On a rooftop somewhere in Los Angeles, I stood atop a large generator housed by age-ridden bricks, squinting through the sunlight to the horizon of the downtown skyline, and my imagination exploded with the possibilities of what could possibly happen for me, a 12-year-old at the time. That rooftop meant so much to me, and a lot of the plans that I dreamt up took some shape or form up there. Whether I was directing, acting, and editing my own music video, blowing up Barbie dolls with firecrackers, or writing page after page of angry scrawlings of a pubescent mind, there are fragments of who I am today that was birthed on that rooftop.
Thankfully, my arsonist/explosives specialist days are long over.
In other words, my dreams made growing up more tolerable.
There was one incident where I had gotten suspended from school, and I stormed upstairs to my secret lair, slamming the door behind me and sharply inhaling the cold air. It’s amazing that I remember so clearly my ranting and raving as I threw random beer bottles (not mine, I assure you) and made animalistic snarls to make myself feel better. I remember lying on my throne of bricks and gazing up at the sky, wondering when I would finally be ready to be on my own. It must have been the bustle of activity in letting off some steam that knocked me out. I woke up the next day and sluggishly entered my apartment, my mother screaming at me and crying hysterically as she called the police to ensure them that I had returned.
If my parents didn’t dream of me being more than what I was presenting to them at that time, which was a troubled and violent pre-teen who needed some serious guidance, I would have probably stayed in K-town and grew up to be completely different from who I am today.
If I didn’t dream of graduating college and leaving my old lifestyle for the chance to find joy and the security of self-sufficiency, I would have continued to fail and ditch my classes, not having a sliver of care for anything in the world.
Honestly though, those dreams that I had when I was growing up, they pale in comparison to the things that have been developing in my head lately. Whether I get glimpses of women across the nation connecting with the same vision to support and empower one another, or that I finally get a book deal to tell stories of broken people embedded deep in my heart, or that I actually reach the pinnacle of healing in my heart and soul, God is showing me so much that is beyond my body, my world.
Those who don’t dream are stuck, and they’ll never move from where they are. God is so awesome and He shows me things that I may find too radical and incomprehensible, but it definitely sparks a wild excitement within. It’s comparable to seeing a really short, surreptitious movie trailer that has me rolling around in agony awaiting its premiere.
You have some fascinating teasers for me, God. What a beautiful expression of your love for us, this thing called a dream. I’m antsy just writing about it.