People ask me all the time, “So, Teach for America is two years, what are you doing after that?” And, honestly, I don’t know. ”Will you go back to architecture after that?” they say. Maybe. Maybe not. I do not know what these next two years will bring. I do not know what my dreams will become.
Can’t dreams change? Can’t we readjust, reevaluate, and make new dreams?
I don’t even know what my dreams are right now. And I’m okay with that. They are seeds…seeds that got separated from their wrapper. They are starting to sprout, but they are still very young, so I have to let them grow in order to see what they are going to become. This doesn’t mean I have tossed architecture (and any dreams that may or may not have been associated with that) to the side. Architecture and my love for design and my love for children and youth are the soil in which these seeds are growing. My dreams are growing, building upon one another, changing, and evolving.
To continue the seed example, let’s say my seed becomes an ear of corn. From here, it can further develop, grow, and change direction. That corn can become food for livestock, food for a deer passing by, or food for a person who stops by the farmer’s market. It can become high fructose corn syrup or a Thanksgiving (my absolute favorite holiday) centerpiece. It could even fall to the ground, decompose, and enrich the soil from which it grew. The possibilities go on and on.
My point? A dream that changes, that evolves, grows, and builds on itself is not a failed dream. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It is a dream that isn’t confined by cultural expectations, a dream that is growing with me, a dream that remains important and relevant, and tangible. A dream that remains close to my heart. A dream worth following and never giving up on.
My other point? I know they ask because they care, but I wish people would stop asking me what I am doing after Teach for America. I have a long two years ahead of me which are going to be challenging and difficult and life-changing and I really haven’t thought that far ahead yet.