As I lay down my pen, the waves of desperation ceased. I stared blankly at the ten sheets of paper before me, and the illegible handwriting that embarrassingly adorned them. The scribbles seemed to be dancing, or more aptly, struggling to leap off my answer script. Disappointment should typically follow failure, but instead, I felt a strange sense of calm overwhelm me. I lay back, and for the first time in two hours, lifted my head. Specks of light darted round my vision, very much like crazed static. Maybe the gravity of the situation didn’t sink in, or perhaps, worryingly, I performed to a satisfactory extent. An extent which lay within my flawed expectations.

When I was a younger, more impressionable individual, many would ask what I wanted to grow up to be. My answers would mirror my genuine belief that success and greatness would, without doubt, find me. As I aged, my dreams shifted sorely from the realm of fantasy to the realm of possibility. Exposure to the often cruel realities of life punctured my confidence and naivety. The skyscraper that I thought I was building? It would apparently never reach its completion! My responses to that question are now carefully worded, so as not to invite any unwanted skepticism. After all, why promise what I may not deliver?

The point is, all this deeply saddens me. Why am I now afraid to dream? Touching the sky should be a relentless chase, not a discarded afterthought. It struck me there and then, as my script was being pulled from my shaking hands, what was running through my head. It was a little voice, whispering from the depths of my soul, telling me to press on. To never surrender to the circumstances, or the popular opinion. To chase the stars, and fight bravely. To give my all and fulfill the promise I made as a child, that I’ll be a great man. To know everything would work itself out eventually, as it always did. For I should dare to dream, and always should. I owe it to myself.