Pictured: Rachel Levitin and Rachael Yamagata

The world of day dreaming and fantasy seems so real when you’re a kid. It’s a vivid environment brought to life by the imagination. It devours hours’ worth of your time with creative, mental landscapes to explore. It’s magical.

Now that I’m an alleged “grown up” – despite the fact that I’d prefer to veto that thought – I find solace in the fact that I’ve always been a dreamer. That is something I expect will never change.

The reason why I plan on never stop being a dreamer is a simple one: I believe with every fiber of my being that dreams do come true. And I have proof.

When I started writing songs at the age of 12 and came back to my classmates after summer vacation to tell them about it, they laughed at me. They asked me, “Really,” and then proceeded to shun me because I was “different” for being “so into music.” The thing is, though, I’m 25 now and I still haven’t quit. In fact, I’m working on my third album (first full-band release and co-writing effort) and I believe with all my heart that this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.

But I digress.

So this “proof” I have about dreams coming true. There’s a story there. It dates back to the hallways of my high school days when I found an album for an artist I had never heard of sitting on the floor near a classroom by a friends locker. I picked it up to check it out and, “Rachael Yamagata EP,” is what it said. I looked up the music online, took a listen, and that was it. I was hooked.

Rachael Yamagata is more or less the Stevie Nicks meets Carol King of my generation. Listen to her and see if you disagree. She’s drawn some of her greatest inspiration for the songs that she writes from Nicks and Carol in addition to some of the best names in the game (such as Simon and Garfunkel, Elton John, and James Taylor). And, as she draws from those folks, I draw from her (and the rest of the lot). She is to this day my biggest musical influence.

It’s hard to describe, but my fellow musicians will understand when I say that her music just resonates with the style I enjoy playing the most. That and she’s a damn clever lyricist.

My teenage self never thought in a million years that she’d get to meet her musical idol, but that’s just it. I met Rachael this week and I’ll tell ya, I felt like a star struck teenager. It felt good. Damn good.

Long story short – she was a sweetheart. I was mostly floored by the fact that all I could really manage to say was something along the lines of “You’re my idol! … Keep doing what you do! … [insert continued gushing here].” But no matter how fan girl-ish this chance meeting was, it still happened, and no one can ever take that away from me.

So this is my charge to all you dreamers out there – don’t stop (See the Fleetwood Mac reference there? oh yeah!). Never stop. Dream, dream, dream! If you have enough patience, faith, and resilience, you too will see that Disney wasn’t lying when they said dreams do come true. They do.

- Rachel

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Don’t wake me / I’ll be dreaming / Happy in the moment and searching for the great unknown / And the greatest story has yet to be told

“Dreaming” – Music & Lyrics by Rachel Levitin and Dave Mallen