Day 2 – The Dream

I will never forget the year 2000.

It was the year I graduated from writing in pencil to ink. Oh the joy and pride I felt as I held my very own white barrel and blue-capped Eversharp 15M.

It was also the year Liliosa, my childhood neighbour and best friend, was diagnosed with liver cancer. I watched her grow frail and weak, unable to run to the hall when we were late for assembly. I sat with her as the barber shaved what remained of her beautiful, long hair after chemotherapy took its toll. And when she lost the battle I cried for days, unable to comprehend how or why I was spared and she was taken (I thought cancer was like a really bad flu).

The year 2000 was also the year that we started writing compositions as part of our English and Shona language lessons, stringing sentences together to make a story. It was the year we started writing about our dreams – the careers we wanted and the lives we hoped for.

‘What does your dream life look like?’

At 11 years, I wished for a cure for cancer so that I would never have to lose another friend. I dreamed that my parents would kiss and make up and I would be one of those kids who could say ‘Well, my mom and dad are coming to sports day, so we’ll see who’s parents win the race.’ I loved being outdoors and I dreamed of travelling to all the places I read in the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys stories. I saw myself in a white coat with a stethoscope around my neck, working at a big hospital, earning lots of money and buying a big and loud car to show off to my friends.

As I grew older, dreams of becoming a pathologist were replaced with lights, cameras and action as I imagined myself serenading a large audience and signing autographs. I wanted to travel the world, have adventures and make memories to share with my grandchildren someday. (Looking back, the musical dreams ignited my creative flame – interacting with other creatives helped me uncover my love for photography and writing.) The divorce papers sealed any illusion of my parents’ grand reunion and so I had to adjust the dream to hoping that one day they would at least be able to coexist in the same room. I still hoped for a big car (to compensate for my small stature) and realising that the currency for choice and comfort was money, I didn’t abandon the dream of a job where I earned a six figure salary.

‘What does your dream life look like?’

Writing this article, I realise now how much my dreams have changed. Money, cars and all the material things that preoccupied my young imagination have become the means to, not the end goal. My dream life is a canvas of health, love and purpose. In this utopia, I overcome fear, self-doubt and self-destructive thoughts that hold me back from realising my full creative potential and ultimately becoming a media mogul. In this dream life, I am surrounded by people who love me, spending quality time with them and capturing the little moments in photographs that will be passed down from one generation to the next. I am content, appreciating every small achievement, and turning the learning curves into opportunities that will help someone else on this long adulting journey. The dream is to satiate my wanderlust, documenting stories about the people I meet along the way. Two cats, a dozen cameras and a cosy couch to curl up on after a long day’s work.

That, dear friend, is that life I dream of.