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DeanI thought dreams were permanent and forever. I thought the future was a distant, abstract idea. That was before I learned more about myself. That was before the future snuck up on me.

I started dreaming of being a musician at 5 years old. I know I’ve changed a lot and grown up since then, but that doesn’t mean I was ready for my dream to change. All of a sudden, I knew that I wanted to do something bigger with my life. I wanted to do something for me and for other people.

All my life, ever since I knew how to dream, I knew what I wanted to do. I knew that I was destined to play music. I’ve always been drawn to sound and I can’t help but write and play. There’s so much obvious emotion that can’t be hidden in a performance.

However, as I grew up and learned more about myself, and other subjects, I figured out that my interests were in more than one thing. So why should I have to follow only one of them? Why should I stop myself from dreaming? Why can’t I have more than one dream?

Well, as it turns out, I can. And, even better, all my dreams can come true.

I’m always writing about people taking control of their voices and encouraging people to use their voices. I never thought I could help give a voice to people who are ignored and mistreated. I can stand against discrimination. I can act on the things I believe in so strongly. I can use my love of language and culture to help people, to be a bridge. I can connect different people. I can make them see that they are equals, that they aren’t so different after all.

A peaceful world is my perfect world. I always thought I promote that with my music, my voice. I never realized that I could do it by representing other people’s voices, as an interpreter. I would like to be a sign language interpreter. In my eyes, every interpreter is another bridge between cultures, and I want to be a bridge. How can cultures ever understand one another if just one person is trying to bridge them? It takes a big bridge, or many bridges, to get people across the water. And a culture is bigger than a stream. So it needs more than one bridge.

I had been holding on to a dream that I’d had my entire life, and I was scared to let it go. Now I realize that I don’t have to let it go; I just need to make room for another dream to fit beside it. Together, I can do all I’ve ever wanted to do, and all I was scared to admit that I wanted. Together, my dreams can make anything possible.

In the end, a new dream has given me more than I ever thought I could achieve. I know some people think I’m crazy to change my whole world. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. It’s scary for me too.

It’s something I’ve always wanted, but I never thought it was possible. And in a way, that’s a better dream. That’s the dream I want to come true. So I’m choosing that dream, and I’m moving forward. Better yet, I’m just following the dream.

Perrin Dean is a senior at Wilsonville High School. She is contributing a regular column to the Spokesman this school year.

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