The Boy Who Looked Up

The Boy Who Looked Up


Few things inspire me more than a starry sky. Even when I’m doing something banal as taking out the trash, it gets easily transformed into something magical when I look up to the sky and see a thousand stars.

As a kid, I always told my family that I wanted to be a “scientist.” What I really wanted to be was an astronaut, but I didn’t know about the word “astronaut” then, so “scientist” was my closest guess. For years, they touted me as the “scientist” of the family, who in their minds was probably going to cure cancer or something fancy like that. Once I was older and able to explain what I actually meant, I knew that they were disappointed. There are no Cuban astronauts.

As I got older, I began to devour adventure stories. Reading those books had a similar effect on me. I could see myself traversing thick jungles and looking for buried treasures. I also began drawing comics and writing. One of my most fantastical stories was one called, “Beyond the Stars.” In my imaginative 8-year-old mind, this man, an astronaut, travels up and up, so far into the galaxy that he actually pierces the sky, that is they grand canopy that covers everything. What does he find there? I don’t know. I ended the story with a cliffhanger, but it was exciting to imagine being so close to the stars. Of course, now I know that each of those stars are millions or billions of light years away from each other, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming then.

As we get older, we kind of lose the ability to dream like that. We are told that life is supposed to be a certain way and that we’re crazy to challenge it. Other times we just busy ourselves with so many things that we forget to look up and be amazed. And other times we are afraid of dreaming because we don’t want to fail.

This summer, I plan on finishing a novel. While I will eventually have to revise it and make changes, I plan to finish the first draft. I don’t want to be afraid anymore. I don’t want to make more excuses. I want to be an author and authors write.

What are your dreams? What are you doing about them?

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