Basket of Dreams

basket of dreams

Some girls grow up with a hope chest. A chest filled with hopes and dreams for a future filled with love. I did not. No chest of hope for me. When I started the social work program 3 years ago I did have hope though, hopes and dreams of a future as a healer. I took those hopes and dreams and started filling a basket with them.

Over the years I have found pieces of a future I am trying to manifest, they all went into my basket. Symbols and sounds and textiles that all meant something to me and that I knew would one day have a place in the healing space I would be creating.

While I was in the Capitol we stopped by a store where I found a few more items for my basket. When I got home I took inventory of what I have collected over the years. Just a few things but all very much filled with hope for a future filled with love.

No one made a hope chest for me when I was a girl. I was not granted that consideration. I created my own hope, I started collecting pieces of my dream, and one day my hopes and dreams will live in a space of my own making and I will know I did this. Me. All by myself.

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Little Fish Big Pond

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I just did something that feels both exciting and terrifying. A little piece of truth I have never shared: I have a secret dream of one day being published.

This dream is not one I share openly because I have a lot of not-good-enoughs around this that are still keeping me small and quiet. Something happened recently though that presented a door. I am not sure what it is on the other side of that door or if I am even meant to open it right now. Today  I  took a risk and knocked on this door. We will see if it opens and if it does we will see if I meant to walk through.

If this door does open and me walking through it leads to some of my writing being published then that would be a dream. I am managing my expectations though and reminding myself that this is just a little step. Something to get my feet wet, this is not everything, this is just a step on the path towards everything.

Regardless of what happens next that was a scary first step to take, knocking on that door. I definitely feel like a fish out of water. It is scary stepping into the light and allowing yourself to be seen. It is scary to be open about the things you want in your life, especially the big things. It is vulnerable. I feel like even as I write this I am exposing my delicate pink underbelly to be ripped apart by criticism.

I did it though. I took that step. I exposed myself. I allowed myself to be seen. I spoke my desire to the universe. Now it is a wait and see.

 

Listening and Knowing

A few weeks ago I wrote this post about my direction and growth and walking into what scares me. It was a vulnerable post for me to share because what I was discussing, my dream/intention of owning my own practice as a clinician, is something that I want so badly and I am afraid of at the same time. There is something very vulnerable in sharing a dream openly like that. You are letting the whole world, or at least whoever is listening, know that there is this thing that means a whole lot to you; which in turn also means it is something that could potentially cause a great deal of pain. The things we love most have a way of doing that sometimes.

Since writing that post I have been thinking more about this dream/intention and my fear surrounding it. I have been thinking about it a lot for a while now actually. The deeper my connection grows with myself the louder this voice becomes around doing this amazing/terrifying thing. With each day I feel the vibration grow, I feel the energy surrounding this intention get bigger and bigger until finally I will take the plunge because I know there will be no other thing that will feel as right as this in terms of the work I do out in the world for the world.

With every day that passes my fear lessens. And while that is true I also still have felt that it is very important for me to truly understand my underlying fears about this direction. I feel the only way to feel completely connected to this path is to have a relationship with the parts of this direction that feel scary to me.

I talked in the previous post about worries over the business end of things, I know if I need to I can bring in help in this area though. This will not be a fear that causes a road block, it will be a detail to figure out and nothing more in the grand scheme of things. Another piece I shared that makes me uneasy is flying solo. Here is the thing about that though, if I am going to do this any time in the near future I will not truly be flying solo. Licensing laws require that I have supervision while I am unlicensed. That means I am not able to be completely on my own until I am licensed. I will have to share a space with a clinician who is licensed and I will be in regular supervision. This too will amount to no more than a detail to work out when the time comes.

So what am I actually afraid of? These two things worry me yes, and there is some fear attached with them but I feel a fear bigger than both of these pieces as well. After sitting with this for a while since meeting with my mentor to discuss my intentions I have recognized another piece that I am troubled by.

There is a piece of me that has internalized some outside message, I am not sure yet where from, that I cannot do this because I am too new to the field. What if I wanted to do this right out of school next summer? What if all the time I spend in internship, classes, therapy, and life leads to me deciding this is exactly what I want to do after graduation and I want to start immediately. There is someone else’s voice in my head telling me that I would be breaking the rules. You are not experienced enough. You have no right. You did not pay your dues in the field. What do you know? You are too young.

I have been taking a lot of time sitting with each one of these statements and more that bubble up, again I am trying to have a relationship with the fear. I truly believe that is the only way to be successful in reaching my goals and as a human being in general.

So here is what I have so far to counterbalance these statements.

  1. I do not owe anyone an explanation about my direction.
  2. I know what I bring to the table as a clinician and as a human being, I know what my experiences are and why they are not only important but how they have prepared me for this work.
  3. I do have a right to be here. That is my truth.

Ultimately while these affirmations help quiet these voices they do not remove them all together. That cannot happen until I get to know them better.I need to understand where they came from and why they are here in the first place, then I need to show them love so they will no longer hold this fear for me.

I am sure as I continue down this path I will begin to have relationships with more fears that arise. I am making the commitment to myself and to this dream to do that. This means enough to me to do all the needed work to see it through the way I know it needs to be done.

I feel myself getting closer and my excitement grows with each passing day, with every milestone met, with every challenge overcome, and fear met head on. I will share this part of my journey as new pieces come up but for tonight I am grateful to have recognized where some of my work is so I can start doing it.

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It was just a Dream

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That phrase, it was just a dream, can be the most comforting and invalidating statement all at once. Anyone with PTSD might know what I am talking about. I have night terrors, frequently. I have had frightening dreams for years, since high school. Some are recurring, some are recurring themes with different characters/environments, some are terrifying and do not seem related to anything specific (although I would be willing to bet they are).

These bad dreams have been my constant companion for all these years, the frequency in which they occur varies though. There are times when I may go weeks without one, recently though they have been there every night. For weeks I have been almost afraid to go to sleep because I know what is waiting for me, or at least I think I do and then it is usually much worse than I could have anticipated.

Last week Todd woke me up because I was making noises and breathing heavily/erratically. When I woke up I grabbed on to him and started crying hysterically. When I finally caught my breath and calmed down I was laying in a puddle that once was my husband’s chest and my eyes were swollen. It was just a dream are the words he cues into my ears when this kind of things happens. He holds me, he rubs my back, or pets my head, his even breathing calms mine and the echo of his heart beat in my ear brings mine back down. It was just a dream, it’s not real, I am safe. I feel comforted.

I have been in other situations where those words, it was just a dream, were flung at me in annoyance, they were dismissive. It was just a dream, get over it!

As I do my work my hope is that these dreams will ebb. Right now I think my work is why they are so frequent. A lot is coming up and my subconscious is reacting to/processing it. These dreams are certainly giving me plenty to work on. In the mean time I am doing what I can for myself in order to feel safe and comfortable at bed time.

There is a song by one of Todd and I’s favorite bands, City and Colour, that I think of when it comes to my haunting dreams. Apparently Dallas Green’s wife (he is the lead singer and song writer) also suffers from night terrors. I hear this song and think is this is what it is like for Todd? I wanted to share the lyrics in case it speaks to anyone else with these same issues.

Fragile Bird

When she sleeps
There is a fever dream, yeah
It brings a night terror
To haunt this fragile bird

She speaks in tounges
Her words they come undone, yeah
And with the wayward mind
She struggles through the night

All that I can do
Is hope she makes it through, through the night, through the night

These cold nightmares
They make her worse for ware
Lost in the dark
She’s got a heavy heart

And when she wakes
In her fragile state
When she calls my name
Hopin that I keep her safe

All that I can do
Is hope she makes it through
All that I can do
Is hope she makes it through

Through the night (x4)

All that I can do
Is hope she makes it through
All that I can do
Is hope she makes it through
Through the night

Coversations I can’t Remember

dreams

From what I am told I am an unpredictable person to sleep next to. I realize “unpredictable” is an unusual way to describe the person you share a bed with but this word choice is quite deliberate. In Todd’s words, “you never know what you are in for”. Unpredictable seems to fit.

I am known for talking, waking someone up and talking directly to them with no memory of it, dancing, singing, crying and laughing in my sleep. Once I jumped out of bed in hysterics because the baby was missing! I spent five minutes trying to convince my then significant other to call 911 and help me search while he spent that same five minutes trying to convince me that we do not, nor have we ever, had a baby. Unpredictable, like I said.

Monday night I woke up precisely at 2:00 am proceeded to roll over, shake Todd awake, and tell him.. Well in truth I am not exactly sure what I told him. I know that at the time I had information about the Swiss and Russian’s in the Olympics that was so important I had to tell him immediately. I knew this information would change the course of the Olympics for the US. He says that I looked him dead in the eye and blurted out some nonsense made up words. He then says to me, “What?!” (the usual response when I do this kind of thing). And I just say “Oh” and leave bed to find the bathroom. Upon my return he asks me about it and I just apologize and go immediately back to sleep.

A month ago I sat straight up in bed at 7:30 am on a Sunday (Todd was already awake practicing Spanish on his phone) I turned to him and said “Aren’t you going to be late for Church??” Again he responded with, “What?!” He says I flopped back down on my pillow rolled over and went back to sleep. I have no memory of this one.

When I was single living at my parents house in my early 20’s there was a night I got so loud my brother was convinced I hoopin and hollerin on the phone with a friend. (His words not mine). It was around 4:30-5am, he had just arrived on military leave and was in the bathroom brushing his teeth. My bedroom was on the other side of the bathroom wall and he said he heard me laughing loudly. He assumed I was on the phone with someone since he did not hear my TV on and walked into my room, assuming me to be awake, to say Hi. He says he stood in my doorway for a few minutes and the whole time I was giggling and then I would go into full belly laughs. The next morning he asked me about it, dying to know what on earth could have been so funny in my dream. Huh, I wish I knew was my response.

It’s so interesting to me this whole other life we live in our dreams. My have always been incredibly vivid. It is like the line between dream and reality becomes blurred in that moment when I wake up, I cannot tell for a moment what is up and what is down. I have all these memories from a life that has never actually taken place. It is a real wonder.