I’ve been hanging out so much with Yuki. She’s going to USM, too, so it’s not like I won’t be seeing her next year.
I think, though, it’s because I will be seeing her around campus that I’m spending so much time with her.
“I don’t want you to think I’m using you,” I told her. “I just feel good knowing that I’ve got a friend there already.”
She laughed. “How do you think I feel? It’s gonna be awesome going there together!”
She asked me what my dreams were for next year. I didn’t know. I hadn’t figured them out. So I just turned it around and asked her about her dreams.
“I’m taking philosophy,” she said. “You know that, right? So, I’m hoping–it sounds crazy, but here’s what it is–I’m hoping that I discover somebody who’s already worked out a philosophy that fits me!”
I laughed. It did sound a little crazy.
“Isn’t the point of philosophy to learn how to think so you can develop your own understandings?” I asked.
“I thought it was to learn what all the Greats thought,” she replied.
“Yeah. Well. But what if you’re one of the Greats?”
She laughed. I don’t know why. Yuki is a Great for sure.
That evening, on my run, I asked myself what was my dream.
At one point, when I realized I could run track again, my dream was to break the record.
That would feel good. But I sort of think it doesn’t mean anything to me. When I imagine doing it, I feel good for a second, and then it sort of feels like, so what?
It’s a goal I’m pointing towards, that’s all. If I make it, fine. If not, that’s fine, too, for I’m working towards it.
A record doesn’t really help anybody. It’s just numbers on a webpage somebody can google, with my name next to it.
If I’m gonna dream, I want a real dream, one that makes a difference.
I used to dream of going to university. Now I’ll be going, in the fall.
I dream of making a difference. Not so somebody will remember me. I don’t care about that anymore.
I dream of making a difference so the world’s a better place. So there’s less suffering, even if it’s just a little less suffering.
I’m gonna be loud about my background. I want everyone who ever knows about me to know I was a YOTO kid. I want them to know that it was Aadhya, Ted, Deon, Clara, Britney, and others who made a difference for me.
I want them to know that my YOTO housemates have turned out to be doctors, attorneys, activists, writers, home-makers, gardeners: people with lives.
I want them to know that when we had to leave the world because it didn’t have a place for us anymore, we were shown a place. Somebody reached out and grabbed us and pulled us back in.
Maybe my dream is kindness.
I went inside and took a shower.
I took a hot shower. It’s still such a miracle to me, to have hot water, to be able to get clean. To come out smelling good and to put lotion on my skin and to wrap up in a big YOTO terry-cloth robe, like we’re royalty.
I stepped back outside, just to see the stars. So much. I have so much. What do I need with a dream, when I already have all this?