The dream is almost exactly the same every night. Even if the setting varies. Even if the faces change. Even if my new pet bunny somehow works her way into the dream scape, like she did last night. For the last three weeks or so, I’ve had the same dream:
I’m wandering through a crowded (house, dorm, compound, apartment building, banquet hall). I’m not sure whether I was invited to the (party, event, wedding, frosh week, meeting) or if maybe I just happened upon it, but there is some purpose for my presence there. I feel as though I belong there in some way. Except no matter how hard I look, how many rooms I pass through or people I brush past, I can’t find a single familiar face. I’m searching with some anxiety because there are supposed to be people there that I know. Nobody will make eye contact. There are no helpful, friendly faces. Nobody greets me or even seems to notice me. I am trying to belong, but instead seem to just be watching everyone without being seen. Even though I am now able to pause within the dream and recognize that I am dreaming, I keep waking feeling quite lost and alone.
Something huge is happening here. Deep, deep layers are being uncovered and it’s terrifying. I’m face-to-face everyday with all of the things, good and bad, that have shaped me over these thirty-something years. I’m trying to make peace within my heart, and trying to dig deeper to stick my roots way down deep.
These new moments of self-reflection, taking ownership, facing things head on are just about the most terrifying steps I’ve ever taken. I am afraid of the work I’m about to do on me, and for me. I’m afraid of the things inside me. Things that have been inside me for a long, long time. Who will I be when I let go? Where will I be if I can let go? Can I let go?
I carried Ella the Bunny in my arms last night, cradling her and sheltering her from the loud noise and music at the house party of my dreams. I carried her to safety, but I couldn’t find what I needed. Who I needed. I wake up each morning feeling exhausted. I think I need simple, gentle steps. Mindful moments of taking care of my heart. Early nights and lots of sleep until my dreams return to a depth that once again renders them impossible to remember in the morning.