To my son who is graduating from high school this month.

What is your dream?  We may have fantasies about what we would like to happen, but knowing how to make them come true may be about as clear as trying to see through dark tinted glass.  The sayings, “dreams do come true” or “living the dream” may bring about visions of smart looking people smiling in sunny places without a care in the world as all their needs are met and they’ve achieved great things.  These often don’t seem to match with our own experience of the world.

We may dream of a wide range of things; a vision of what we want to achieve, something we would like to own or a type of person we want to be.  However, a great dream may be simply to learn to have freedom in your mind, to not get stuck in fear or unconscious habits.  A dream may be just learning to be awake and alive to the world around you, to notice and appreciate life. Your dream might be right in front of your eyes.  Recognize opportunities and see life’s events with an open mind.  Let your dreams be malleable as you keep learning to be a better, stronger and more in tune person.  Be ready to let go of an old dream if it doesn’t fit anymore, like a confining pair of shoes.

In following a dream, what you do may not be as important as how you do it.  Sometimes it’s not so much what decision you make, but your dedication to a decision, that is important.  Patience, perseverance, discernment about what is right, mindfulness, working hard, flexibility, an ability to pick yourself up after a wrong turn, accepting rejection and helping others – are all positive ways to live, that just in themselves, may lead you to your purpose.

Life’s path can twist and turn and take you to amazing but also tough places.  You may get stuck in a swampy dark forest or a mountain top with clear views, or as in Dr. Suess’ “The Places You Will Go”, “you will come to a place where the streets are not marked”.  But no matter where you find yourself, keep your ability to dream, to envision good things alive.  Keep diving in with love, keep learning, have fun and don’t be afraid to re-dream, to find the right pair of shoes.

Now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.  Neil Gaiman