Tween DreamsMIDDLE SCHOOL PLAYGROUNDS: Where Tween Dreams Die  

Tween dreams are important, but right now, somewhere in the country, a child’s dream is beginning to die right there on the playground at school.  This is one of the many reasons I wrote Saltwater Taffy…to help children hold onto their tween dreams!

The tragic happening begins as early as middle school where tweens imaginations are filled with dreams of tomorrow.  Within their young eyes, the tween twinkle gives them the organic ability to not only dream, but dream BIG.  The impossible shows up in their tweenage mind because they have YET to learn the….…dis-ability of self-doubt.

Tween dreams have a way of making a tweens believe in themselves so much they conjure up the impossible and can’t wait for the journey to begin.  When they become excited about these tween dreams and decide to tell others about it, they say things like ‘I love this’ or ‘I love that.  Then, someone overhears the passion and makes fun of them right there on the playground.  Ridicule and embarrassment soon follow and before we know it, the dream is beginning to die.

Afraid of the constant ridicule or some other form of playground bullying, the tweenager loses the desire to SHOUT FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS and choose to shy away from the hearts desire altogether.  The organic, adventurous and beautiful spirit is replaced with a desire to simply fit in because nobody like to be made fun of.

The dysfunctional process of dream dying continues as the tweenager begins to protect their heart from others.  They close themselves off and years begin to pass.  Before they know it, the tweenager forgets how to dream at all.  They forget what it is like to have a thirst, an enthusiasm and appetite for something unknown.  When we look around, our cities are filled with people like this, lost in translation, separated from their childhood dreams.  Addicted and overweight, they slide into a routine of clock punching and television watching.

I believe this dysfunction needs to STOP….RIGHT HERE…RIGHT NOW.  We need to save our future by saving our dreams TODAY.  We need to teach our children that our dreams make us who we are…to become.  The pursuit of a hearts desire is what life is really about.  Fitting in only makes you like the next guy or girl, and if you were the next guy or girl, who would be you?

When you listen to your heart compass (ya know, that little voice inside) life has a way of snowballing in YOUR FAVOR and your dreams become your reality.  That’s how life works.  Never bow to ridicule and embarrassment, but put your attention on something you love.  Every moment is a new opportunity for us to discover new territories inside of who we are…and more importantly, who we are to become…tomorrow.

It really is UP TO YOU

How do you want to live?  Filled with frustration because you gave up on your dream?  Filled with anger because you allowed someone else to steal your dream away?  Or filled with love because you know there isn’t one person who can divert YOU from YOUR dream?  I mean, come on, at least give it a shot and stick up for your dreams.  Stand tall and never, ever, ever give up.

Always remember, every moment is another adventure waiting to happen.  Lost in translation or filled with expression?  The journey is really up to you!  TAKE IT and TURN THIS MOTHA OUT!

Eric DelaBarre is an award winning filmmaker and the author of Saltwater Taffy; A Novel of Adventure and Self-Discovery.  Copyright October 12, 2010.  All Rights Reserved.

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