Dreams have been my companions down the years. They have fed my creativity and nourished my will for the future.

Some time ago, the dreams stopped coming. At night when I slept, I did just that. There was a void of neither here nor there into which I was plunged each time I rested my head upon the pillow. Still, this was better than the alternative of being trapped the wrong side of sleep, in a place where dragons roamed.

I once went through a period of writing where I actively employed sleep to dream up the next chapters. I went to bed with an idea and woke up with the solution. At that time I thoought that I discovered the creative person’s Eldorado. Unfortunately, like all rushes for gold, there came a time when the vein was mined out. My mind has never been the same since it decided to reboot itself. And my belief in the ‘fairy dust’ of dreams has not been the same either.

Fear has stalked my every step. Dreams give way to angst as the void yowns open and shows what is in store. As a result, I have accepted each meagre offering that life gives. I have accepted the fact that the ‘fairy dust’ falls somewhere else and that if I want to create something fresh, I will have to work through my steps and lay down my plans.

I started this post as a way of explaining to myself why, eventually, I am leaving teaching. My reason was that I no longer felt able to provide what was needed for ‘dreams’. I have had students crying when they received coursework grades. After all their hard work, they looked upon grades that were not the upper-most as failures; my failure to give them what their young lives needed to progress. I try to work really hard for them but there is only so much I can and am allowed to do; I cannot cheat.

It’s our system that cheats. We feed our young and old with this never-ending tale of progress. ‘If’ becomes the condition on which we rise or fall. ‘If’ is a stepping stone, a way to the top, a pathway to happiness and I am the barrier, the blocker of dreams.

I think that there is so much more that we ought to do with our lives and the lives of our children.

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