Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You May Say I'm a Dreamer

I am a dreamer. This can be an amazing thing because many times I've had a dream and then it came true. Sometimes serendipidity had something to do with it, mostly it was sheer force of will. It didn't always last "forever," but part of being a grown up is realizing that nothing is permanent. I have had some pretty low points in my life, but I have never stopped dreaming. I've always gotten back up, survived, and sworn I would thrive. I owe a lot of this perseverance to my husband. He's taught me so much about optimism and is such a rock of strength for me. He's helped me get back off of the ground so many times. I've watched him resurrect himself from some pretty dark spaces too.
But being a dreamer is also at the core of who I am. It is in the connective tissue of my being.
Here are some things that I've dreamt of that have manifested: Meeting my husband (whose qualities I listed in a journal weeks before we met), travelling the US with him (we've traveled the US twice 62,000 miles and 10 solid months altogether), moving to Asheville, owning a business, buying and decorating a home (which we did sell, but it was still a dream lived out), being the first one in my family to get a college degree, reading my poetry at poetry readings and having it published (albeit in small school publications, but it is still gratifying to see your words in print), being well again after so much sickness, seeing my husband well after so many years of a mysterious illness, and many more small moments which have felt like dreams.
I still have so many things that I dream of doing. Here are some of them: getting the scholarship I applied for, finishing my BA with distinction, blowing the GRE out of the water, getting accepted to one of the many MFA programs on my list, getting my MFA in creative writing, publishing a collection of poems, publishing a novel, publishing creative non-fiction, getting a job as an editor, living near the ocean again, living in New York City, moving back to the mountains, buying and decorating another home, having land and a German Shepherd, getting healthy and in shape again, and growing old with my husband.
Yesterday one of my dreams came true. I got accepted into NYU's summer writer's program. I was so excited and in a state of disbelief. For some reason I think, well I hope, that $10,000 and a place to stay will fall into my lap. Even if I cannot actually go, getting accepted is one dream that I accomplished, and it motivates me to apply for the MFA at NYU later on. A place where poets like Sharon Olds and Yusef Komunyakaa teach. I can still see myself wandering Greenwich village with my ten pound laptop, searching for a bench where I can sit and write poetry for that evening's class, I can imagine myself at the historic Lillian Vernon townhouse listening to a brilliant student from some unremarkable place like Omaha (no offense Omahaians) read from their work, I can see myself at a slam poetry reading in Manhattan surrounded by new friends I met at NYU. So maybe it WILL happen, but even if it doesn't I can still mark one off of my list. I did get in, and I am still a dreamer so there's always tomorrow.

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