To be honest, I have always had a fascination for this, and you, and the idea that there is a life out there, still waiting for me, no matter what my age might be. I fascinated with the idea that I am still able to change, to dream, to be and recreate.
I have this idea of me, driving along and turning off from a long, empty state road, way up in the Upstate Mountains.
The sky is as blue as it will ever be. There are scattered formations of white summery clouds, as bright as the mind could imagine, and the sun beams down across the mountainsides.
The trees are all green and the pastures are peaceful, like a painting I once of a child in his overalls, no shirt on, and he’s with a young little girl, beautiful as ever in a sundress —and then there would be the cow farms, the red barns, the tall grassy fields that roll with gentle hills, sweeping through the clearings; this is the country. This is perfect. This is also a place I want to design someday.
Nothing else is around to pollute the mind—no cell towers, no modern day complications, and no impulsiveness, no intrusion, no bullies, just a turn onto a dirt road that heads passed some of the neighboring farms.
I am a dreamer. I always have been a dreamer and I always will be. The difference now is I am less afraid of dreaming. I am less concerned with my outside appearance of being a dreamer. I am less concerned with the critics and the outside opinions that love to destroy hopes of others that dare to be hopeful.
I want to drive down this long dirt road and pass the hills —and as I drive along, I can see the top of a big red barn appearing as I climb over a hill.
I can see my place now.
To my left is a small pasture with a little house. To my right is a hill, meant for sleigh riding when the snow comes.
Behind the barn is where the cows would be. I would have a few sheep in the field behind the main house. Maybe a few pigs inside the barn, maybe a few dogs, and maybe a few other things like a small little pond, which is all similar to a place from my past; however, this place is not the same as the place from my past whatsoever. This is a place my future.
I want there to be plenty of room here. I want this to be a place for me and you and for anyone that felt rejected or stigmatized, humiliated, shamed, and publicly shunned for any reason whatsoever.
Back in 89-90, I lived at a place like this —only, my place would be different and based upon different rules. My place would be open to kids that were like me.
Send me the bullied. Send me the depressed. Send me the rejected and the refused. Send me the ones that just want to live and be themselves and learn how to be comfortable in their own skin.
Send me the hurt. Send me the struggling. Send me the young ones that live the way they do because they can’t see themselves living any other way.
I imagine myself here, driving up to this enormous plot of land, which would be empty at first, and then I would build this, based on the blueprints in my head.
This is where the abused could come and never be worried again. This is where the people in doubt could live and never feel doubtful anymore.
In the spring, we could all take walks. We could sit by the little pond in the summertime or fish one of the nearby streams.
We could build things and learn things and create a little community together. This place would be safe from the world, but yet, we would learn how to live here, because, of course, eventually people move on. People would go off to create a life of their own.
This is where the lessons would come into practice —this is where life would be applied with hopes that the kids from the farm learned enough about life and about themselves that they understand the truth, which is no one can ever stop them from living and no one ever has the right to keep them from being who they are.
I think about this place and I try to build it in my head. I try to imagine the people that live with us on the farm —we are a family here and above all things, we are a connection between one another, just in case tragedy shows itself . This way none of us will ever be alone.
I want to grow old here. I want people to come visit me here. I want kids to come back, grown and living the life they’ve always wanted to live.
I want to see this one day. I want to build this place. No bullies here. No need for drugs. No need for status or the incessant need to be “Cool” or “Beautiful” because everyone is both, cool and beautiful.
I don’t suppose this place would be easy to build. I don’t suppose it would all be smiles and puppy dogs either.
No, I assume there would be struggles. I assume there would be some that wish they were elsewhere, which would be fine. No one would ever be kept here like the farm I lived on. This place would be a choice.
I want to build this farm, which would also be a school. I want to teach people how to live, and yet, I would learn how to live more too. I would learn from them the same as they would learn from me.
You would help me with this too. You would be a teacher here. You would help the members of the farm. I know you would.
We could have classes like they should have had in school—classes like, how to shop in a supermarket and how to feed yourself, how to enjoy life, and what to do when you’re unsure what to do next.
We would have talent classes and ability nurturing studies. I think these classes would be mandatory. Aside from math and science; we would learn about our own needs to add, multiply, subtract, and divide.
We would learn about our own science and our own chemistry. We would learn about the connections in our mind, how we think, and why we think the way we do.
There would be confidence building classes and creation classes. There would be art classes and music classes, which would not be a class so much as an outlet to explore.
There would be an understanding class, which would help us come to grips with our insecurities and teach us how to defy the lies we’ve believed about ourselves for far too long.
There would be beauty awareness day—or maybe an awareness month. In fact, what would you say if every month was an awareness month?
We could teach us to live and to love and to learn walk away (and stay away) from others that degrade us.
We could have friendship classes, in which we could learn and determine our interpersonal skills by understanding the difference between mutually beneficial and one-sided or one-way relationships.
I have this picture from back when I lived on a farm. I think about this and I think about the life-saving process that took me away from my self-destructive behavior. This is where I learned there is another way.
And I get it. Not everyone would dig it here.
And that’s fine. But there would be those who would come and love the fact that at last, they found a place where they were free to be themselves.
I want to see a child get back their childhood here. I want to see a kid that couldn’t smile, look up at the sky at sunset over the farm—and I want to see them smile because the pain is gone. I want to be part of that.
Yes, I have always been fascinated by this idea. Maybe someday this will happen. And don’t worry—you will be one of the first to know if it does.
In fact, I was hoping you’d come along to help me get started.
I could sure use the help; besides, the one thing I know to be true is it takes a lot of work to build a dream