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How Much Did They Pay You To Give Up on Your Dreams

Aaron McHugh

“$27K Grand a Year.”
“And when were you going to stop and come back and do what makes you happy?”
“I don’t know.”
“You have an opportunity. This is a rebirth. If not for you, do it for your children.”

This scene from the movie Up in the Air is forceful. George Clooney’s character is terminating a man in his mid–50’s who decades before accepted this job for $27,000 a year and subsequently gave up on his dream of becoming a chef. Fast-forward a few decades, add a mortgage payment, a kid with chronic illness and a bad case of “Life sucks”.

Understandably it happens. I get it.

When I was a kid, my adopted uncle had a coffee table sized book on sailing. He would tell me stories about how he was going to take his family to sail around the world. I could hear the inflection in his voice increase and brighten when he’d talk about commanding his future craft. His family was prime for it. My aunt was a 100-mile ultra athlete. My cousins were farm-hearty.

But they never went sailing.

Now, I understand why dreams of sailing the ocean blue and becoming a chef can easily get put on the shelf. Those bashful dreams get placed right next to the trophies from high school, plastic trucks, and empty photo albums. It happens to most of us.

I think Clooney is right “You have an opportunity. This is a rebirth. If not for you, do it for your children.”

What if it’s never too late to start dreaming again?

What if we right sized our lives to make room for our dreams?

How much did they first pay you to give up on your dreams?

Was it worth it?