“¿Cómo te llamas?”
(What’s your name?)
“Y, ¿Cuántos años tienes?”
(And, how old are you?)
That was it. A short conversation that was going to lead to a re-discovery of who I was – or who I wanted to be. Valeria was a little girl I met at work a few days ago – my colleague’s daughter. She was 8 years old, but had reminded me of something that had long been forgotten as I made my way through the ups and downs of life.
“Quieres dibujar en la pizarra?”
(Do you want to draw on the blackboard)
She handed me a blue marker and picked up a purple one in her hand.
“Pero…¿Qué debo dibujar? I asked.
(But, what should I draw?)
“Ok”, I replied
Now honestly, I wasn’t really an expert at drawing. But somehow, I managed to draw a crooked looking house with a chimney on top. It was surrounded by trees and had two windows. Once I finished, I went over to her side of the board- and was amazed by what I saw.
She had drawn a huge house – more like a mansion. It was made of red bricks. Outside the mansion was a big black car – a limo. It was beautiful – but what struck me the most was a little nameplate that she had made outside the door.
“Casa del Futuro”, it read.
“Quiero vivir aqui. Es mi sueño. Es possible, no?”, she said as she looked up at me and smiled.
(I want to live here. It’s my dream. It is possible, right?)
“Si, como no!”, I replied.
(Of course, why not!)
And that’s when my thoughts started racing. I began to think of all the things that I had dreamt of till now. Those that I had been able to turn into reality. Those that I had given up on because I was told they were “too big”. Those that I was yet to see.
Could someone possibly live their dream by simply wanting to?
Was there really something that was “too big” to imagine?
My thoughts were broken by her voice-
“Es tu turno. Que es tu sueño?”
(It’s your turn. What’s your dream?)
Once again, she handed me the blue marker, and silently waited for me to begin.
At first, I wasn’t too sure, but then all of a sudden I knew exactly what I wanted to draw.
I began to draw large strokes on the board. Thinking about something that I had dreamt of. Five minutes later, I had finished. I stepped back and waited for her to say something.
“Un libro?”, she asked.
“Si”, I replied.
“Quiero ser una escritora.”, I said.
(I want to be a writer)
There – I had said it out loud. I wanted to be a writer. I had shared my dream with the little girl who stood beside me. Maybe that’s all I needed to do. Want to become the person I had always dreamt of becoming. Maybe this was the first step – one which I had finally taken. Maybe this was a new beginning – the beginning that would let me live my dream someday. Once again, I heard her voice.
“Ahora es mi turno!”, she said.
(“Now it’s my turn!”)
And then we continued drawing – ponies, rainbows, mountains and birds. Everything that we could think of. Without worrying about whether our wishes could ever be fulfilled. Without letting anyone limit our imagination. Without any sense of time or space. Without fear.
I had never felt better. And I was grateful. To the little girl who had handed me the blue marker and asked me to draw. Who had asked me about my dreams. Who had taught me something important – To believe in myself. To dare to give a shot at things that were “too big” to imagine. To want to live my dream.
My beautiful encounter had ended, and had left me with a lesson for life. One which had lit a spark of hope in my mind. One which would always remain in my heart.