Adventures in Culture and Travel

06 October, 2012

Dreams live in the Future

Don't dream your life, live the dream.
So I was on my way back from Jeu de Balle where I met some friends and grabbed a chocolat chaud  (hot chocolate) with a side of conversation and several laughs.  Up the hill  from the flea market is a little cafe where they bring you hot white milk and a small thimble full of chocolate chips (I can only assume, Belgian chocolate). You mix it yourself, the chocolate melts as you stir it with a spoon, and you have this incredibly rich drink. The rain outside only added to the romance of it all, but it's amazing how something I've taken for granted my whole life is re-invented. Of course when I actually come home (in Brux.) and think about life these day, none of it, could have I imagined or dreamed in the past- or have I just forgot?

Since I let go of my expectations a few weeks ago, every day is a mystery, a wildly unknown future where amazing is waiting. Sometimes I forget the cobblestones under my feet, or the non-native words I now (partially) speak. Sometimes I forget the diversity of friends from around the world I've made, the uniquely non-American conversations I've had, and then you're walking through Gare Du Midi, like I have a "million" times, like I've lived here my whole life, and I pass by a restaurant, and it all comes back. This place was where I left Brussels two years ago, in tears, having felt I found something wonderful, having experienced something special, and then having to leave. Self-exiled, banished, but forever wanting more of it.

So I stood and stared at those seats, those same seats where the three of us that day sat, talked, and ate. Juxtaposed against today's social, I suddenly laughed. Back then, Sarah whispered to us about the time a man exposed himself to her while simultaneously we shoveled hot-dogs in our faces. Upon realizing the comedy of the situation, we laughed so hard we cried. The ghosts of us were still there in those seats, the laughs, the tears, the person I used to be- phantoms in my mind. An event that in reality was so superficially menial, but yet in this moment, the future of those I've materialized before me from the past, it all seems ironically profound. I'm literally now staring at myself, a stranger sitting there, replaying the moment in my head, and I realize I'm no longer that person. That day, as we walked to the train, Sarah turned to me and asked me if I was alright, thinking something horrible had taken place. It wasn't anything horrible, quite the contrary.

This is when the day dream ends, and I chuckle in a station full of strangers, then walk away from the past. As I exit the train station and get on the metro to head home, there on the wall, a part of the facade is a sentence, "Dreams live in the future". I smirk once again knowing what my final words to Sarah were that day by the previous version of me: "Part of me isn't leaving today, and the part that is, dreams of coming back".