I could happily get lost forever in this enchanted forest in Japan. We stumbled upon it during an afternoon hike around Kurokawa Onsen (an onsen is a hot spring resort) where were staying at a traditional Japanese inn called a ryokan (more on that Thursday!). I loved the way the long grasses grew, and the sun shining through the trees gave everything a dreamy, whimsical quality. A day dream come to life.
ON CHASING DREAMS
I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams recently. I’ve always been a big dreamer, I’ve always chased my dreams. This has not always worked out. I’ve written before about how difficult it was to admit that I no longer wanted my life long dream of becoming an actress, after I threw everything I had and several years into it, until I finally learned enough about myself to realize it wasn’t my dream anymore. A lot of it had to do with the ugly culture of sexual harassment who’s underbelly has been exposed for all the world to see this past week. (I’ve been giving these events lot of thought, and will be writing more about them soon.)
It’s hard to admit to yourself and everyone you know when a dream you dearly wanted no longer holds the same appeal, or when circumstances conspire to make it no longer viable. When that happens it’s easy to berate yourself for making a huge mistake. For thinking you wasted time and resources on a thing that turned out to not be the thing. The thing to make you happy. But I don’t think it’s ever a mistake or a waste of time to chase your dreams, even when it doesn’t work out the way you hoped.
There’s a saying that I like a lot that I think fits here, never regret anything because at one point it’s exactly what you wanted. But I think you can take it a step further and say to never regret anything because at one point it’s exactly what you wanted, and it lead you exactly where you were meant to be.
Chasing your dreams, and listening to your heart is an art, not a science. My heart and my dreams lead me towards an acting career in Los Angeles, and that didn’t work out and I no longer wanted it. But without that time and those lessons I wouldn’t be where I am today, which is exactly where I want and need to be, doing things that truly fulfill me in a way that acting never did.
Follow your dreams and listen to your heart, they may not lead you in a straight line, but they will always lead you where you’re meant to be.
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Carina Covella is a writer and currently working on her forthcoming memoir, Love Dogs, detailing her six month transformational journey from Hollywood through India. Carina graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University cum laude with a degree in Art History. She also attended the Sorbonne in Paris and studied opera at the Manhattan School of Music through the university exchange programs. Until recently she lived in Mill Valley, California with her wonderful Welsh boyfriend Anthony in a house nestled in the trees, but now they’re off on a two year adventure around the world. When she’s not writing or traveling, she loves to cook for her friends and family.