If They Don’t Know Your Dreams…
“If they don’t know your dreams, then they can’t shoot you down” — Jermaine Lamarr Cole.
J. Cole is undoubtedly one of my favourite rappers of the new school. Another layer to the place that music holds in my life changed on that day in 2009 (or perhaps it was 2010, the memory serves as it pleases) when, whilst doing coursework in my third floor Mill Hall room at Brunel, I first listened to The Warm Up as prompted by Eva or Gabz (whomsoever ‘fesses up and takes credit first, wins).
I want to momentarily digress and acknowledge the beauty that we call technology. I couldn’t help myself but to clarify my uncertainty and can confirm that it was indeed 2009 I first listened to The Warm Up. Cheers, tech gods.
Ever since that (likely cold, wet, or potentially even snowy — there was an epic snow fight I slept through around this time during my first year, after being awake for 67 of 72 coffee-less (I don’t drink coffee, perhaps Red Bull was used as sustenance) hours to hand in three pieces of coursework across four days having left each piece ’til the very last minute; never again — winter) night, I have been an unwavering J. Cole fan. Yes, he has his rightful critics but so many of his lyrics hit my soul. So it should come as no surprise that when I first heard him utter “If they don’t know your dreams, then they can’t shoot you down” on Friday Night Lights’ ‘Too Deep For the Intro’, I was immediately sold. Because it’s true, right? All those haters, those people who want to see you fail, that want your demise, that are waiting to hear that all those lofty dreams you had have fallen like a lead balloon are going to rejoice when exactly that occurs. But what about those who want to see me win, Jermaine?
At the time of writing this post, I have received the same press release about a certain (almost dream) role from at least eleven people. I’m convinced it’s thirteen people, but I can’t seem to remember or find who that person was in any of my communication methods. I wouldn’t be surprised if I received this same press release from another person by the time I’ve published this blog. These people spanned from some of my closest friends who know my life inside-out, know exactly what I’m doing and where I’m at with my career, to the complete opposite end of the ‘friends’ spectrum; people I’d politely refer to as acquaintances whose knowledge of my life is what I choose to show on social media.
If you know Abe, you know Abe writes. Inevitable. Literally you might know nothing else about me, but you will know I write if you talk to me for longer than five minutes. Whilst my nearest and dearest had good reason to send me this role, aware of my current dispositions, the people who fall into the acquaintances category sent it on a hunch. Some of them were even apologetic, in case it wasn’t something that I was interested in.
You see, this wouldn’t have happened if people didn’t know my dreams. This isn’t the first time I’ve been sent writing-related opportunities, either. I, too, sometimes will see an opportunity that may pertain to someone I haven’t spoken to in years but may have noticed what they’re doing/pursuing via social media so will send it through to them. So, whilst I understand why J. Cole errs on the side of caution in being protective in his dreams, I can’t stress enough the opportunities that have come my way and the doors that have been opened by the unlikeliest of folks, all because I’ve been so vocal about my dream.
So, to Rami, Femi, Tomi, FJ, Derek, Asif, Ronke, Zainab, Eva, Kyriacou, Tobi, Nelson and potentially mystery person #12 who alerted me about the role in question, and anybody else who has done this over the years, thank you — thank you for knowing my dreams and helping me get closer to them. And, for anybody reading this, I hope you’ll be more vocal about what you do/want to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re fully-fledged or a beginner; within six months of deciding I wanted to be a screenwriter, I landed a meeting with an established film director, all because I told a stranger what I do. I didn’t even have a single script to my name, no word of a lie. All I had was a dream, and a relentless desire to obtain it. That’s all it takes sometimes for someone to believe in you, support you, elevate you, open a door and pass an opportunity your way.
Lastly, for anyone who doesn’t know what I do… My name is Abe and I’m a writer (as well as a writer of other things; plays, voiceovers, copy, but to name a few). Please don’t shoot me down.
This is my new home for online writing, now. The contents of my previous can still be found in their old home, AbeMustWrite. Do give it a visit and blow away the cobwebs :-).
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