Doubt and Dreams: My Start to 2018
hello. happy new year, friends.
I’m starting this year with a healthy dose of vulnerability. Yesterday, what was a harmless day of flying and layovers turned into a downward spiral of overthinking. At the start of a new year, reflecting is a really useful practice and, in general, is the bedrock of personal progression.
If you know me well, I’ve probably let you in on my biggest fear: inadequacy. Amid the new year contemplation, I was feeling just that with a dash of no direction. I’m at a turning point in my life where I can either pursue a degree like most people advise me to do, or I can walk down an alternative, more winding, but potentially more fulfilling road. Not to say that degrees don’t result in fulfillment, but it doesn’t feel right for me personally— at least not now.
I usually feel a much greater confidence in the whole going against the grain thing, but yesterday that sureness fleeted me. This re-evaluation felt like a crisis, an impending inability to figure out what it is I’m to do. I felt so emotional; I cooped myself in the stall of an airport bathroom when the overwhelm felt most unbearable. My throat tightened and I felt like I was sinking. Even more, I felt faint. Surges of dizziness passed through me; actual, physical dizziness— talk about mind/body connection. It was uncontrollable. It was anxiety. I diverted my attention to my breath as much as possible.
I finally boarded my flight, closed my eyes, and slipped away into the most magical, cinematic dream.
It was a mellow afternoon on an island in Hawaii and a girl my age was learning to sail a boat. A baby blue sky was dusted with white fluff; the kind of clouds you wish to jump into and take a nap in. The sun gently reigned down, taking its time. The island itself was at ease. It was one of those days where there are no obligations, and boredem allows your curiosity to lead you to an unknown place where another piece of you is discovered. It’s only a discovery to you, of course, because the sun, the waves, the sand, the air, the trees, the island already knows. Perhaps, then, it’s an uncovery. This place might be the pages of a dusty book, a box of memorabilia— a place of rediscovery, an untouched trail, or a new activity that tests old abilities— like sailing a boat.
The wind was fickle, unable to decide which direction to blow. The girl and the sail couldn’t keep up and the boat tipped into the sea. A moppy headed, unrelenting girl emerges from the water and is washed onto shore alongside the boat. Her long hair and flowy, cream, nightgown-resembling dress are soaked in salt water but that doesn’t weigh her determination down. Her father, who is seemingly guiding her, plucks her from the sand and prepares the boat for another go. The two embrace solemnly. Their love was deep. By letting go, guiding, and sending her off once more, he gave her wings.
At this point, the sun had set and the night wasn’t quite dark, but blue. She rows out onto the water as “Rise Up” by Andra Day plays in the background (I said this was cinematic). She raises the sail and right as the chorus plays, the wind sends her up into the night sky. Her sail disappears into the full moon as it perfectly aligns in the shape of a crescent. She soars. On her descent, she lands amongst the waves and they crash on the deck of her boat as if praising her. Exuberance and life flowed through the girl, to the water, and met her dad at the edge of the island. When she returned, more loved ones gathered to welcome her. Hugs abound. They peered at the sky in absolute wonder as aurora borealis painted the sky vibrant hues of green and purple, and they ran off into the luminescence to meet the moon.
As if my body sensed the natural end, I woke up and returned to my own reality— flying through the night sky (in a plane). I awoke into a renewed version of myself. I felt profoundly at peace. Even if my own doubt caused me pain, it was temporary. I needed it. I needed to wallow in my self-proclaimed lack of purpose for a moment so that my own truth, this glimmering ball of magic in my very core, could detect these limiting beliefs and stop them in their tracks. Something buried in my subconscious manifested in the form of a dream so that I could understand what I already knew. If I have pure intentions of love and curiosity, if I surrender, if I cease to create resistance and get in the way of myself, if I embody the unrelenting girl in the salted cream dress, I will be exactly where I need to be.
In 2018, I will rise.
I will ascend and kiss the moon if it’s where my curiosity guides me.
What will you do in 2018?