In Celebration of Things That Don’t Work Out (& the child of the dream)

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Struggling with setbacks? Click to discover why not creating, achieving, or getting what you want might be a good thing ->

Struggling with setbacks? Click to discover why not creating, achieving, or getting what you want might be a good thing ->

As I sit here, trying to think of times when things haven’t worked out as I’d hoped or planned in my life, I'm finding it hard to choose from the many, many instances where that’s been the case. The jobs I really wanted but didn’t get, the relationships I wanted to work out that didn’t, the achievements I worked so hard for but didn’t reach, the goals I’ve had that I didn’t make happen, the places I fell in love with and tried to settle in but had to leave, the hopes and dreams I’ve had that didn’t become reality, the ways in which I’ve messed up, in which I’ve felt I’ve failed myself and other people. It paints a picture, right?!And yet.When I look back at things that didn’t work out, I see how much some of these things sucked at the time. Alongside that, I also see the child of the dream, and how that has shaped my life in unexpected, beautiful, and deeply profound ways. Without all of these mishaps, losses, failures, and bad decisions, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I might not be here writing to you, I might not have my small chosen family, whom I love more than anything, I might not have the friends I have, have seen the places I’ve seen, and had the experiences that have made me who I am today.This is the beautiful thing about honouring dreams, setting goals, having ambitions, aspirations, and things we want to do, see, experience and become: even when those things don’t work out, we still get to meet the child of the dream.The child of the dream is the thing(s) that emerges, happens, becomes apparent because of our attempts to pursue that dream—even if that dream doesn’t come to pass, we don’t meet our original goals, or in our minds fail miserably at what we were trying to do.It’s that job opening you discover two months after getting turned down for what you thought was the position of your dreams. It’s meeting that person you wouldn’t have met if your previous relationship hadn’t ended in the way it did. It’s the friends, experience, learning and opportunities you gain through attempting that business or creative venture, even though it initially falls flat on its face. It’s the twists and turns and “growth opportunities” that feel like hell when you’re in the middle of them, but from which you emerge facing in a completely different direction, with a different perspective, and with a different path before you.You don’t know what the child of the dream will be in advance and it won’t show itself unless you get out there, own your dream, and try in the first place. But more often than not, certainly for me, it’s the child of the dream rather than the dream itself that has profoundly shaped my life.So next time you’re experiencing fear of failure (or very real and tangible failure!), fear of visibility, fear of taking a reasonable risk, struggling with the uncertainty that comes with making hard decisions, taking big leaps, and going against the grain, remember: out there, somewhere, is the child of the dream you have yet to meet and everything it could bring into your life.Can you think of any times when you've encountered the child of the dream? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash