By: Gabriela Yareliz
I have this olive green dress from Target that I love. I’ve had it since 2009. It stands out because it’s sleeveless and has deep pockets. It’s made from comfortable light material. Perfect for a summer day. I took it to France with me the summer of 2009. In the process of traveling, I had several Paris metro tickets that I had stuffed in the right pocket. Over time, I scrapbooked some of the tickets and made others bookmarks, but I always kept one in the right pocket of that green dress. Even when I would wash the dress, I would take the ticket out and then put it right back in that right pocket. It was like an amulet.
Years later, one summer night while in law school, I was interning in the city that summer and wandering to my favorite hangout spot, Washington Square Park (the one with the arch and Piano Man). This park was only a couple blocks away from where I lived. I am not sure what had gone on that day, but I was feeling a bit down and drained. I remember that after listening to Piano Man, I had taken a stroll through the NYU dorm buildings. I was weaving through them aimlessly. My walks were how I cleared my head and prayed.
As I walked in the glow of the streetlights, I came to a corner, I looked down on the sidewalk, and there was a Paris metro ticket. I knelt down and grabbed it. It was ironic because I had my green dress on. When I reached into my right pocket, I had my own old Paris metro ticket in there. I then had two.
Listen, I still have the dress (it’s good as new), but the tickets are in a keepsake location (I don’t just walk around with tickets in my pocket anymore, even though I did for about 5 years). But that night, when I stumbled on the ticket, I was reminded of how life can surprise us and how we can’t stop dreaming. That ticket was a reminder that reality can be better than our dreams. I needed to find that second one on the floor to remind me of the one I had carried in my pocket for so long.
No matter how long it takes, keep dreaming and keep taking steps toward those dreams. Life is unexpected. It often doesn’t fulfill the most cliché dreams we harbor. But those are boring anyway. It does delight in fulfilling the ones we hold with trembling hands. There are dreams that only belong to you. There are things only you can offer this world. Don’t lose that ticket. Keep striving. You’ve got what it takes to take you there. Take a walk. Say a prayer. Your ticket is on you; in your pocket, matter a fact. Let this be the ticket you find on the sidewalk that reminds you of what you already have.