Should I follow my dreams?

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Dear Franny,

I'm a lawyer in my late 20s and I recently broke up with my long term partner. In the past year, I've had multiple friends find extreme success in their chosen fields. I'm talking Olympic medals and Oscar nominations among other things. I'm starting to find myself feeling unfulfilled by my job and excessively mediocre. Am I have a mid-life crisis? Should I quit my job and follow my original dream of being an actor? Or am I just getting pangs of jealousy and need to forget about the achievements of others? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! X


Hello there future superstar!

What you are feeling is completely normal. And it’s not all bad – try reframing your reaction from “I suck compared to my friends” to “wow, if I’m having this strong of a reaction, it really means it’s time for me to step into the life I want for myself.

Be inspired by your friends. They are showing you what is possible when you go for it.

Desire is the fire that propels us forward in life. It’s important to be reminded of what we desire so we can be motivated to try to achieve that for ourselves. Comparison is the enemy of happiness. But the more you can celebrate you friends’ successes and use them as fuel, the more you will have the desire to pursue your own dreams.

I can’t tell you whether or not you should quit your job – I have no idea what your life circumstances are and whether or not that is feasible right now. But I can tell you that if you know in your heart that you want to act, you should commit to taking at least one step in the direction of that dream. Sign up for an acting class. Go on an audition. Get new head shots. Start a savings account and set a savings goal that will make you feel more comfortable in quitting your job.

As a recovering lawyer, I can tell you that I was able to have the courage to leave my firm by moving back in with my mom and saving up enough money to live off of for a year (frugally). That gave me the courage to quit and pursue my dream at the time (film production). 

Life is short, and down the road I believe you will regret not even trying. So remember – you don’t have to blow up your whole life. Even one small step can start igniting the fire in you to take more and more steps.

Good luck! And be bold!