Now I tell you openly, you have my heart so don’t hurt me. You’re what I couldn’t find.”
—”Dreams” (The Cranberries)
Sometimes we find solace in unexpected places–and sometimes from surprising people.
One cold day in February I stumbled upon that week’s issue of The Village Voice –well, a few pages of it ripped out and left on a table in the corner bank. As I waited for my friend to withdraw some money, I began flipping through the loose pages and saw a picture of a familiar face. There was a small black-and-white photograph of Andrew W. K. glancing back at me. “ASK ANDREW W. K.” was stamped in red in the corner of the page.
I quickly skimmed through the questions that the readers had submitted and Andrew’s insightful and kind replies to their inquiries. He replied with a sincerity and a sense of humor, offering the perfect punch of optimism delivered in his friendly tone.
Perhaps it was his advice in that February 26 issue accounting the importance of dreams that got me hooked. He advises his readers that “a dream is precious and fragile. Keep it safe. Keep it secret. Keep it alive.” Or maybe it was his empathetic and encouraging words to a woman who was facing a midlife crisis. He wisely (and fittingly) urges her to “recommit [herself] more than ever to [her] passions and see them through with determination and joy. Celebrate the ups and downs in your life. When the going gets tough, the tough gets a party going.”
I appreciated his kindhearted and go-getter approach to life ever since that issue. His weekly columns serve to be a pocket of sweet sanctuary in midst of my bustling days.
While I love picking up paper copies, I also receive emails from The Village Voice. Every now and then, Andrew’s column shows up in the emails. Last week, I read another thought-provoking and reflective piece which reinstated my appreciation for his column. He writes in response to a discouraged reader:
Achieving the dream isn’t even as important as living the dream. And all it takes to live the dream is to live each day with as much untiring and unflinching excitement as you can…Most of all, just don’t quit. Stay strong, push yourself, and no matter what, don’t ever abandon your dream. It’s what makes you who you are.”
Tune in either the old-school way with print issues or online for more of Andrew’s positive outlook. He’ll be there for you to get you through whatever it is you’re tackling–whether it is overcoming a break-up, getting over your shyness, or learning how to be a man.
Email him your questions at: AskAWK@villagevoice.com
All quotes from The Village Voice.
Picture from here.
“Dream dream, even for a little while/Dream dream, filling up an idle hour”
What is a dream anyway? Is it something we cook up in our minds when daydreaming, when laying in bed before drifting off into slumber, or is it something we envision when hearing our now-favorite tune for the first time? It seems to be something we hold so dear to our hearts that we talk nonstop about it. Or maybe we never speak about it, only you knowing in your heart that it exists.
The life cycle of a dream is another puzzling concept. Lost dreams. Rekindled dreams. Childhood dreams. Dreams can be picked up in an instant and held onto over the course of a lifetime. But they can also be found and lost as we hop scotch through our years. And as we decide to pursue our chosen reveries, do dreams ever turn into a nightmare that we wish we had never chased?
Our envisioned trances keep us persevering in the face of naysayers and unfortunate circumstances. But what happens when dreamers wake up from their fantasies? Do they fall from the castles in the skies and are throttled into the harsh realities of life? Or maybe they never wake up. Their dreams instead morph into their subjective reality that they live out for the rest of their days.
One thing is for sure though. Dreamers are those uncompromising to surrender to societal norms. They are the individuals who possess the stubborn insistence to live by their own terms.
For those dreamers still out there, I leave you with a quote shared to me by my friend, fellow colleague, and dreamer:
If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Quote by Henry David Thoreau (Walden)