdening your self! And I know that you have wonderful and supportive people in your life to be there as you make room for something new!

  5. I know I’ve had those moments, but wow, reading this I took a deep breath, sometimes knowing and accepting and really different things. Wonderful post Kate, I hope you dream new dreams, and remember: “Life is mostly froth and bubble, Two things stand like stone, Kindness in another’s trouble, Courage in your own.”~Adam Lindsay Gordon I think you got this covered. 🙂

    • First off, I love that quote and it shall become part of my mantra! It’s actually kinda perfect for my life right now! And secondly, I’m so glad that it made you take a deep breath, that’s the highest compliment! Thank you so very much!

  6. That’s an amazing place to come to. It reminds me of the platitude about God not being able to give you something new if your hands are full of something old. I used that once with a friend. I had her hold onto salt and pepper shakers then tried to give her something else, but she couldn’t take it because her hands were occupied with the salt and pepper. It became an ongoing joke with the two of us – “Just put down the salt!!”

  7. This really connected with me today Kate. I am dealing with some things similar to you. But I don’t know that dreams have to die, I think they can just evolve. If it is really a dream, then there are other ways to make it happen even if it isn’t exactly what you originally planned. Either way, I am happy you feel at peace with it though. xo

    • Thanks Kerry! Actually my mom called me right off “What can I do to help so that your dream doesn’t die”, but really, I think I am at peace with it. And, while die is a harsh word, a very final word, I do agree that a lot of times, when we are letting go, we are really evolving. Just like I picture with the thoughts in my monkey brain, like leaves on a tree, it gets to float down and become compost, to be recycled into something better. It gets to evolve – I get to evolve.
      So, I’m sending you good energy as you are dealing with your evolution, and I have faith that you will find peace and make the right decision!

  8. Hugs! Some dreams are meant to be just dreams! Who knows there were our dreams for a reason? Maybe to drive us to work harder so that when we get there, we realize our real goal was really something else and that dream was just a vehicle so we can realize the new one? Am I making sense? Blah.
    If I were to follow my dreams right now, it will lead me to that bar at the next building! 🙂

    • Okay, this was actually brilliant Jhanis… that the dreams could just be a vehicle to get me to a new place – where I can then have the epiphany that it’s time for a new dream! Seriously, you deserve to have walked across the street for a drink! And, not that I’m surprised that you came up with such a deep and wonderful thought! 🙂

  9. Sometimes I think dreams need to change completely. Often when we first have a dream, we haven’t fully thought it out. But that’s what makes them dreams. While it’s sad to let one go sometimes, it can mean that there’s another bigger and brighter option out there. 🙂

  10. Many dreams are born when we are young and immature. As we mature, we may outgrow some of our dreams (and our jeans). Then, as you’ve done, it’s good to let them go and create a better fitting dream to take its place. Good luck!

  11. NotAPunkRocker says:

    (((MAJOR HUGS)))) to you my friend. I am sorry that it came to you like that, but I am also glad you see this as an answer and a way to plan for new dreams. ❤

  12. Phew…this one knocked the wind out of me because of the many big decisions I’m currently facing. Holding onto ‘stuff’ (whether it’s actual physical stuff, or dreams, or a current path I’m walking) is often so much easier than letting go and going after that new, uncharted territory.

    “That, by letting this dream die, you are making room for a new dream to enter your life.” This line delivered a wallop. Thank you.

    • I have goosebumps – I’m just so thrilled and honored that it touched you! I was very in-the-moment when I wrote it and sometimes that can be very self-centered, so it’s good to know that we have each other for support as we let go! 🙂

  13. Such powerful words Kate! I’m with you on this. And that other platitude is also true you know 😉 The “When one door shuts, another door opens”. So whatever this dream of yours may be, another one perhaps is in the offing and will be a reality soon 🙂 Besides, you’ve got so many friends to back you up 😉

    • Thank you Dean! And I do love that platitude! And I really am exciting about the possibilities that are out there – which is amazing coming from me, cause usually the unknown scares me, but I’m feeling really good! Plus, It is amazing how much I’m willing to do and risk knowing I have you and so many other friends there supporting me!

    • Thank you for seeing as a cathartic post! That really was what I was feeling… my life has been changing and I’ve been de-cluttering and cleansing, and I think this is just part of that whole evolution!
      And I did feel better after I wrote it!

  14. Interesting post Kate. Of course, I’m curious what the dream was but that’s not the point here.
    I like the serious turn here. I think you are right in much of what you say including that sometimes are dreams change as we get older is right on. It’s also okay.
    I hope your new or changed dream invigorates and inspires you and ultimately gets completed.

  15. So poignant and true Kate. When we hold on to dreams from the past they can keep us back from discovering new possibilities.
    Let this moment be one of transformation into what is possible right now 🙂
    You may have to put the laundry down though ❤
    Val x

  16. I have the hardest time giving up because I feel like a big o’ failure! !

    But like you said. .. giving up is sometimes just letting go… and who knows… maybe getting what I need is better than getting what I think I want!

    I have to trust God for my future… my kids future and no matter what that future is… good or bad in the limited eyes of the world… God is good… God is love!

    But man… I want control… i fight Him for control because… I mean… surely I know better than my Creator… right?! 😉

  17. Wow, that was weird reading that, I’ve had a post in my mind for about a year that is about letting a dream die that’s very similar to this one! The only difference is that I’m going to be specific about what the dream is when I write it. The only reason I haven’t written it yet is that I’ve been waiting for someone to take a certain photo of me that I need to accompany the post and we haven’t got around to that yet!

  18. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    Oh, man. Yes. So much, yes. Some do have to depart to make way for others. It’s okay to grieve, and I have done so before. It’s so much better to grieve than to refuse to let go, remaining forever stuck and unable to obtain the greater dreams so (otherwise) win reach.

    • LOL, my mom already called me. While the post is written very specifically, it really is more generic. As I’m cleansing and decluttering my life, this hit me today – as I was folding laundry, and I wasn’t sure how to handle it – but a result of cleansing means that some dreams I’ve held onto have to die, they get to float away, down to the ground and be turned into compost, fuel for the next dream!

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