Warrior Words: In defense of dreaming

Eve Ogdon
Eve Ogdon

While ushering in a new year, inquiring minds will inevitably beg to hear your resolutions. For me, they’re always the same: to stop eating brownies for breakfast and to remember to carry lip balm with me wherever I go. Another year of chapped lips and 7:30 a.m. indulgences will then go by, completely undaunted by whatever goal I scribbled down in some journal on the third day of January. Of course, the diary itself proves to be another lost aspiration, as the daily writing regiment that I continue to promise to myself never lasts for more than a week. You may be thinking, “Wow, Eve disappoints herself year after year by failing to remedy even the smallest flaws in her character!” Rest assured, this is not the case.

I wish people were less inclined to ask about fixing tiny idiosyncrasies and more willing to discuss dreams. I’m not talking about any somewhat sensible hopes for the future, like traveling around the world, publishing a cookbook, or retiring in a cabin in Vermont with the company of far too many cats. You could potentially accomplish these “dreams” and craft them into your reality, or you won’t, and they’ll just remain these eerie little stressors that you agonized over for decades — essentially, like pesky New Year’s resolutions on a much broader, far more dastardly scale. Though they may drive you to accomplishment and success, they may also drive you mad.

The dreams that I love are nonsensical, whimsical, and altogether absurd. Last night, I climbed a radio tower in high heels. Two nights ago, I found myself gaining access into the bustling markets of Marrakesh, all because I drowned at Lake Compounce and stumbled upon a gold-leafed trapdoor to Africa. From kidnappings in Bangkok to seances at the Maritime Aquarium, my subconscious mind has led my dozing body on adventures near and far. An age-old phenomenon still shrouded in mystery, most people fail to remember their nightly illusions; even scientists can’t fully explain how or why these visions unfold. Dreams don’t receive the recognition they deserve, perhaps because they’re too puzzling, too frivolous, or too far from the here and now, the hustle and bustle of work and school and everything else in between. I marvel at the brain’s unsung capabilities every morning, texting my friends with stories that frankly don’t matter at all. The fleeting, perplexing, and disconnected nature of dreams proves charming amidst the seemingly inescapable chaos of reality.

In 2018, I aspire to cherish my final months as a Wilton Warrior, to enter adulthood with poise, and to revel in beauty of pure imagination. As we each set goals for the new year, whether they fulfill short-term resolutions or lifelong ambitions, it’s easy to forget that a life well lived requires treasuring each moment, conscious or otherwise; to constantly affix oneself to an objective is to reject this truth entirely. A purposeful life doesn’t always require one all-consuming purpose. Ultimately, during this transformative, magnificent, consequential year, I’m not going to let my aspirations outshine my dreams.

Eve Ogdon is a senior at Wilton High School. She shares this column with five classmates.