We've all heard it.
We're told we can do anything and be anyone we want to be. If we work hard and keep moving, it will be ours. So, we do strive and stay (mostly) positive. We toil for years in the soil of our circumstances, hoping our lives turn out as we desire. If we hit a snag or roadblock, we adjust our plan.
After years of hard work, many of us will not see the results we wanted. Heck, most of us won't see anything at all. The dreams we wanted so badly will become broken, twisted, or lost. We become drifters in a sea of slivered things.
Underdog stories are so popular because we know the odds of achieving exceptional goals are minimal. We cherish and store each example of success, like a dragon accumulating treasure. If everyone can be what they want, do what they want, why are we all not success stories?
Well, you say, SOME people are just lazy or don't care.
Possibly, you utter, life changed for SOME.
I can't argue about lazy/apathetic people, I know some. But most of this group didn't start out that way, they were travelers and dreamers, just like us. Other people, circumstances, or those pesky dreams foiled them, so they folded. Don't judge the ones that quit too harshly, maybe they just don't know what to do.
And that brings us to life changing (or circumstances, in general). This is where most of the problem lies. Many of us have things in our lives we can't just avoid. Some of us have dreams shattered by horrid timing, cruddy luck or other factors beyond our control. Sometimes, these are mere setbacks but other times, it's the end. A woman who dreams of being a singer but loses her voice box to cancer isn't just in need of a creative solution, for instance.
It doesn't matter, you tell me, I'm going to BE the underdog.
Perhaps you're right. I mean, someone has to be, and you work fine. But, so does your mailman, or your ex-girlfriend, or the person that bullied you throughout junior high. We don't get a say. Hey, they might work harder than you. Or, they might have a rich family or know someone who can get them an "in" to the career they want. You never know.
I thought you posted uplifting things, you grumble.
Hey, after all this, I still didn't give you my take-away. Just hang on!
Life is going to stop you. Things will get complicated, messy, or impossible. Dreams, painfully, will be taken from you and will die. But your work is never for nothing. On your way to one dream, an opportunity will open to another. The knowledge you gained in failure, will help you succeed (or get closer) the next time. The path you thought you wanted, will have been the wrong one. Sometimes, our dreams break so we can see their shiny insides reflecting us, so we can learn about ourselves. (These things don't have to have a reason, but they can have unseen consequences, not all of them bad.)
Few of us will ever reach the heights we desire but that doesn't mean our hopes and passions won't lead us into a more beautiful, hopeful existence. The woman that lost her voice ended up becoming an accomplished pianist (though not world-famous), something she wouldn't have attempted in the life she had before. Not an underdog, just a woman with a musical passion pursuing it any way she could.