DS106 Assignment: Image with a Message

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt has always been someone who inspires me, so when I was looking for quotes, this one stood out. In the past several months, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own dreams, both the kind you experience in sleep and the ones you hope to achieve in the future. Towards the end of the Fall 2020 semester, I started thinking about going for a Writing minor after talking with my creative nonfiction professor. I decided that at the very least, I wanted to have the option of teaching English one day, but also that I may want to pursue an MFA in creative writing at some point in the future. Around that same time, I also started having really vivid nightmares, which I originally attributed to watching too many gory crime shows, so I stopped. However, the nightmares only seemed to get worse and were happening more frequently the longer I did this. I was worried that there might be something wrong with me, but what I’ve recently come to realize is that I was incredibly stressed when I was trying to plan out my future, and when the new semester started in the spring, my anxiety just kept building until it manifested itself into horrible nightmares that I had to tell someone about. Once I finally let my family know about what I was going through, the nightmares seemed to stop, and I was able to go back to dreaming.

I choose this photo because it resonates with how I felt at the time. My subconscious was trying to tell me I should be more worried about the future I was planning out, probably because I’ve always had some anxiety when it comes to big decisions, which I see in the rolling storm clouds in the background. Consciously though, I was totally at peace, like the girl in the forefront. Everything felt right, and still feels right, about my choice to declare a Writing minor, so I felt perfectly fine ignoring my brain’s concerns. I very rarely feel compelled to follow my instinct instead of reason, but the few times I have, my gut has lead me down a definitively better path than my brain could ever intellectualize.

Anyways, if you’ve gotten this far, I found the quote in a list of The 100 Most Famous Quotes of All Time written by Meredith Hart, and the photo I found by doing a Creative Commons search. I don’t entirely remember which phrase turned up this image, but I’m pretty sure I used “peaceful dreams” and scrolled for a very long time. The photo’s author goes by the name chiaralily on Flickr, and the photo has the CC BY-NC license meaning you have to credit the original creator and you can only use it for noncommercial purposes.

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