Dreams, What’s the Big Deal ?

Apr 17, 2011   //   by Pamela Greyer   //   The Launch Pad  //  No Comments


If you take a tour around the site, you’ll notice in many places the tag lines “Dreams Do Come True”, “Dream Big”, “Just for Dreamers”, and the Dream list goes on and

The NASA Lady at Kennedy Space Center

Under the NASA Meatball at KSC

on. When I started writing about the NASA program I managed seven years ago, the wonder and amazement in the eyes and verbal expressions of the young people my staff or I presented content to never ceased to amaze me.  Their eyes would get big, the words “Wow”, “Amazing”, and “Awesome” followed.  Then the questions began.  The one that always makes me smile and laugh is when my young audience asks me if I’m an astronaut.  Even though I often present in my Northrop Grumman Weightless Flights of Discovery flight suit, I explain that I am not an astronaut but the closest thing to being in space I’ve experienced was flying on the Zero G plane.

Then I let them know that while I’m not an astronaut they can be.  There’s usually a puzzled look on many faces when I tell them this but then I go on to explain that becoming an astronaut is a dream that can become a reality.  I’m not sure how many people believe in the power of dreams but I look at dreaming as a fun exercise in daily affirmations.  When I write or talk about dreams I’m not referring to the dreams that come to us in our sleep but the active act of dreaming of through imagination, creativity, and plans for what you or your life may be life in the next day, week, month, or year(s).  I have incorporated this explanation into my presentations and workshops because I believe the act of dreaming is losing out to today’s technological landscape.

When I was younger, dreaming and playing make-believe was a big part of our lives.  Television was a treat to be enjoyed in the evening and only for an hour or two before bedtime. It was more fun to grab a bunch of stuff, dress up, and pretend to be whatever the idea was for the day.  We made countless mud pies, attempted to feed cookies and tea to our dolls, dressed up in our mother’s clothes which made us feel real grown-up, and at one point we rescued neighborhood kittens and dressed them in doll clothes.   This was our practice for motherhood.  Of course the kittens objected wildly and after a day of being dressed into clothes, bonnets, and stuffed in strollers to be paraded up and down our street,  they hid themselves or left the neighborhood so they would never be subjected to  our playtime fantasies again.

We would spend hours in the summertime on our front porches drinking 10 cent Old Dutch sodas and sharing our dreams for the future.  Thanks to technology, I have found some of my childhood friends and we laugh as we look at our lives now and reminiscence about our conversations of what we would be when we grew up.  Our dreams allowed us to plant seeds of careers which took root through high school and college.  Experience is the best teacher, and when I talk to young people about dreaming I share my story of how dreams can shape our life.  Sometimes they happen with a purpose and sometimes they can be subliminal thoughts that nudge you in a direction that you might have had intentions of following but let life get in the way.

So to show my audience that the dream of becoming an astronaut is not one that is far fetched or unattainable, I bring pictures of astronauts, information on how to apply to be an astronaut, and tons of videos and multi-media showing astronauts at work and at play.  I let them know that civilians now play an important role in space missions and you don’t have to be a former air force pilot or even an engineer to become an astronaut.  As NASA  moves out of the manned space flight business, there are now more opportunities to be an astronaut than ever before.  Commercial manned space flights and space exploration will launch an entirely new set of careers.  There are private commercial space companies waiting to be born, scientists needed to continue experiments on living, working, and discovering what is out there in space, engineers innnovating and designing the next generation of space crafts, human settlements and terraforming of planets, and space stations in galaxies yet explored just waiting for us to take the journey.

While the dream is important, all young dreamers need a support network and this is what we aim for on this site.  Many of our young people have dreams but there is no one to help them along the way as mentors, to offer academic and career guidance, or helping them make good life choices.  We are building a network of people to help our young dreamers reach their goals.

Stay tuned to find out how you can become a part of a new initiative to keep young dreams alive.

Yours in dreams,

The NASA Lady
























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