Image of leopard walking in the snow in a forest showing the sadness and the feeling of being out of place

The pain of having realized a dream

Feeling sad and lost after having realized a dream is unavoidable. Realizing that this emotional low is part of the “making dreams happen” cycle helped me to embrace this state instead of fighting it.

Months before going to holidays I start feeling excited. I dream about the destination, the activities I could do, the people I may meet. As the date of departure approaches my enthusiasm keeps growing until the moment I leave. Then I start to relax while being fully present in each moment. When I come back from holidays despite feeling very grateful for the amazing time I spent, I also somehow feel sad.

After having realized my dream, now I feel in a low

At the moment, after having realized my big dream of taking a “sabbatical” I feel similarly to when I come back from holidays, but in a much more intense way. I spend over half a year dreaming, planning and working hard to make my big dream happen. During this time I did not appreciate life as when I live in the moment, but focused on making my long-term goal happen.

During my “sabbatical” I went to different countries where I spend plenty of time being “truly alive”. I was fully present while doing things I love to do like kitesurfing, being in nature and meeting new friends. I exposed my self to experiences out of my comfort zone to find out “What am I here on this planet for?”.

Image of card with leopard showing the dream of freedom the process of imagining the dream happen

Before and during the dream I was in a thrilling flow

I did choose to slow down and take time to learn again to listen to myself, as I did not have to focus on “functioning” and producing outputs. This open time has been an amazing experience. It allowed me to tune in with my self, connect with people around me and with nature as a whole. I felt part of the beauty of the world.

Now, the “year off” is over. The excitement of dreaming and living the dream is over. It makes me feel “in a low”: I’m sad and disoriented. I feel as if a big flying balloon, containing my big dream, popped. What am I left with? What is going to lift me up now? I feel how my energy, like the air that was in the balloon, goes left and right. I’m not anymore in this flow of events making me feel that I’m progressing towards the realization of a dream, or maybe myself.

How did living the dream change me?

Nerveless the dream left new experiences in my memory that I cannot cancel. Like when I was kite surfing during these incredible sunsets coloring the clouds around table mountain in red. I was stunning while feeling one with the waves, the sky, and the unique view. Or like when I was holding my dad, strongly in my arms, the last time I saw him alive. I was almost touching his soul.

I remember being taken back to reality by an applauding crowd when I forgot the time while kissing a man in Spain. Or this image of the forest I observed during the vision quest I did, where the leaves danced moved by the music of the wind. The forest was more than its individual trees. I realized how it was a living being, alive as such. Living my dream left many marks that changed who I am and how I look at the world.

Image of landscape showing nature, a lake, woods, blue skype. It represent the time of living the dream.

Feeling sad is part of the cycle of making dreams happen

Thinking of the year I just had makes me smile and feel a deep sense of gratitude. I don’t feel sad because the dream is over. I feel sad because I don’t have a new dream yet. I see many paths, so many options. I’m forced to choose a new path, but don’t know yet what is my next objective, what is the next hill I want to climb. At least, thanks to the experiences I had I know the direction of the journey.

I’m realizing how feeling in a low after an adventure is normal. Is part of the cycle. It can be a sign telling that it’s time to reflect. What did change during the time period that just passed? How did I change? How did my way to look at the world change? How did what really matters to me change? Which new skills did I acquire? And if this dream was an adventure to warm up, what is the real battle? Where can I make use of my new “superpowers” to serve the world?

Accepting that after reaching a big dream comes a low makes it easier to go through this uncomfortable time. It is a time to reflect and explore new options. It’s just a phase coming before another amazing journey. I now don’t see it anymore as lost time, but rather as the walk to the springboard letting to pool of new dreams.

Image of woman embracing the winter, showing the liberation of accepting the sadness happening after the realization of a dream