I was lying in bed several nights ago experiencing a dream that I chose to keep close to my heart forever.
An elderly stranger approached me with dark eyes and an inviting smile. Deep wrinkles decorated his tranquil face while his lean body appeared frail and weak from too many years of hard work. His deep comforting voice made me trust his every word. His ebullient sense of humor and jovial belly laugh made him seem full of life and somewhat grandfather-like. I instantly sensed a feeling of kinship between me and this wise old man.
As he spoke, I listened. For hours we discussed the world and its quiet mysteries. He told me of his disapproval of distasteful rap music while I attempted to convince him that modern art can be beautiful too. He was stubborn while I was open-minded. He reminded me of “the good old days” when men held doors for women and when children actually listened to their parents. I told him that I missed those days too.
Suddenly, I detected a small tear fall down his rough unshaven cheek. I grew concerned and asked him why he was crying. He assured me not to worry because he was crying tears of joy. I asked what was making him so happy. He told me that I reminded him of his youth and that he too was once full of an eagerness to learn and a love of all things new.
My shrewd friend then whispered in my ear a statement that sent shivers down my spine. He said “A moment will be just a fleeting memory unless you make it unforgettable.” He taught me to live in the moment and that time is far too precious to simply throw away.
This little old man continued to tell me that the world is full of new wonders to explore and inspiring new people to meet. He taught me to be curious and to ask questions, no matter how stupid they may sound. He advised me to try new flavors of ice cream, even if at first I don’t think I’ll like them. He reminded me to give the nerdy boy in school a chance because he will someday be the boss of all those overconfident jocks. He advised me to read any and all books, because you never know when knowledge of octopi or how to read a constellation may help you later in life.
Most importantly, he told me to dream and to never stop dreaming. Unlike my aged companion, my future still awaits me. I will soon be bombarded with crucial decisions and overwhelmed by new thoughts and emotions. I will cry, I will fall in love, I may even learn something along the way. There is no doubt in my mind that I will strive to discover and never give up for I am aware that my dreams will carry me to the top.