Last night I was out to dinner with family. My better half’s father is a professor at the university in our city, and he talked about his work and the many changes happening around the campus. The conversation prompted a nostalgic drive to the university grounds. He wanted to show us the sweeping changes happening around the campus – parks and fields being replaced by condos, parking lots transforming into new student buildings, and shopping malls – all the modern changes of our century springing up in a contained community. During this drive, my eyes were drawn to the old student housing, as yet untouched by the construction surrounding them. I could not look away from the old-fashioned picturesque buildings tucked in amidst the modern structures popping up around them. They looked exactly has I had imagined them when I was young. I’d always dreamed of attending university, and living on campus.
I love learning; school was never a burden for me. I was like a sponge wanting to soak up every drop of knowledge. My life took me on a different route, and I wouldn’t change it because it led me to my life today, but by taking this impromptu tour of the university grounds, I uncovered the possibility of resurrecting my unfulfilled dreams through storytelling. There was no reason I couldn’t return to this place, camera in hand, capturing the images that sparked my imagination. I returned home with the key to unlock fresh inspiration needed to carve out new tales and animate longstanding stories with new life.
I discovered unleashing dormant dreams is a great way to ignite new creations. The past always has stories waiting to be uncovered; it doesn’t matter if it’s your reality or your dreams, driving back to the stories that have endured throughout the years can bring them into the future.
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J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.