‘I want to be an astronaut’, I proclaimed over a bowl of strawberry rice crispies. My mother almost fell of her chair at the incredulous statement sprouting from her 10 year olds’ mouth.

A few weeks before, I had discovered my inspiration.  A treasure of a book filled with the most beautiful images of the moon and planets. I remember hiding under my covers at night, flashlight on, devouring every detail of the rings of Saturn; the complexity of blackholes and the cheese-like moon craters. Excited and tantalised at the thought of things beyond my current reach.  Yearning to know more.  For the next 2 years I read everything I could get my hands on, wondering how I could save up for Space School.

On my 12th birthday, my parents surprised me with a visit to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. I walked around with my mouth open, in awe of the ginormous space shuttles and rocket boosters.  Imagining what it would be like to walk over the launch pad in my space suit and experience seeing earth from above.  In hindsight, I must have spent a few years, being the most annoying child, completely absorbed by space facts, always ready to share with any unknowing stranger (who probably grinned with disbelief at my childlike goal to become an astronaut).

Then, something happened out of the blue which changed my pre-defined destiny.  Grease and Olivia Newton-John.

Suddenly the stars and sun were replaced with ideas of fame and song.  My days trawling encyclopedias were replaced with me standing in front of the mirror singing doo-waps and practicing my roller skating so that I could be in Xanadu #2.

“If a little dreaming is dangerous – the cure is not to dream less but to dream more – to dream all the time” – Marcel Proust

When I reflect back on the grandness of my dreams, I realise how much fun and pleasure I had. There was no concept of limitations and huge excitement when sharing this with people in my world.  Even if I didn’t become an astronaut or the next star of Xanadu, my thoughts were rich with dreams, plans and curiosity.  I realise now that daring to dream is something that dwindles with age and responsibilities.  So much focus is giving to the reality of life and without knowing it we limit our thinking.  Perhaps a lesson to learn from our childhood?

Why not dream for the sake of dreaming?  Why not draw on our ability, that may have become buried with our childhood?  Even if it’s for no other reason than to just dream…

Permission granted    😉

Tanya Long – 2017/02/04

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