Monday, January 4, 2016

Dream Me

I have always had vivid dreams ever since I can remember. But they say that as we age, our dreams start to deteriorate and we get less and less of them. Mine don't and I like to think it's because I'm constantly striving to learn and grow in every way I can-waistlines excluded. 

But I'm also severely afflicted with insomnia. For a while, melatonin supplements worked well, but not anymore. So the last few days have been a nightmare of thrashing and groaning, berating myself for not being able to shut up my ongoing mental conversations.

But last night, after having too many sleepless nights, I was able to get a deep enough sleep that I was able to dream.

In my dream, I lived in a wonderful high rise apartment-except, I had actually just conned myself into using someone else's vacant apartment while they were out of the country.

Then as I stepped out for a meeting, I saw my image in the mirrored reflections of the lobby walls. I was svelte and sleek, my suit was handmade and of an expensive cut. I turned myself to see my new sauve self in wonderful self congratulations.

Then I realized, I had empty pockets. My ID, credit cards, cash and keys were all missing. I had somehow left everything in the apartment.

I asked the lobby security to let me back in and they said, that I was the second person who had locked themselves out that morning! But I just had to wait a few minutes and they would help in back in.

Sadly, that's when my dream shifted and I was suddenly in another city at my corporate meeting. I was talking to an old co-worker and I was explaining my situation.

"But how did you get on the plane without ID?" She asked me.

I said I didn't know. Then suddenly, I had a coat and I reached inside and pulled out a photo card of a gym club membership, various pieces of mail with my name and address and various random photographs-some of which wasn't even of me.

As my friend reached for the photos, I saw a glimpse of a photo of someone(my waking mind doesn't recognize) whose photo I didn't want my friend to see, so I grabbed them away from her quickly saying:

"Some things are very hard to unsee."

I was still in my svelte physique, charming, confident and completely uncaring. The epitome of success and wealth. At one point, I was riding in some kind of vehicle and I sat at the highest point, surveying all I could see from that premium seat, high above the maddening crowd.

When I woke, I wasn't troubled by the dream itself. I was troubled by what it meant. My success came with a price, my identity.

The dream harkened back to instances in my life when I was still a corporate drone, pampered and feted. 

But nine months into my self exile into the freelance marketplace, I still have doubts. Did I do the right thing? Did I quit out of cowardice and avoidance of strong confrontations? 

The dream for me, was a resounding answer of no. I have left jobs for no other reasons than that I was bored, or I no longer liked it. I found ways to pay my bills until another corporate job came along(all perfectly legal!). 

But now I realize that the corporate job, sitting at a desk, caged in a cubicle is not for me. If I force myself into that environment, I do so at the peril of my self-identity.

Yes, my dreams are vivid, they are the perfect way for my subconscious to "speak" to me and I'm grateful for that consolation.

I may not have that expensive suit nor that high rise apartment, but in the depth of my soul, it's not what I want. I just want to be me.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Dream Translations

I have a bad case of insomnia and sometimes I can go for 24hours before I even feel sleepy. Then when I do go to sleep, it’s only for 4 hours. But it’s as if my mind makes up for the hours by cramming as many dreams as it can into my sleeping state. This morning was a perfect example.

I checked my phone at it was 5:31am before I finally drifted away to sleep. I wear earplugs so I give myself the best opportunity for undisturbed sleep, yet at 9:31am, I was awake. I got up did my morning ablutions then my head rewound the crazy dreams I had. 

I had three different dreams; each one was like a 30 second commercial. But it led me to wonder just how accurate those dream translation websites are. After all, dreams are just our subconscious sifting through our conscious minds and trying to sort them out. I like to think that our subconscious are to our conscience as Dali is to Lichtenstein, it’s still art.

So here are my dreams and my theories, version the internet’s translations.

1)      I was Elsa from Frozen, standing on an old fashioned train as it whipped through a winter landscape while singing ‘Let It Go’.
a.      Internet:
                                                    i.     Train: to be on a train wearing a dress (I WAS Elsa!) indicates my legacy and what I want to be remembered for.
                                                   ii.     Winter: signifies ill health & sickness
                                                  iii.     Singing: signifies happiness, harmony and joy
b.      My theory:
                                                    i.     Train: I like train rides
                                                   ii.     Winter: it was hot last night and I wish I were cooler
                                                  iii.     Singing: it’s the song, not the action; the song is a North Korean conspiracy to numb the world into complacency.

2)      I was checking into a hotel where the registration desk said for an extra $2, I can get upgraded into a better room and it was already approved by my company. I turn my head and there is a buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant
a.      Internet:
                                                    i.     Hotel: signifies a new state of mind, undergoing a transition
                                                   ii.     Buffet: signifies trying to work through guilt
                                                  iii.     Restaurant: difficulty in too many decisions
b.      My theory:
                                                    i.     Hotel: I sleep like a log when I’m in a hotel, so based on my insomnia, I wish I were in a hotel
                                                   ii.     Buffet: It was over twelve hours since I ate, so I know I was hungry
                                                  iii.     Restaurant: I like to have someone bring my food to me since I’m asleep and can’t get up and get it myself

3)      I’m in the middle of some kind of mob action and I make my way to a car, just someone’s car that was left in the middle of the road, it was the lead car and the road was open in front of it. As I get in and drive I get pelted with rocks the size of grapefruit and they crack my windshield.
a.      Internet:
                                                    i.     Driving a car: signifies my ambition and my ability to drive to the next stop
                                                   ii.     Mob: signifies chaos and disorganization
                                                  iii.     Cracked windshield: signifies set backs on my pursuit of goals
b.      My theory:
                                                    i.     I was thinking of the Calais clashes in France since it had affected me not to long ago when I was taking the Eurostar from Paris to London.
                                                   ii.     The internet may have a point too.

Basically, it’s all a crap shoot. You can believe whatever the internet says or just make up your mind yourself. After all, no matter what anyone else says, how many degrees or licenses they have, no one knows you better than you know yourself. No one.

Now excuse me while I go take a nap.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Evening Reveries

Opera seeps from the alley, birds sing their wanton song. The heat of the morning turns into a sweet breeze of the afternoon. The sun has gone down past the roof tops and hides from my sight. But I can still see the soft billowing clouds and the pale blue sky of an early summer evening.

It's the most relaxed I have felt in a long time. When I set off to cross of items from my bucket list, I forgot to take into consideration that I needed to schedule some down time for myself. For those who may have missed it, please refer to my 42day adventure in Europe starting with the first day in London: Please be kind, I wrote every night after a long day of crazy and I wrote on my phone, so a little patience with typos and grammar, enjoy.

I had the mistaken belief that I would take my downtime in the many train rides that had me traveling through Europe. Instead, either I spent the time gaping at the country side or asleep. I have absolutely no discipline. I can't force myself to a schedule, certainly not one when it comes to my creativity. My creativity is like an affliction to me. It's as if i suffer from a consistent fever that has now cure or remedy. It comes upon me without notice and the moment grips me in a particular fever and I am resigned.

But I am also stubborn, I would abide to just any whim, it must be something unusual or irresistable, or I'll easily get bored and drop it.

Being unemployed brings one unexpected comfort, the days slide by like a dream. I forget to keep time, I merely enjoy the moments. I've regained the loveliness of a Sunday afternoon.

When I worked, I hated Sunday afternoons because it meant that tomorrow was the dreaded Monday, first day of work. Now I can enjoy a lovely Sunday evening, relaxing, writing and for the moment, not a care in the world.

I feel very Scarlett O'Hare-ish when it comes to my financial situation, "I'll think about it tomorrow."

Deluded or freed?

Well, I'll just have to see won't I? For now, I'm like water, I just flow.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Next Chapter

If you haven’t read my last post, please do so the rest of this post makes sense to you.

In the process of jumping off the cliff, I decided, why not go for it? What is the one thing that I said if I had the time, I would do? I could hop in my car; randomly pick a direction and go. I thought I’d go to the west coast, up to Vancouver and even up to Alaska! Camping in cheap sights and grocery stores are plentiful, everyone speaks English and all I’d have to pay for is gas.

Instead, why go for half measures? Isn’t it almost everyone’s dream to backpack through Europe? I have the time, but how about money?

Miracle number one: I had so many airline points that I qualified for a free RT ticket to London. I had family in London, friends in Scotland and-be still my Whovian heart- I could visit Cardiff and the Doctor Who museum!

So I booked my flight, six weeks in Europe. I bought a Eurail pass for a month which was also giving me 5 extra days. I’ve read that having a pass is as easy as jumping on a train and grabbing a seat. Now I’m uncertain about what exactly are the ‘travel days’ is it the chronological ticking of the clock or is it the time you spend on the train? So far this is my most costly expense at U$D1000+.

Then I realized I’d need specific supplies for a back packing trip that would last 6weeks. I’ve never been on such a trip, especially a trip where my itinerary was being left to my whim. So I started looking at the travel sites, looking for things I would need; a backpack, light clothing, disposable everything and as light as I can get it.

A good backpack with support and sturdiness runs at least $100. A jacket with secret pockets is another $100, I need room for my electronics. I went to my favorite shopping site,

I often lose my mind on that site, I was supposed to be looking for travel accessories, and I went into a random search and investigation on pre-pasted disposable tooth thingies. They aren’t really tooth brushes but rather ‘alternative oral health care’, important stuff.

Miracle number two: I had saved enough rewards points that I can pay for all my purchases on Amazon!
Miracle number three: My tax refunds all arrived at once.

If I had a scintilla of doubt that I needed this break and the worries over finances, it was being addressed. I may be overly dramatic when I say it’s a miracle, but it sounds better that I was ‘saving’ things up for years without ever taking advantage of them.

I feel as if I’ve been holding my breath for years and now, it’s time to exhale.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


I'm having another midnight moment.

This time last week, I was also awake. But it was for a dark, deep reason. Several things that were out of my control have happened in the last year and the minute they happened, my body reacted with pain. Whether it was the queasy stomach or the headaches, but something made me feel very uneasy.

But with most uneasiness, especially something that can’t be pinpointed; I have a tendency to rationalize it away. I dismiss them as worries that I was bringing upon myself. Then something else happened just before Christmas that I knew made me feel very uncertain, but denial is a strong pull and again, I dismissed it, buried it deep in my subconscious.

They say that as ‘modern society’ we have forgotten that distinct flight or fight instinct set to keep us alive. But since we don’t have to hunt for our food, or fight our enemies to the death, our instincts instead become stress.

Intellectually I knew what was the cause of my distress, I just ignored it until the internal conflicts led to a diminished immune system, distressing bouts of insomnia and the disturbing dreams that left me lost and wandering. I felt soul sick. I doubted myself, I found myself restless and worse; I found myself bored. In the past, boredom has been my worst enemy. It leads to a subtle disengagement and in youth, into very dangerous territory.

Once, I found a great distraction that re-lit the fire of ambition and self-determination. But in the end, it was just that, a distraction, nothing more than a sop for my psychic lethargy.

Finally, things came to a head last week and I was forced into a deep soul searching dive. I looked for portends and signs. I talked with friends and introduced myself to friends of friends, searching for answers, directions and perspective.

And all that I needed came. My questions were answered. I finally admitted to myself that I was going in the wrong direction. I was on the road to my person hell, a place I have visited before and I did not want to visit again. Because you can only go to hell so many times before you decide to surrender to the flames and die.

If I can give an inspiring speech, dispensing my faith and optimism to someone else, why could I not take the same advice for myself? Did I not have faith in myself? Was I a hypocrite or was I going to practice what I preach?

My head and heart still discussed and over analyzed as they often do. But this time they were in agreement. So this past Monday, I did not quit. No, I gave in to the greatest ambition in life, to pursue happiness and peace. And in tendering my resignation to the corporation that gave me a pay check for twelve and a half years, I took that leap of faith.

I knew that until I took that leap over the cliff, I will never know how strong my wings truly are.

I love a nice road trip; I get into all kinds of great adventures. This time, it’s the adventure of my life. In these dark midnight moments, I am frightened of what I have done and the fear will increase when the day I finally walk out of those doors permanently.

I have been operating under fear for years but I won’t bend to it anymore. I will take that leap of faith. I will find my personal truths. I won’t be driven by fear nor tempted by complacency.

I have been several times blessed, kissed by the universe, to understand that I stand at a crossroad of my life.  In acknowledging that, I find clarity. And in a life full of wandering and musings, clarity is a precious gift.

One more week of employment, one more paycheck and then I’m left to my own devices. To find a new path, because I believe with my whole heart and soul, it has never been about the money, it has always been about my soul.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Real Meaning of Valentine's Day

Two very interesting stories jumped out at me today. The first one was about one of the story of St. Valentine.

The Bloody History of St. Valentine

I’d never heard of that version of St. Valentine, so it was very interesting since today is St. Valentine’s Day.

Then tonight I read about Ellen Page, a young lady of great talent. She garnered much acclaim in the movie "Juno", when she was only 20 years old.

If you live in a world where you don't know one single lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person, then allow me to introduce you to Ellen Page, who's unexpected announcement showed courage and eloquence.

Ellen Page's Eloquent Valentine's Day Speech

Take the time to watch her full speech. Listen to her voice quake and as she continues, her hand shakes harder as her other hand begin to clench, perhaps to control her emotions.

Valentine's Day is to commemorate St. Valentine, the priest who married people and was killed for it.

Ellen's bravery today exemplifies the same bravery in the name of love.

Happy Valentine's Day 2014

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wake Me When September Ends

My birthday is Sept 30th but every year I want nothing more than to hide myself in a cave and tell the world to go away because I hate my birthday.  It’s not about the years piling on to my life, it’s not about a fear of balloons nor distaste for cake. It’s the day and the celebration of my birthday that I detest.

It is irrational, it’s something I have always felt my entire life. So over the years, it extended to the beginning of school as well as the onset of autumn. 

In time, it became almost paralyzing. When the Labor Day weekend descended, I fell into a sulk, eventually turning into seasonal depression. I always assumed it was because I HATED school. So I couldn’t wait to graduate and never have to go back to school ever again. Oddly, I was a straight A student, advanced classes and on the Dean’s list for the last two years of college (I was too busy socializing on the first two years). Yet I hated school.

 Then when I did graduate, I thought that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach would stop affecting me at September.  It didn’t. Instead, I started to hate fall. I hated the nip in the air, I ignored the colors of the trees and I just wanted to skip fall and head straight into winter. 

Over the years, it became almost pathological how much I hated fall. 

Then it was a random conversation I had with someone that suddenly caused an epiphany. I was telling someone at the office that I really didn’t want my birthday celebrated.   

One year my boss at the time, sent me flowers. I hid it in my cabinet. You should have seen my boss’s face when she came by my cubicle asking if I had gotten the flowers and was aghast when she saw I had shoved it in my cabinet instead.  To make sure something like that wouldn’t happen again, I was telling the department admin that I would really like my birthday to pass unrecognized.

You see, it wasn’t school, it wasn’t fall; it was my birthday celebration that I hated.

You see, when I was 11yrs old, we celebrated my birthday, which fell on a Sunday that year, by going to a forest preserve to enjoy the fall colors. That year we had my mother’s cousin staying with us as well as my grandmother, so we had a full house. And cousin Joy had her boyfriend visiting as well, so off the clan went to celebrate my birthday with a picnic in the park and enjoying the fall season.

There was a fall festival so my parents let my younger brother and I run off after Joy and her boyfriend. Because the combination of my brother and me was made somewhere just north of hell, we decided we would have fun. We hid from my older cousin and her boyfriend, ducking behind trees, bushes and yes cars.
But we weren’t that good; because it was obvious they saw us. So we did something more daring, my brother and I decided that we would trail them from across the road. 

It was a two lane country road that had bumper to bumper traffic because of the fall festival.  So it was easy to just zip back and forth. I led the way and my brother was supposed to follow me exactly. It went well until it went horribly wrong.

We were close to the area where my parents, my grandma and my baby brother were waiting for us. So I shot through the traffic but I actually had to pound on a car’s hood because traffic was starting to pick up, I got honked but I made it across. 

I turned to find that my brother hadn’t crossed after me and my immediate reaction was; now where did he go? I was a bit pissed at him because he was smaller and slower and now I had to tell my parents I lost my brother. These are exact recollections.

Suddenly I heard the scream of brakes, a sickening thud and I saw what looked like a tumble weed fly across the road. It was my 7 year old brother in his blue jeans and jean jacket.

He had been hit by a car. He was a scrawny, small kid and he was lying unmoving on the ground.

I heard screams, I didn’t; that’s not how I react. I just stood in absolute stillness hoping that if I blink, maybe it will change and it won’t be my brother on the ground. Suddenly I see my father flying across the road and other people running to my brother’s body.

This was back in the day before cell phones so I don’t know who got the ambulance there, but from what I remember they got there fairly fast. I remember a blonde lady with short cropped hair who was a nurse and tended to my brother as best as she could. 

My brother’s eyes were closed and they couldn’t wake him. When the ambulance got there, he suddenly went into cardiac arrest and they had to resuscitate him right then and there. What I remember well was the anguish and the tears streaming down my father’s eyes.

I remember my baby brother with his eyes wide and wondering as grandma held him.

The rest is a blur, but that memory has stayed with me for decades. It has traumatized me against my birthday. And if I never celebrate my birthday ever again, I would be absolutely fine.

I know it’s irrational, but I blame myself for his accident. Maybe if I hadn’t talked him into playing spy, we wouldn’t have been running between cars. It was my idea, but I got out of it unscathed, he nearly lost his life. But the actuality is that if it wasn’t my birthday, we wouldn’t have been there that day.

My brother rarely talks about it, it was a long time ago and he’s moved on, or not. I don’t know we don’t talk about it. 

But this post is my first step in dealing with it, it’s time to enjoy the season and time to forgive myself.