I woke up this morning from a very dirty dream, after a day involving little sleep, final edits on an article, and the sound of breaking glass as men attempted to get my new refrigerator up the stairs, to little avail, which in turn changed my night's plans from seeing my man to staying home to wait for them to get it up the stairs today. The dream was implausible, in some ways, being a dream and all, but the heart of it was something that took me by surprise. I don't dream much like that anymore, and I realized that a year ago, I probably would've somehow wanted to make the fantasy part of that dream come true on some level. I would've taken it as a sign that this is what turned me on, that I should seek it out.
This morning, I thought, This would make a perfect story. And maybe it will, if I write it. I don't take the act of writing for granted as I once did, after way too many half finished, three quarters finished, ninety percent finished stories that are still buried on my laptop, somewhere, half alive, half dead. I hope that dream will form the basis of a story that's different from ones I've written before, but more I realized that I'm the one who's different. I no longer think I can or should have everything I want, when I want it. I'm not a perfect lady who gets what her heart desires with the snap of my fingers, and, what's more, I don't want to be. I spent a long time thinking that's who I wanted to be; I had this model, this vision, for how to be a better person, but the frame, as Gabrielle Bernstein, would say, was all wrong. I was going after an utterly impossible dream, and I thought the way to do that was to be someone I'm not. Jealousy is a bitch like that.
I hate the not knowing, the in between, the uncertainty. I have no idea where I will wind up living or if I will achieve my biggest dream or if I will ever write a book. Maybe I'll just keep on doing the same old thing, but I hope not; my desire to not trod this same tedious path is part of why I'm hopping on so many planes in the next few months, in the hope that by changing my surroundings, I too will change. I don't know what that change will look like. I try to balance creative visualization with my penchant for unrealistic expectations. That girl with those wildly inflated sense of self and greediness about life is, I hope, dead and buried. That dream brought back a glimpse of her, and I don't begrudge her her dreams. At the time, I needed them; they gave me something to strive for, until they didn't.
This month has been full of disarray, of plans gone awry. I think the universe is trying to tell me that to do anything other than take life one day at a time is to set myself up for disappointment. I know it's something I need to learn to move forward, to surrender control in order to be grateful for the gifts I do have, the opportunities I make the ones granted to me by luck and whatever magic is out there. I don't always deserve it, but I'm trying to be someone who does. That dream reminded me that I can move on from a time in my life when I thought I deserved all sorts of things, into a time when I know that I deserve nothing, and if I get anything at all, it's not because I'm so special or wonderful, but because I was patient, and lucky, and hopefully ready to accept whatever it is purely and openly, without trying to figure out what comes next. Living in the moment is challenging, to make a drastic understatement. Sometimes it's not challenging at all, when things are going well, when I have those blissed-out moments I didn't finagle or con the universe into giving me. I wrote an essay this week that I sent off to an editor (hi, ultimate act of realizing I have no control over things), and I wrote about trying to force out the darkness, because I couldn't simply sit with it. It made me feel dead inside, heavy, so weighted down I didn't care what I had to do to try to purge it. I still have moments like that, sometimes, and the temptation to try to play G-d, to mastermind my way out of that emotional black hole, is incredibly strong. I don't have an answer, for today or tomorrow or next month or next year. And maybe that is, in fact, the answer. That I have to accept the things I can't control--and omg there are so fucking many of them--in order to grasp the things I can.
I can't control my dreams, and I wouldn't want to. I know they have messages I can't hear with all the white noise in my messy head during my waking hours. Sometimes they take a little longer to appreciate, and I have to make the choice in those first fuzzy morning moments (or, often, middle of the night moments) whether to embrace them or push them aside. This morning I let myself stay in that world, long enough to get a glimpse into some alternate me, to appreciate her, before coming back down to earth.