Living the Dream

By all accounts — we’ve made it. Our decade long dreams are today’s reality. My husband’s dream of flying helicopters in mission aviation is his actual job. My dream of stay-at-home mommying and writing biographies is my everyday life. Our together dream of living in a foreign country found us setting up home in Indonesia.

We’re living the dream!

I’m not trying to be a downer, but let me just put this out there — if you’re working and planning and dreaming towards some lifelong goal and putting everything you’ve got into that future pot — it might not be all it’s cracked up to be.

Maybe you want to get married or have children. Maybe you want to serve overseas, to learn the language well, to finally be able to put all your training into action. So you, like us, scrimp and save and work your tail off. You make a five year plan, a ten year plan, whatever it takes. You tell yourself all the sacrifice now will be worth it in the end. You’ll get your dream and you’ll be happy. You’ll finally be fulfilled.

But what if you’re not? I mean, I’m not.

Oh you might have a really good honeymoon phase once you get that dream. That marriage, it’ll be so romantic in the beginning. You’ll be with the love of your life and feel like you can take on the world together. Then you’ll get in a stupid fight over whether to add milk to scrambled eggs.

That beautiful child you bring home, the one you look at and think he is so perfect! He’ll turn four and speak to you with more sass and rolled eyes than your 15-year-old self ever did to your parents.

That life overseas will feel so good, you’ve finally got the life you’ve been working towards. Except there’s now that one super annoying teammate and never enough time to get even close to everything done.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a forget about your dreams message. It’s more of a Hey, your dreams are cool, but they’ll split you sideways. 

I am living my dream, but my left eye has been twitching for a week from stress. I’m so thankful to be a stay-at-home mom, but this morning all my son did was argue and fight. I can’t believe how privileged I am to record life stories for a biography project, but my brain literally aches from thinking so much in a foreign language. I’m enormously proud of my husband’s flying, but he comes home exhausted. I love living in another country, but I miss the anonymity of just blending in.

Sometimes, it all gets too much to handle and just really sucks.

Bottom line — if you’re assuming that dream is going to usher in some new joyous existence, that your self-esteem will flourish, you’ll finally feel fulfilled, you’ll wake up each morning knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt this is what you were born to do, well…

That’s not exactly what happens, or at least it’s not what happened for me.

It’s more like Wow, this is a lot more than I thought it would be. I’d better get to work.


This post originally appeared on and has been modified for this site.

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Anisha Hopkinson

Anisha was born to Chilean and Texan parents, first tasted missions in Mexico, fell in love with an Englishman in Africa, and now lives in Indonesia. She journals about cross-cultural life, helping people, and loving Jesus on

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