As children we are often encouraged to follow our dreams. ‘You can be whatever you want’, we’re told. However, what we are very rarely warned about is just how difficult it can be to follow your dreams.

When we were young we wanted to be ballerinas, doctors, authors and firefighters, but the pressure to pay bills and cover rent wasn’t weighing down on those ideas when we were 11-years-old.

Many of us will give up on our dreams for a stable income and that is completely understandable, but settling temporarily doesn’t mean you should give up on a future you longed for since your younger years.

Derry Girls actress Nicola Coughlan reminded us of this when she opened up about her career on Twitter.


A post shared by Nicola Coughlan (@nicolacoughlan) on

She explained that her life changed so quickly when she left her job in a Galway opticians to star in a play in London.

Nicola posted a photo of goodbye gifts from her co-workers at the opticians and alongside that, a message that has made us feel empowered and lifted our spirits. 

She shared, “[This] seems like an unremarkable photo but it’s a reminder that three years ago today I left my part time job in an opticians in Galway to go do a play in London.”

The actress added: “It’s mad how much your life can change in such a short space of time, so don't give up on your dreams, OK?”

“I had a two day a week job there (actually quite a nice job) reminding people when their eye tests were due (I used to practice my autograph on letters I sent out.) I was working there because I’d ‘failed’ to make it as an actor four years out of drama school,” she continued.

Her role in the play spurred Nicola on to email every single agent in London and eventually signed with Curtis Brown, “My very first audition with them was for a show called Derry Girls.”

The Penelope Featherington star thanked her past self for not giving up even when she felt like a failure. 


A post shared by Nicola Coughlan (@nicolacoughlan) on

“Hey thanks for not giving up when the going was tough girl,” she added.

Nicola’s message is a stern reminder for those hopeful actors, writers, musicians, and anyone who has a dream that things can always change, even when you feel like a failure. The Derry Girls star has undoubtedly filled so many dreamers with the hope and determination they needed.