Noa Santana Bridson
A name that blossomed from the love created by some crazy hippy couple living in South Korea in the mid-1990's. A name that carries the meaning " the one who wanders". A name that plays the strings of my parents favourite love song. A name that tells the story of my unruly pioneering ancestors that fled from the Isle of Man to Canada. 
The eccentric, sui generis, peculiar nature of my name holds in it traces of the creative line of artists and inventors from which I hail. While I have evidence to prove that this existence is not is not a lucrative one, I am proud of the dreamers that came before me and the idealist spirit that passed into my heart. 
Without this sense of wonder, of possibility and the adventure that ensues when following your dreams,I would have never pushed for more. It was only because I dreamed of a college full of engaged, loving, internationally minded students did I find Pearson UWC. It was only that I dreamed I could run 50km that I was able to push myself and finish my first Ultramarathon this summer. It was only that dreamed that I could live in a foreign country and live amongst a new culture that I am doing the Global Citizen Year program and heading to Ecuador tomorrow.  
What happens though when things you dont dream of pop up into your life? In the past two years I have had many days where darkness clouds my ability to look out the window and see possiblities. Where situations make you realize with a fear that clenches around your heart just how little control we have over some of the biggest moments in our lives.
It's those feelings that make us want to shut the doors, crawl under the covers,or stay in the shower a little longer to wash away our tears.
What I have learned however is that all you need to do is take a deep breath and place one foot in front of the other. Contrary to what some may believe, this is a story that a true dreamer knows well because they know that the only way to keep there dream alive is to keep following it. 
The dreamer recognizes it is not a well worn path that will take your from A to B but a winding road that will take you through every letter in the alphabet, and that along the way you will learn to spell out your own destiny. 
Somewhere along the way in the last two years, somewhere in between exams and a chain of bad news I lost this dreamer. Yet I am reminded every time I say my name that is is still there. I reminded in my name of the sounds of my great grandmothers brush strokes, of the feeling of borrowing my uncles camera for the first time, of looking at pictures my mom's 20's spent living in the Himalayas and knowing in my heart that it would be me someday.
As I try to confront the insecurities of moving to another country I have to remind myself  just to breath deep. And as I embrace this radical change in my life I cant help but get the sense that it is this dreamer that got me to where I am and it is this dreamer that will carry me through the ups and downs of the next 7 months and the rest of my life. 
Specially dedicated to the biggest dreamer of them all, my mom Mandy Clarke-Bridson <3