Sandra decided to abandon a lucrative career as a lawyer for a rather unconventional career in photography much to her parents dismay. As expected, her parents were against the choice and repeatedly tried to convince her to stick to the law. However, Sandra was hellbent on forging her own path. She moved out with nothing but a small chunk of money in her name and ended up struggling to make ends meet. Her tenacity paid off eventually. An art gallery curator in Greece noticed her work and invited her to Mykonos for a two-week stay. This was only the beginning of her dream life.
Read the first part – The Dreamer Part 1
Two weeks flew by while I was in Mykonos. The gallery exhibition was a success and my stay was even better. I sold two prints and earned a small fanbase in the art community.
Whenever I’d go out to capture some images, the locals would gather in a crowd whispering to each other about my work. I had photographed a few people in the area and the photos appeared in the local paper.
On my last days, I took a break from work to finally explore the island and capture some private shots. unlike other days, I went alone. Thalia was not by my side as she always was. It was then that I truly got to mingle with people and got to see a side of the island that I have never seen before. During my shoots for the gallery, we mainly went to tourist locations but this time, I decided to walk around the island.
I felt a bit uncomfortable since I stood out in the crowd of half-naked white tourists strolling the streets. Additionally, Thalia wasn’t there to respond when people spoke in Greek. However, I had picked up a few words and could respond or ask common questions.
After buying a few snacks, I packed my picnic basket and headed to the beach. I noticed a young boy trailing me from the marketplace. He didn’t say anything and whenever I turned back or stopped, he would hide.
Eventually, he mustered some courage and approached me. He pointed at my camera and I thought he wanted me to take a picture of him. So, I switched it on and pointed it at him. I took a picture and showed it to him. He seemed impressed. As I turned to continue my walk, he ran in front of me.
“Sandra,” he said and I immediately stopped.
“You know my name?” I asked, not sure if he would understand.
“Newspaper.” He replied then took out the newspaper he was referring to.
“Mama.” he continued pointing at a woman in the picture. “You change our lives. Many companies hire her for work. She was a club waitress, she becomes a model now.”
I smiled. The image had actually gained popularity because of her. The way she casually went about her business as I snapped pictures of the vacationers showed a different side of the exotic island that many locals seemed to enjoy.
He handed me a drawing he made of me holding a camera. It turned out he was in the club that day as he always was when his mother was at work and that was when he drew me not knowing the picture I had taken with his mother in the background would gain so much attention.
After our exchange, he returned to the shopping centre and I headed to the beach where I spent the rest of the day.
As a parting gift, the gallery planned to throw me a farewell party at the hotel.
The entire gallery team was in attendance and everyone was dressed to kill. I wore a sequin red dress with a thigh-high slit and red heels to match. My hair and makeup were on point thanks to the stylist who had come to my room earlier that day to doll me up.
As we mingled and exchanged pleasantries, I found myself next to Angelo who had grown fond of me.
“Sandra, I hate to see you leave”
“Me too. Your island is pure magic. I haven’t had enough.”
“Well, why don’t you stay a little longer?” he asked.
I laughed thinking it was a joke.
“I’m very serious. If you want, you can have a permanent position with us.”
“Are you serious?” I said almost choking up with emotion.
“Yes, we’ll be more than pleased to have you as part of our team. Just think about it and give me your response. For now, enjoy your party.”
As the party progressed, I slipped away from the crowd for a few minutes of alone time. Though Angelo’s proposal sounded like a dream come true, I still loved my home country and wanted to be close to my family. It wasn’t going to be an easy decision to make whether I would stay in Mykonos or return home. Nonetheless, I was more than humbled that this was happening to me. The little dreamer in me kept pushing me to accept the offer.
I made my way to the beach. Ever since I was a child, I always found the water very calming. I could think clearly when surrounded by a body of water. This is why I believe I was destined to spend my life near water and what better place to spend it than one of the most beautiful islands in the world?
“This opportunity comes once in a lifetime,” I said to myself.
“Your family will understand. You’re the dreamer after all.”
My inner thoughts wouldn’t allow me to think clearly. Besides, the beautiful view of the ocean reflecting the moonlight tempted me to stay. I decided to make the decision once I returned home. There, I could consult my family and know the best decision to make.
I returned to the party and stayed for a few hours before returning to my room leaving a few people at the venue.
“Safe trip,” Thalia said hugging me tightly. “Please come back even just to visit.”
We had become close over the course of my stay and she felt like part of my family. Similarly, the gallery had become like a second family to me. Everyone was friendly and warm.
As the plane took off, I glanced down then took out my camera and snapped a shot of the island. It was a quiet flight unlike the flight there. I could feel that everyone was preparing to return to their reality. But it didn’t have to be like that for me. Why would I want to leave an island that most people would dream of living in?
By the time I landed, I had made a decision – I was going back. This was all I had dreamt about and it was coming to reality. Why wouldn’t I chase my dreams?
I met with my family shortly after settling back. As I drove to the restaurant where we had agreed to meet, I couldn’t help but feel nervous. I knew my family, especially my parents wouldn’t be so open to me settling in another country. They weren’t as welcoming about my photography career from the beginning but somehow, I was hoping they’d be more understanding now.
“Hi, Mum. Hi Dad.” I said hugging them both then went down to the table to hug the rest of my family.
Everyone, including my nieces and nephews, was there. I looked around and felt sad that if I left I wouldn’t see them again.
“So, you know why I called you here.” I started. “I’m considering settling in Greece.”
“That’s okay. You’re a grown woman now and we trust your decisions.” My father responded.
It was easier than expected. I thought we would argue for hours and he would make me justify everything. However, he seemed happy actually. He approached me and asked me to show him my photography. We spend the whole afternoon telling stories and bonding. He gave me his blessing and promised to drive me to the airport.
After coordinating with Thalia and Angelo, I booked my flight which was leaving in a week. This was the greatest achievement that I, The Dreamer, could ever wish for. The transition was smooth and it was like Mykonos was always meant to be my forever home.
I’ve stayed here for the past year and all I have are good memories, an amazing career, and wonderful friends who have become my second family.
“Hello, my little dreamer.” My dad said as I picked up a video call from him.
“Hi Dad,” I replied lounging on a pool bed.
“Wow, look at you. You look so beautiful. What are they feeding you there?”
“I hope you’re enjoying yourself.”
“Of course. I couldn’t ask for anything more,” I replied
“Okay. We can’t wait to come and visit you.”
We hang up shortly after and I picked up my laptop to continue editing the pictures I had taken of a music festival we attended the previous weekend. When they say life is a party, I truly understand it. My life is truly a party.
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