A place to dream

Take me away… a secret place… a sweet escape… ” — Natasha Bendingfield

I vowed when I graduated from my “dream” college five years ago that I’d never go more than a year without returning to it.  I cut it close this time — by only two days — but I’m back… and I remember why I said I’d never go more than a year.

There are places you go to relax, to unwind, to escape reality and refresh… most of mine end with the word “Beach.”

This isn’t one of them.

This place — this campus — is where I go when I want to feel inspired.  At one point in my life, as I’ve alluded to just a few times, it was a place I dreamed about.  But the moment I arrived it became so much more than that.  The experiences I had, the challenges I pushed through, and the lessons I learned have made it into somewhere that shows me nothing is impossible.  It’s why I still get teary every time I set foot on those zig-zagging red brick paths.

It’s ironic that one of my biggest dreams is within such close reach right now.  As I sit at a campus coffee shop working on some final touches, I can hardly believe the book I’ve been writing for over seven years will be published in just a few short weeks.  So what do I do now?  Well, as I learned here, destinations are where we begin again.

How well will the book do, and in turn, how far can Sky Blue Mission go?  What about a sequel?  Can I write another book?  What would the next one be about?  Could it provide another avenue for Mission funds?  How many different ways can the Mission help young kids get to college — are there ideas I haven’t thought of yet?  Opportunities to join forces with other organizations?  Other Alumni even?

Hmmm… so many possibilities.

In the years since graduating I’ve often thought of my dream school as having saved me.  Yet being back here, I remember that instead, it showed me I could save myself.  That distinct toll of the famous bell tower, the shimmer of the library’s golden rotunda, they remind me that the future is wide open.  I can be anything I want to be, and do anything I want to do.

Where do you go to dream?


3 thoughts on “A place to dream

  1. For a long time, I’ve gone to a good book to dream. Which book? Any great book. The best books offer me not just an escape, but a kick in the pants. They carry that subliminal message: “Get going! Finish that book. Write, damn it! Write.”

  2. I understand what you mean about finding your dream college. I found mine in Sarah Lawrence College in NY. Unfortunately, when tuition went up and my financial aid went down, I couldn’t graduate from there, and instead finished elsewhere. I loved that school though, still do. I can’t wait to take my kids to NY and show them the tea house on campus that used to be Joseph Campbell’s office! I’m curious, what is your dream school?

    I look forward to reading your book and to see what you do next! You are such an inspiration! 🙂

  3. Dave – agreed, nothing inspires me to write more than reading other books. And if you want a great “get up and get going” book, I’d recommend my favorite, The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. Kimberly – thank you! That’s great that you’re taking your girls up to Sarah Lawrence. My own Mom didn’t go to college, and for that reason pushed my sisters and me like crazy to do it, just like you’re pushing your girls. Let me tell you, as a daughter, it meant the world to me and I’m not sure if I would’ve found the courage without her. Now, for the exact name of my dream college? Well, you’re going to have to read the book :).

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