Did you make/fly paper planes as a child? You did?! Amazing. I did too. So did almost all the boys and girls who passed through or are currently living out their childhood age. It is about the oldest, commonest, dreamiest toy of our childhood days. Safe the advent of electronic remote controlled planes, it was the closest many of us got to being pilots, aeronautic engineers and flight crew and what a dream come through, to make our paper mini Boeings and jetliners fly however short the ground covered or the time traveled.
I made a paper plane today, 20 something years after the first one I made and for the first time in all that time, I realized something peculiar, something relative to some of my recent realities.
Paper planes are something of a metaphor. I see it now. A metaphor of life, of dreams and of the many times gravity couldn’t be defied.
I guess no matter how much or how many times you have seen or experienced life in its many manifestations and the significance of the little things in teaching valuable life lessons, nothing, absolutely nothing can adequately prepare you for the future
How many times did you craft your paper planes with details to the wing, the mouth, carefully tracing out the lines delicately, only to see your plane nose dive and crash into the hard ground, only a few seconds after flight? Too many times in my own case.
How many times did you run after your crashed plane, pick it up, remodel and reshape the bent parts and thrust it hard and/or meticulously, this time wishing the elements would connive to help you keep it afloat a tad longer than the previous times, only for it to fall short of the record or even when it goes past, down it still came? Too many I guess
How many times did the wind snatch it away from you, or landed it in a puddle and sullied the paperweight engine till it loses functionality and you have to wait and hope it can fly again or go straight to making another one? A number of times too, worthy of mention if you add the times the class bully yanked it from you or tore it to shreds.
I bet you didn’t notice when I changed the subject from paper planes to dreams. Or did you?
You just found yourself scanning to confirm if I really did and you just realized I didn’t.
Yes, I didn’t
dreams are like paper planes.
Regardless of the magnitude, shape and size, a dream is only paperweight. Little wonder the greatest edifices and creations were first paper drafts before actualization. Actualizing a dream is putting the brick and the nail and the cement and the wood and the glass and the steel that reinforces it and gives it weight.
Many a times, we dream dreams, we make moves to put the dreams in blueprints and sometimes we concert efforts to give it shape, give it wings and make the head pointy enough to drive through like our little paper planes and when it is time to fly, it nosedives, crashes into the unforgiving ground. Other times, it is not hitting the mark or the faintness of failure when one should break even and breakthrough and even in some cases, it is the class bully; government policies, crazy taxes, unrealistic entry demands, capitalism and monopoly of power and wealth that snatches these dreams and runs it to the ground.
One would think after seeing hundreds of paper planes fall to the ground, run over or snatched with brute force, the boys who have now become men would have developed a tougher mental stamina to deal, but no. I guess we didn’t learn enough from that metaphor, that life lesson from paper planes, gravity and its agents that wants to keep us aground or maybe we did. Maybe in our subconscious a lesson has been engrained? Maybe this is how we show up today despite the defeat of yesterday? Maybe this is what keeps us going alongside many of the things we picked up involuntarily growing up? Maybe this is why we didn’t give up?
I made a paper plane today, 20 something years after the first one I made and honestly I am still way off mark. I didn’t become an
astronaut or a pilot or a medical doctor. I haven’t built the foundation for underprivileged persons I dreamed of building and too many dreams of mine had crashed into hard side of rocks beyond my purview. Nevertheless, there’s still a million more dreams in my head and a lot of fire in my heart. There’s still the zest to make these dreams come true and the hope to pursue and salvage the wreckage of the crashed dreams and make something out of it. I do not know where the tides will take me, but
These much I know;
• Dreams are at first paperweight
• It is almost to a great certainty that we all dream
• Dreaming is like flying paper planes, you will fall, you will crash and the forces will impede your flight
• Reinforce your dreams with action, again and again. And if you fail on repeat, try again
• Actualizing a dream is no cake walk. However with time comes chances and with chances the promise of breakthrough
• You can win.