Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Island of Dreams and The College Senior

The unknown future has always scared me.  It’s not that I’m apprehensive of change, or unwilling to leave my comfort zone, I just like to know what’s coming next.  It’s why I hide behind my shirt during scary movies.  It’s why I compulsively study maps.  It’s why I prefer to drive than ride in the passenger’s seat   I like to feel in control, I like to know how things will work.  I’ve always thought that these characteristics of mine are what have led me to fear the future.  But I’ve come to see that maybe it’s more than that.  Maybe I fear the future because it has the potential to make all of my dreams come true.   

The entire crew of the Dawn Treader becomes alarmingly frightened as it heads through the darkness towards the island of dreams.  They are warned by a man trapped in the sea of dreams, “Fools!...Do you hear what I say? This is where dreams-dreams, do you understand-come to life, come real” (197).  This warning immediately turns the ship around, as no one wants to face their dreams.  Though seemingly fantastical, Lewis’ words hold so much truth.  Right now, as a senior about to graduate college, I am on the Dawn Treader of my own life, drastically turning the ship away from the island of dreams.  Dreams are so difficult to face because they are our inner-most desires.  If they come become realities, they reveal deeply personal values that we may not have even recognized within ourselves yet.  When we see our dreams as tangible entities, as things that can be tossed around and toyed with by others, we feel vulnerable and exposed.  Now, our dreams are at the whim of others’ thoughts and opinions; they stand to be misinterpreted, mistaken, and misunderstood.  This is why no one on the Dawn Treader wants to come near the island of dreams.  No one is ready to face the realities their dreams might become.      

As I embark on my last year here at Loyola, I fear the very same things that those on the Dawn Treader do.  Expressing my hopes for the future means that my dreams are subject to others’ opinions.  What if my dreams don’t match up with those of my parents, teachers, or friends?  Admitting what I want means losing the sense of control I crave.  And if I am to pursue these dreams, where will I start?  How will things progress?  Not knowing what will happen next scares me.  My future seems just as ominous as the big black hole that looms before the island of dreams.     

After the mad dash from the island, the ship sails into a spot of light and warmth.  “And all at once everybody realized that there was nothing to be afraid of and never had been” (201).  I know one day, I will look back at my life and laugh at how afraid I was.  Hopefully though, as I face this time ahead of me, the words of Aslan will offer guidance, “Courage, dear heart” (201).  Courage to sail past the blackness, into the light, and land on an island of infinite possibilities.  

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