“I wonder where you are,
I wonder if you think about me.
Once upon a time, in your wildest dreams.”
I remember when this song first came out. I was only a year out of high school, but thought I had the distance to appreciate the message. Or, at least, the one I wanted to hear at the time: a fondness for a high-school sweetheart. It took time and distance to realize that remembering someone after a one year absence isn’t really that remarkable.
What’s even more remarkable is that over time, I was able to dig a little deeper into the song's message. I came to understand the song is more about tough choices. On one hand there’s a romantic relationship, but on the other is the singer’s “wildest dreams,” a music career.
The video, featured below, shows the story from the “subject’s” viewpoint. We see a woman, watching her high-school love on TV. Her pain, that he chose his dream above the two of them, is evident. She runs away from the life she has now, for just a glimpse of what could have been.
What makes this song so special to me, and earned it a spot here, is that the sentiment is so relatable. I think almost all of us at one time or another face a difficult crossroads. Maybe it wasn’t between a dream and a partner, but it was one so important you knew that each road led in a completely different direction. I also think the idea of looking over our shoulder and wondering if we made the right choice is also universal.
Those common messages and themes are what makes this song a classic. It’s the reason why when this song comes on the radio I turn it up…and remember.