Time is a quota that gives and takes. The older you get, however, the more it seems to take. The imagination of a kid is not limited until the laws of physics are bestowed on you at a certain age and, question after question, you start to subtract things from the equation that helped you associate yourself, until you are left with an imagination that is bound to the dullness and limits of reality, which then we are ordained to spend another lifetime searching for something taken from us.
Growing up, as a child, I developed a fascination to dinosaurs, or anything with a large-lizard-like body type, i.e., dragons or Godzilla. My family had a hand towards this interest buying me dinosaur movies, books about dinosaurs, dinosaur figurines, and even art featuring dinosaurs that I would hang on the walls in my room. I even had a dinosaur themed birthday party. This obsession started with the film Jurassic Park. My mother wanted to go to the movies, she was still young herself, but being a parent carries obligations; obligations I have yet to grasp. Instead of leaving me with a babysitter she decided to take me with her. I was young, I don’t remember how I felt during the movie but I remember it being loud. The roar of the T-Rex thundered in my ear so viciously my only compulsion was to scream out to retaliate. I don’t remember if I did or not, scream I mean, if I did it didn’t matter; my small voice was drowned by the beast that was emerging from the amplifying speakers. This was the first time I heard anything that loud before. My mother reassured me that I did not cry, but I did defend my ears by covering them with the palm of my hands. This was my first brush with the art of cinema and the first time I saw a dinosaur.
From there the hobby grew. Naïve and childish, when asked what I wanted to be when I grow up I responded with “dinosaur hunter,” as if there were dinosaurs that still existed scattered throughout world that needed to be found. My response never received any objections from my family, they had all agreed as if that is the best profession for someone to get into; dinosaur hunters are very vital in our society, they must have thought. I would step out to the backyard of my house and act out the adventures I imagined I would have the day I do become a dinosaur hunter. All those adventures are still vivid in my head to this day. The scenes would play out like a melodramatic action film in the 80s, where everyone is in danger and the only hope is I. Things would get a little insane like robo-dinos would one day be a potential factor on my journey and I had to find a way to stop them before they crushed my favorite restaurant that happen to be next to my house. It was all grade-A material I reassure you. All of it played out in my head in my backyard, and no one in my family dared to crush my dream. I let the gust of creativity drift me through the winds of reality, for that moment I was above the world, above the laws of physics. The only chains that bond me were the ones I set myself, the chains of self-limiting, but even then, as a child, I knew no limitation to my mind’s capability; and the fence that bordered my backyard stopping me from running endlessly into the horizon.
It wasn’t till the lessons in the teaching I was receiving started to get profound in history, science, and math. You have to start from the beginning, that is the only way to understand it all, history I mean, “All the dinosaurs are extinct,” my teacher said. The meaning of the word extinct was beyond my little mind, I had no idea what that meant, but to drive a nail into the coffin she elaborated, “All the dinosaurs are dead. There are no more dinosaurs on this planet,” On this planet… I thought. The truth eventually struck me like glass full of cold water that has been purposely splashed into your face, the truth that dinosaurs died because of a giant rock, the truth that the dinosaurs, that were larger than life to me, are buried underneath my feet, and the truth that this world doesn’t need a savior titled dinosaur hunter.
I had a teacher who once said (I’m paraphrasing) dreams are unattainable and imaginary. They offer no change in life. It’s goals that we need to set for ourselves and make a change in us. Don’t get me wrong dream on, but don’t confuse dreams for reality and reality for dreams. Dreams are just there for fun to escape from reality.
That philosophy has followed me from the day I first heard it, at the end of my elementary years, to now as I type on this page. At first it was a hard pill to sallow, my dreams being crushed and trying to grasp that dreams never come true (I’ll never go to Disneyland), but my outlook in life has changed. For better or worse? Who knows? In my dreams I’ve lived a million lives a dinosaur hunter, superhero, knight, spaceman, etc. I am person with many faces. Now, in this reality that I have landed, I write my dreams on empty spaces to bring them into reality in a form of a story. That is my goal.