I love to walk, and my walk between school and home is one that is especially sacred to me. Because when I walk, I daydream. The world becomes fuzzy at the edges as I think about what I’d like to cook for dinner, puzzle through the knots in my thesis, rehearse impossibly beautiful futures, stop short at a favourite tree to think about what a delightful world I live in. And that is what makes me hesitate to sign up for that (admittedly laudable) MIT women’s self-defense class — to do so is, to me, to concede that I must cease dreaming.
I must admit, however, that my dreams have been subject to a slow but steady corrosion over the years. The shadows undergirding my favoured tree sometimes loom and menace. The open road sometimes looks, not invitingly untrodden, but eerily empty. And often, with repetition so monotonous as to be maddening, I think about what I will do if the occasion arises. If I am forced to flight or flee. Those, too, are daydreams, albeit of nightmarish hue. Today it felt like my childhood was a room whose door closed behind me with a bang. In fact, it was more akin to a rainbow liquid has been steadily seeping out of my seams. I like to think, though, that despite everything, there will always be some residue that sticks to my sides.
I signed up for the class. I recognise that to write this — to be so suddenly and sharply aware of this — at my age is to be privileged. My tendency to dream is too deeply entrenched to be uprooted entirely, and I am aware that it is such a deeply embedded part of my soul because it was (and is) watered and nurtured and allowed to thrive. I am still incredibly fortunate to have been born as myself, and I’m lucky that I can still take great joy in being female. I wrote this not as an invitation for pity, but as a reminder to myself. I would like to play my part, in my own small way, so that dreamers can keep dreaming. That’s all.