Follow your Dreams

It has been a while.

I am writing to you all today to tell you how I was shaken up two months ago. A hammer of truth smashed my vulnerability and I was derailed from my passionate career path. The speed bump had the potential to bury my passion deep under enough mud and roots that it would have taken years of digging and rebuilding to be able to find myself again.

I hope to share a harsh reality about following a dream with you.

Moreover, I hope to share my lesson in failing, learning, and growing.


Writing my post “Animals” at Miramar Lake


Most of you who read my blog and my artist page saw that I moved from hospitality into psychology. Since that announcement, I had been applying to schools in marriage and family therapy. On top of the applications, I was also writing, growing, and helping others more in my spare time. The transition was a rewarding time in my life where I was truly excited to wake up each day with my passionate journey.

My passions were floating all around me…a dream of being a psychologist for individuals in need of clarity and emotional care…a dream of being a writer for those who desire truth on a daily basis…and, with all of my fruitful experience in hospitality, a dream of being a consultant for hotel managers who are in desperate need of creating a internally fulfilling job for themselves and those around them…


Interview day at the University


Two months ago (eight months into the transition from hospitality to psychology), a cloud washed over these dreams. The school that I set my heart on sent me a letter stating I was not accepted to their masters program. The next week, I spoke with one of the decision makers at the school and she told me, “you have a tremendous amount of passion for psychology and therapy, but you were unable to define why you were choosing this specific discipline of psychology (marriage and family therapy).” Like me, she genuinely wanted my dream to come true, so she did her best to help. She advised me to, “volunteer, get more experience in human services, and find the specific individuals you want focus on for mental and emotional development.”

I listened carefully and appreciated her advice. Unfortunately, it was hard to take to heart completely. I couldn’t help but think about my financial situation. I had the money to go through school with my passion in immediate reach, but not being a year or two away now. So, even though I knew I came to San Diego for a transition into psychology, I basically threw it out the door and started looking for a job with “money” in mind.

Hotel Exterior


Old bosses, friends, and others were offering hotel jobs to me as they heard the news. Unfortunately, most of the offers gave me little flexibility to continue in psychology.

…who cares though! I’m bitter. I’m lost. I’m distracting myself from reality. Psychology is just a faint whisper in the back of my mind now…

Luckily, the faint whisper was loud enough to hear and I ended up choosing a hotel management offer that had a bit more flexibility to follow psychology if I decided to do that in the future.

My major life decisions, and even my minor ones, were falling short of true meaning…and disconnected from who I really am. My self-worth and self-respect that I have been building in my character for years now were slowly, but inevitably spiraling to a negative spectrum again.



Last week, I decided to catch up with a long-time buddy of mine. We were drinking a beer and talking about each other’s lives. Dreamchasers came up. This was a business that he created to help people find the tools to make their passionate dreams a reality. He thought that his business could really help me with my “passions” I spoke so fondly of. He asked if I would be interested in getting coached by him. I laughed. Not in spite, but because I am so used to being in the coach’s chair. It through me off a bit. However, I remembered that one person does not see reality. All perspectives are needed to experience the truth. In other words, I said, “yes.”

During our first talk, he asked me questions about my dreams.

My dreams?

I nearly forgot.

But, here they came again…flying in…


Finally, after ranting about how much I love these activities, he asked me what I am doing to get there……..






My eyes opened. They opened and looked back at the last two months. I was sick to my stomach, but relieved that I didn’t cement any major life choices down to the ground. My eyes opened to my passions again. They opened back to the school’s advice. I finally took it all to heart.



  1. I will understand what group of individuals I want to focus on the most in mental and emotional development.
    1. I am mentoring a boy in San Diego who is considered an “at-risk youth”
    2. I am getting my dog trained as a Canine Good Citizen to get her and I involved in therapy for hospital patients and people at retirement homes
  • This will aid me in acquiring a license in the specific and passionate discipline I find in Psychology
  • It will also provide humility and growth inside for me


  1. I will continue my blogs, however, on a consistent basis
    1. I will write one blog a week
    2. Once a day, I will write smaller posts on my artist facebook page (Kevin Carlstead)
  • Reflecting through writing has been the perpetuator of all that I understand about this life and all that I love about myself
  • Also, a majority of you reading have mentioned that when I share these insights, it has inspired you to follow your dreams and has opened your eyes to the importance of your thoughts and feelings


  1. I will also be going back into Hotel Management again until school and psychology truly get underway
    1. I learned a lot from my first management experience at Montage, but was never able to put my ideas in place
    2. In my new role, I have the capability to see how the hotel, guests, and staff will respond to fairness, respect, humility, and a manager who listens and acts with integrity without a boss above me wiping away all the work I have done
  • This platform in the hotel industry will be the best place to practice and grow as an individual and a leader


My passions are floating all around me…a dream of being a psychologist for individuals in need of clarity and emotional care…a dream of being a writer for those who desire truth on a daily basis…and, with all of my fruitful experience in hospitality, a dream of being a consultant for hotel managers who are in desperate need of creating a internally fulfilling job for themselves and those around them…

“Don’t let bitterness become you.

Your only hopes are all within you.”

Bear’s Den Elysium


About Kevin Carlstead

I graduated as a hospitality and psychology student at University of Denver. I spent most of my teenage and young adult years in the hospitality industry. I am still searching for what industry suits my personality and talents so that I can feel more meaning throughout my days. My current career pursuit has me enrolled in a graduate program to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I was born and raised in San Diego, CA. I love music with something to it. I love life with something to it. I have made it one of my purposes in this life to integrate both of these things that I love. This blog and my own songwriting has given me the platforms to do that very thing. Thank you for reading.
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