By: Emily Maybanks

Inspired by songs from the 2017 film The Greatest Showman

There are a million dreams keeping me awake.

A million dreams for the world I am going to make.

A million dreams; that is all it is going to take.

Every night, I lie in bed; the brightest colours filling my head – a flag of pink, purple and blue, or a flag of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Outside, it is dark and bitterly cold; but, beneath the cosy warmth of the covers, my mind is busy designing a world. My imagination is running completely wild and I am creating a world in which everyone can be who are they are and who they want to be. I am dreaming of a world in which we are more than we could ever be; we will never be able to go back to the world that we are currently living in. It is a world in which we are not terrified to hide our faces, our true selves. This is the world I dream of every time I close my eyes.

The world we live in today – we stumble through our days, heads hung low. We are all obsessed with what society thinks of us and we are too afraid to be ourselves, for fear of judgement. And who can blame us? When people judge us for looking different or for acting different; they judge us for being gay, for having a mental illness, for having ambitious plans. We’re ashamed of our lives and of ourselves. But, sometimes, we are also far too over-confident, bordering on being cocky. We are driven by material items, by money, by how many likes we get on a Facebook post or on an Instagram photo. We think that we know what is best for those we barely know, whilst barely knowing what is best for ourselves. Worse still, we have the wrong people in power, drinking champagne while there are people out there who can’t even afford a cup of tea.

Sometimes, we are all guilty of being blinded by lights that are too bright and too enticing.

When that sparkle and glitter fades and the walls won’t hold; the walls begin to crumble around you. It is in these desperate moments when we learn who is truly there for us, who genuinely cares about us, who honestly and openly accepts us for who we are. This is why, for those people who I admire, who I adore and who I appreciate more than anything – I imagine a world for us all to live in. We can be perpetually young, wild and free, and happy. I imagine a world full of the nicest yet simplest things – each one there to make them all smile, even on the rainiest day. I have learnt that all it takes it one word or one act of kindness to be able to flip that switch in someone’s mind, brightening up their darkest day. The sun will come up and those magical, beautiful colours will appear, not blinding us but binding us together, forever.

Together, we can redefine this world. We can come alive; ride this light, let it burn beautifully bright. The sharpest, cruellest words might cut us down but we will send a flood of electrifying light and drown them out. We are glorious. We are brave. We are marching to the beat that we drum, an anthem in our hearts; making no apologies because this is us, this is who we are meant to be. I know that if all was lost and I found myself alone, trapped under the greyest clouds, the more I would eventually gain because my dreams would always lead me back to those who care about me as much as I care about them.

Even though I have to close my eyes to see this world, this wonderful fantasy; sometimes, all I need to do is look up and realise that – in reality – those people who I admire, adore and appreciate are there for me, no matter how near or far away they are.

This is the world that I am living in, and I am dreaming with my eyes wide open.


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