“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I would become the first colony settler on Earth 2.0, develop drugs that would allow humans to become immortal, and create an android that would fall asleep by counting electric sheep. My 8-year-old self, inspired by science fiction, dreamed of becoming an astronaut, and filled my parents' shelves with drawings of strange creatures from galaxies far, far away. My pen and my dreams since then have been tied to the stars. The sky is not the limit, but rather the beginning.

Two decades and two years at HBS later, my intergalactic dreams seem both closer and more nebulous. Launching my own robotic startup with two classmates and working with thought-provoking futurists in the Silicon Valley convinced me that I can indeed help humanity transcend its limitations. Yet at the same time, experiencing the internal void of being away from my loved ones (especially my younger brothers Sam and Ben), and reflecting further on my inner passion through weekly figure drawing, I realized that the journey I have embarked on is as much inward as it is interstellar.

So this is what I repeat to myself: Dream on! Allow the pen to flow freely on the canvas of your life, and turn arabesques around the constraints that bind grown-ups' imaginations. Keep at all times the ability to be inspired as much from the spirit within as the lights around you, letting the pen pause to ask questions, and the paper fold to absorb the wonders of the world. Dream on, before the ink dries on your page.

Braving through the adventures of my inner universe, I shall become one day that daring astronaut.

— Sarah Assayag