My sincere apologies to every teacher who tolerated my distraction. My thanks to each teacher who disciplined me with but a gentle nudge when my gaze strayed to the window. I thank you all, and I’m sorry.
I’m sorry, not because I was a terrible child or a poor student. I’m sorry because you all enabled my unbridled imagination, and then when I should’ve embraced its wonder I allowed the cyclone to take it away.
For most of my life my relationship with the one gift bestowed to me at birth was a road I feared to walk upon for long, if at all. My imagination made me different when I desperately desired sameness. Above all else I wanted acceptance and was convinced the road there was labeled “normal.” People who were normal didn’t spend their time in fictitious places.
I feared my imaginative mind because it seemed to have a mind of its own. It worked at a frantic pace that scared me. Already I possessed little control over my life. Worse was to not have control over my thoughts. At times it seized my hand and raced into a field of unlimited words. It was wondrous with its infinite possibilities. My own yellow brick dream.
And then self-criticism would shove creativity aside. It’d remind me that such a place was a field of poppies before the Emerald City and I should remember the dangers there and how close Dorothy had come to succumbing to their allure.
Thankfully my heart didn’t reside in my head. Thankfully my heart, and eventually my head, accompanied my creativity on a quest of their own where what was sought was self-acceptance.
I found it and have now awakened to a world of my own making. I’m in my own Oz and I don’t want to leave. I won’t leave. I’ve opened my door to discover my imagination huddled in the rain at the edge of the yellow brick. It’s dripping tail is wagging in anticipation, the longing in its eyes unmistakable. My full heart has let in inside for good. I’ve dried it off, held it tight, and never again will I let it go.