You’re living a dream, but it might not be yours.

Lizzy Early

Four years ago I was at dinner sitting across from a girl I hardly knew.  She was going on and on about how much she loves singing and how she wishes to someday be on a stage performing for thousands of people.

I poked and prodded at the salad in front of me.  The last thing I ate was a brownie for breakfast and this salad didn’t tempt me.  I skipped all my classes that day and slept on the couch instead.

This girl kept gushing about favorite songs and genres and how performing is her “passion.”  And I felt like my heart had been ripped out and left in LA. 

Here comes the guilt.

Somewhere between stabbing the tomato with my fork and watching the seeds spill out across my plate I realized I was living this girl’s dream.  The night before I had been on a stage at the Warner Brother’s Studios singing for seven million people on TV—prime-time NBC, HD cameras everywhere, celebrity judges, hair and make up professionally done, and wearing clothes someone else had picked out for me.  Between commercial breaks flocks of women would rush out from backstage with lip-gloss and hairspray in hand for touchups.  Nick Lachey winked at us from across the stage and the lights were almost blinding.

And 24 hours later back in Provo, I couldn’t force a smile or bring myself to eat a stupid salad.

That girl across the table will probably never get to do anything I did over the last few weeks.  Not because she isn’t talented, but because it’s just not that common.  She probably lies awake at night just imaging singing the national anthem at a big game.  But at that point, anthem singings had lost their glow for me—they weren’t anything special.  I even told people being on TV was “not a big deal.”  But to the girl in front of me, it would have meant everything in the world.

My group got voted off early. We made incredible friends and we had to leave them before we wanted to.  But so what?  We were there.  We did it.  That’s what I failed to remember. 


This is my message today, no matter who you are, you are living someone’s dream.

Is there a roof over your head? The homeless man down the street dreams of that.

Do you have extra money to treat yourself to a new pair of shoes?  The girl working two jobs and pinching pennies prays that day will come for her.

Do you have legs to run and walk?  The kid from the car crash wishes he could leave the hospital without a wheel chair.

Tired of staying up late studying for midterms? What about the guy who couldn’t afford college?

Do you have a job? No matter how much you hate it, someone would happily take your place.

Feel ugly at size 12?  The size 16 woman thinks you look perfectly gorgeous.

Are the kids throwing tantrums at the grocery store again?  The woman behind you in the checkout line wishes they were her kids.

The list could go on forever.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying to be happy where you are and not reach for your own dreams, but enjoy and recognize what you do have now.  Don’t wait to be happy.  “Enjoy the journey” as my friend Thomas Monson would say.

living someone else's dream

27 thoughts on “You’re living a dream, but it might not be yours.

  1. 1
  2. 2
    Queen Hotchibobo says:

    This is the best thing I’ve read in a long time. Thx.

  3. 3
    Wendy B says:

    Thank you for this powerful post. I am a 46 year returning college student, 5 classes, 4 children and 1 husband that works all week out of town. We are pinching pennies until I get out of school – in 3 years. And yet we are so blessed! I would not trade places for anything. Everyday we need to enjoy the journey and those around us. Thank you for your brilliant perspective ~ we all need the reminder 🙂

  4. 4
    Melina says:

    Wise words! Thank you

  5. 5
    Misty says:

    I needed this today! Thanks for sharing!

  6. 6
    Beverly says:

    I’m showing this to my husband, who needs constant reminders to enjoy what we have! Well-written and well-said, Lizzy. (By the way, made your Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Soup last night. I was told, “You can make this again – and often.” That’s HUGE, because my hubby does not really care for having soup as a supper-time meal.)

  7. 7
    Valerie H. says:

    Bravo!!! A great post and a message we all need to hear!
    P.S. Nick Lachey winked at you. You lived my dream!!! 😉

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Liz Schraeder says:

    Wow Wow Wow… thank you for the gentle reminder to be thankful and enjoy what we have (well that’s how I’m interpreting this)!

  10. 10
    Pamm Kesselring says:

    That was Goose Bumps Great. You have a great way with words. Thanks. So many needed to read this.

  11. 11
    Cindy says:

    We need more words like positive messages like this Lizzy, keep them coming! Thank you for posting this very encouraging and uplifting reminder of how blessed we all are and NOT to take it for granted.

  12. 12
    adrianne baeza says:

    Um ok?????

  13. 13
    Linda says:

    That is amazing!..thank you for opening my eyes! are so right.

  14. 14

    Oh wow! I knew you made amazing cupcakes but I did not know you were such a deep thinker! These words really hit home for me right now because there have been some things in my life that I haven’t been satisfied with. Thanks for the reminder of how deeply blessed I am!

  15. 15
    Annette says:

    This is amazing. Such a great point of view. I really am living my dreams here with my family and this is what matters to me 🙂

  16. 16
    Susan says:

    Wow that is fantastic!!! This message has left a lump in my throat, we take so many things for granted and we are still not happy walking around complaining all day. I will remember this for a long time to come. Thank you Lizzie x x x

  17. 17
    Terry says:

    Thanks again Lizzie, i am grateful for what i am blessed with,.

  18. 18
    Erica says:

    Thanks for the post, it was exactly what I needed to hear after along work week. Inspiration to keep my head up, and be thankful for how far I have come!

  19. 19
    Pam says:

    I think I need to read this every day! It is easy for me to focus on all that I don’t have & the constant pain & exhaustion I have bec of fibromyalgia. However, at least I am able to see doctors and get medications I need.

    Thanks for the reminder, wise words indeed.

  20. 20
    Brenda Rice says:

    Thanks, Lizzy~ You are a gifted baker and writer and I thank you for your blog, today. We never know what other people are going through….and we need to count our blessings!

  21. 21
    MrsAB says:

    What a great read! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  22. 22
    Bailey says:

    wow, you’re so right. it’s good to just feel content with the things we have

  23. 23
    Edna says:


    I may be almost a year late for this post, but I love your central message. It’s what I remind myself every day: –

    – Be grateful and happy for what you have right now,
    – Know that what you have is someone else’s goal, achievement or ideal.
    – Strive for your dreams, but don’t allow them to take over your life.

    I’ll definitely be returning for more – if only to check out your yummy recipes and gorgeous pictures. Thanks!

  24. 24
    lisa jaross says:

    Great words to live by! I enjoyed this and your awesome tips for your business building. You and your site are so inspiring to me. I love to bake and photograph also. Love your recipes!

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