Darling’s Former Print Editor Shares Why You Should Go For Your Dreams


TRACE is a near and dear friend to Darling. As our first employee, the ultimate source of wit and coolness around the office, it was hard to see her go, but we knew we had to let her fly. The fun part is now we get to *totally* fangirl out that “we knew her when” as she’s been climbing the charts (over 18 million combined total streams on Spotify and SoundCloud) and just completed her first US tour. We asked her back, one, because we’ve missed her, and two, so she could share some wisdom with us on what it’s like being on the other side of a dream.


When I was younger, I wanted to be a detective. Or was it a weather woman? Probably both. I was a curious kid and potentially wanted to do everything. Growing up, not much has changed.

Having moved from San Diego to Los Angeles for a job as an editor at a magazine — the one you are reading, consequently — to becoming a full-time musician has been quite the journey. Briefly looking back at my resume, I cringe, laugh, and sigh with gratitude. I did everything. Before doing what I do now, I think I did a total of five internships, a handful of part-time jobs and two different, 9-to-5 careers. Again, What. A. Journey. But dreaming has been a vital part of how I got to where I am. And it think it’s evident when those closest to me, even strangers, consistently share their view of me with the very encouraging and perplexing statement: “You are really living out your dream.”

I’ve always been a dreamy person chasing unconventional career paths, but thinking about it now, I suppose I’ve always just operated from a place of “dreamy.” But I do want to add, I’m also very “thinky” and it’s been a combination of the two that has helped steer a lot in my life. There’s a great amount of insanity when it comes to chasing something you aren’t sure is receptive to you as its owner, but I do have a few reasons why anyone should “go for it.”

Because there’s feeling I get when I see what life is today, and it’s a feeling I hope everyone with a heartbeat encounters. I literally am overcome with such an assurance that all these years were planted seeds and intelligent sacrifices to get to where I am (and who knows where it’s going, but it’s a good day today).

And because it’s the new year, I’m reminded that the beginning of anything is crucial. Looking back, I want to never miss the importance of what I’ve learned.

Here’s how I suggest anyone to “go for it”:

Find a spark. 

Because you become yourself. Sparks are important. Without our spark, we can’t be our most authentic selves, so then we become blind to what is innately us, what makes us tick and light up. Thus we aren’t able to create a pristine product, a great painting, a dope leather bag. Or you know, a hit song … Some ways to identify said spark is to really listen to those around you who you respect the most; ask yourself, what are they saying? It’s also obvious but what do you think about the most? That when you think of it, you feel the most personally satisfied and stirred. Truly it’s listening around and within.

trace 2

Listen to your curiosity.

Because ownership is attractive. Going for your dreams, aka listening to your inner self, omits (or starts to omit) questions like, “What if I did try taking these classes at this culinary school?” or “Someone said I should sell these bags I make, but I don’t know where to start.” When we chase that vision, that dream, we don’t have to bombard our brains with what if questions but rather what now. When you listen to the loudest voice, the persistent wonder that surrounds your head, we start to become those statements, which is empowering. To me, doing so is a way that takes feelings like “painstaking wonderment” and “doubt” out of your daily vocabulary.

… there’s feeling I get when I see what life is today, and it’s a feeling I hope everyone with a heartbeat encounters.

Take it seriously, even though it’s really fun.

Because you have a part in this world. I think it’s clear that most of us and our peers have this present-day luxury of “choosing” what we want to do and/or are passionate about. I do get that I’m speaking as a twenty-something-year-old artist who lives in Los Angeles, but when we choose a major, when we learn a skill, when we network at specific events, we are deliberately positioning ourselves in a space that we feel most drawn to. I think anyone should “go for it” because yes, life is too short, but it’s a serious matter to choose a craft. And when you do, have fun with it, but take it seriously; what you do, actually matters. Going for it is crucial; it’s your personal contribution to the world and, more specifically, to those around you who will encounter your dream.

The bottom-ish line is: If you’re wondering why you should go for your dreams, it’s because there is no better feeling than meeting a dream face-to-face and living it. Wondering about it is really fun and magical and very entertaining (and entirely too easy to fixate on) but doing it, experiencing it, living it is immeasurable and, from what I can tell you, a life changer.

Find more TRACE on her website, Instagram, and watch the newest music video (just released today!) for her song, “Low,” below:


1/28 – GIRLSCHOOL Fest – Los Angeles, CA

2/17 – 2/18 – GAS Festival (Sean Moeller of Daytrotter’s fest) – Davenport, IA

What would it look like for you to go for your dreams? Even just one?

Images via Jason Barbagelott

This post is brought to you by the Darling Team! To learn more about who we are, please visit our Meet Our Team page.

  • Joyel Crawford January 29, 2017

    I love everything about this article, as I recently retired from 18 years at a Fortune 50 company to pursue my dreams of opening my career coaching practice, acting and being a singer/songwriter too. Without that passion, it’s just a job. Life is too short to not go for your dreams! Get it, Trace! Good luck to you!

  • Rosie Chuong January 23, 2017

    Loved this post. Always great to have a refreshing reminder on why we need to pursue what speaks from our heart.

  • Amy January 13, 2017

    I am a forty-something who has been quashing her dreams for over a decade. It’s that self-doubt, the time, the societal pressure (and parental pressure, and heck the pressure from the utility bills) to do something “normal,” “responsible,” and “sensible;” something that is a guaranteed paycheck and retirement plan. And aging makes it feel even less possible than it did when I was in my 20s or 30s, though time has given me a better perspective on what I truly need and want. Thank you, Trace for these two sentences in particular: “When we chase that vision, that dream, we don’t have to bombard our brains with what if questions but rather what now. When you listen to the loudest voice, the persistent wonder that surrounds your head, we start to become those statements, which is empowering.” It was as if someone turned the light on for me to actually go ahead and make it a go.

  • Hannah January 12, 2017

    Sometimes its hard to read these dreamy articles by young 20 somethings.. b/c I am a young twenty something. But also a wife and also a mom and also overcoming health challenges. I dream of creating and creating something that helps others. I’ve had the same dream of going back to school and starting my own business. Its hard to know when to sacrifice time, money, or energy to go for something that may not workout. But every article I read like this pushes me one step closer. Thanks Darling Team!

    -Hannah/ http://www.recovering-hope.blogspot.com

  • Sarah January 11, 2017

    Great read. Thanks

  • This was such a motivating post to read, especially because I switched careers and I live in a very “practical” country where only doctors, lawyers etc are celebrated. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just being naive!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog