Dream interpreters often say that if you fly in your dream, it is a signal your psyche is embarking on a change. I’ve always been fascinated by dreams and their interpretations because I believe dreams are a window into a person’s own subconscious fears and desires. I’m not big on universal symbols, such as a house representing self or a dog representing loyalty, but I do believe that the emotions and roles a person plays in her dreams tell a lot about how she actually feels about something, versus what she thinks people expect her to feel. I, for one, have often found that things I insist don’t bother me will rear their ugly faces in my dreams. Fears I claim I’ve conquered come out in full force in the dramas played out behind my eyelids at night. Sometimes they are tragic, usually they err on absurd, and nearly always I wake up with a new perspective on what my waking feelings on certain issues really are.
Last night I dreamed I had become a person I wasn’t proud of. In this dream, I treated a rival character in a way that shocked me, even in my dream state. She had something I wished I had and probably felt she didn’t deserve. In this dream, I lashed out at her and I behaved the way a person does when she doesn’t yet know who she is, when she’s insecure with her place in the world. I was spiteful, petty, self-righteous, and let my jealous heart triumph over my better judgment. The tantrum I threw in her face as an attempt to tear her down was unsuccessful, and really only resulted in alienating any possible camaraderie between us. The people I had expected to be my allies looked at me with disbelief and disappointment, and in that moment of the dream I realized I didn’t want to be that person. I didn’t want to be the person with selfish ugly intentions. I didn’t want to feel the weight that comes with treating people that way.
I walked to the edge of the second floor deck where I had this epiphany, and looked down on a barren concrete parking lot. I wanted to leave and not look back. Start over. Be someone else. The sun was setting, and as I stood there feeling truly defeated, my best friend came up behind me and offered to drive me home. It was the olive branch I needed to regain confidence in my character.
There was no staircase to get down from the place we stood, and I confided in my friend I knew how to fly. I wasn’t entirely sure I was ready to fly, but I’d done it before and that moment was the test. She took my hand and climbed onto the handrail of the deck. We stood there for a moment, and then with sheer will, I lifted us into the air and slowly down to the pavement. I’d flown. It wasn’t a leap off a building or a jump up into the sky; I’d done it slowly, determined, out of a will to change, to move forward.
I woke this morning with a different perspective. I’m going to pay more attention to making sure I’m the person I want to be. I’m going to take an active role. I’m not going to complain why things don’t happen; I’m just going to get it done. I’m not going to say, “That’s someone else’s responsibility,” just to let another week go by while it sits on the to-do list. I’m going to be positive and grateful for the good things in my life. I’m going to work to turn around the things I don’t like so much. I’m done waiting for someone else to fix it.