Ten hours till I begin my third semester at my dream school. I didn’t even know that at this point I’d have a dream school, let alone be attending it. But I didn’t know a lot of things.
I didn’t know that I wouldn’t be married with a kid by twenty-two like my mom was. I didn’t know that I would make myself at home all over the world and yet not actually have any place to go home to. I didn’t know that what you do for a living is what you do with your life, and no matter how deep the ache grows for more meaningful things, they will never be more than long-distance fantasies if your scarce time and energy are always being poured into “should.” Nobody tells you that. Nobody tells you that you can’t outrun your own passion, no matter how responsible you think you’re being. I bought these lessons at full price; I paid for them with my time, my tears, my soul.
But there is a difference between late and too late. What I have lost—no, invested—in years, in opportunities, in stamina, I have received back with interest in experience. It took so long to get here. I remember one time asking a shop owner if he loved his business. He replied, “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.” My thoughts in the following seconds were telling: “I can’t imagine feeling that way about anything! Well, except for, um, music. But…” The thing I’ve learned is that life is way too short for “Well… But…” Whatever that one idea is that seems like a fool’s dream to you, that you would do in a perfect world if only you didn’t have to worry about xyz, and your mind always goes back to it no matter what else you’re doing, that is the very thing you should be chasing after!
Honestly, I have no idea what’s on the horizon. Dreaming involves risk. Big risk. It’s helpful when other people believe in you, but that also adds extra weight to every branch you step out onto. But what is the alternative—not dreaming? Not living?! What are you doing here anyway? If you weren’t made with a purpose in mind, then what? We owe it to ourselves, and to each other, to chase the visions which have been given to us—to go, even just to find out what we might be capable of.
So here I am, nine-and-a-half hours till I begin my third semester at my dream school. What will tomorrow be like? I don’t know. Another Tuesday in a sea of many, maybe, but it doesn’t matter. Every day that I take a step forward is a day closer to catching that dream.