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Karen Korellis Reuther, Valencia, Spain, 2015

The iconic round red carpet sat before an immense fish tank setting the stage for “Changing Currents”, TEDxBerkleeValencia held at the Oceanogràfic in the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain. The theme was touched upon by each speaker with diversity and at a very personal level. My connection was immediate.

Like many people, I am challenged with change. Really challenged. Whether it be going from class to class in grade school, going away to college or changing jobs and cities – I never wanted to leave home, and I still don’t! I get attached deeply, and have loved most places where I’ve landed. From my hometown of Hammond, Indiana, to Boston, Munich and Oregon each of these places not to mention the companies I have worked for have been home. I’ve always had to push myself out the door.

The challenge was never greater as when I worked for a hot brand, one of the hottest! Just the mention of its name was enough to open most doors. Follow that by an amazing role that was a reflection of my passion and my experience. I had found my dream job – a design-centric brand, located in a beautiful corner of the world, innovative, fast-paced and driven by incredibly talented people. After twelve years, I asked myself “Is this still your dream?”. The answer was NO. So what happens when you’re finished with the dream job, at a dream brand, with dream resources?

In my case, you leave your dream. I had to fire myself.

In my TEDxBerkleeValencia talk, “Leaving Your Dream,” I challenge the popular phrase “love it or leave it”. I propose that “love it AND leave it” is a better approach, one where you act not react. One of my favorite quotes from Arianna Huffington “…you have to do what you dream of doing even while you’re afraid,” just might include leaving your dream. After all, can one dream last us an entire lifetime, an entire career? I suggest that leaving dreams should be a lifelong journey and something we encourage in ourselves and in others.