Another successful dreamer….

I was dragging.  The clean laundry laid on my unmade bed.  The red suitcase on the floor  waited for me to unpack it.  I had Pandora playing on my computer and was trudging through organizing Christmas bags, boxes, and bows when my phone rang.  I was delighted to see it was my friend Carolyn, with whom I’d been playing phone tag for weeks.

Carolyn left her job in NYC in October to follow her dream of becoming a comedy screen writer in LA.  But following your dream can be hard.  Carolyn’s moved from friend’s house to friend’s house.  Last we talked, we laughed over our shared experiences of living out of our cars, spending too much time trying to figure out where the supermarket was in the town we were in, and where we’d stay when we moved on from this friend’s house.

But in between all that, Carolyn’s performed in a couple Mortified shows and made connections.  It’s amazing who knows someone who can help you once you put a dream out there.  Like the lawyer at the cubicle job you hated in NYC who has a friend who’s in the business out in LA.  It seems every time I talk to Carolyn, she’s made three more connections.

Today, though, she wondered about her writing.  All this “free time” wasn’t really that free when you, in essence, have no place to call home nor any consistency in your life. We brainstormed ideas for alternative living arrangements so that the worry of where to live could be taken off her plate and therefore give her some writing time.   “I e-mailed the director of a writing residency program I did ten years ago to see if they have a spot,” she told me, but she wasn’t too optimistic.

I gave her as much encouragement as I could, having been in her shoes many times before.  She generously thanked me, as she always does.  I told her that the words I’m often speaking to her are the ones I need to be reminded of myself, so it goes both ways.

A short while later, my phone rang.  It was Carolyn again.  “You’re not going to believe this,” she said.  That writing residency program in New Mexico?  They just had a cancellation.  The director had been thinking about her – they’d found a picture from the last time she was there and had it up on their table for the last few months.  The open spot would give her a cottage in which to live for twelve weeks, and they would welcome her to come take it.  Coincidence?  Nope.  That’s just Carolyn – putting a dream out there.  Instead of waiting for life to fall into her lap, she chases all her leads.  And then something works.

Congratulations, Carolyn.  Happy writing:)

A Dream Pursued and Realized

“Well, when you put your dreams out there, it’s funny how everything starts falling into place,” I said.  “Have you ever noticed that?” I asked her.

From the other side of the lettuce bed, she looked at me and said, “No, actually.  This job is the first time I’ve ever pursued a dream.”

“Oh!” I said.  I felt blessed to be witnessing someone realizing a dream for the first time. I’d met her only eight months before, and this was the first time I’d seen her since that day.

A month before that, a fellow math tutor called me and said, “Are you the Rebecca that was in the Sisters Hill Farm newsletter?”

“Yes,” I said.  “I spent a week there volunteering.”

“I thought it sounded like you,”  she said.  She explained that she read the farm newsletter on-line.  The newsletter did not give last names, so she couldn’t be sure just by reading it that the Rebecca they talked about in one issue was me.

“What’s your connection to the farm?” I asked her.

“My daughter is looking into apprenticing there – can you tell me a little about the place?”

“Of course – I’d love to!” I said.  I went on to tell her all the wonderful things about life at Sisters Hill from the perspective of someone who’d spent a week there and enjoyed it so much she continued to go back once a week until the end of the season.

A couple weeks later, I met my co-worker’s daughter one day while volunteering at the farm.  A few weeks later her mother informed me she got the position.  I was thrilled for her.  And now here she was, two-and-a-half months into her season at the farm – in her dream job.  Her first dream: pursued and realized.  Kudos to her:)

Dreams and Reality

My piano teacher has a masters in psychology.  This probably explains why I refer to her as my therapist.  Maybe “sage” is a better word.  Anyway, we were talking about dreams the other day and she explained that she did some coursework in dreams for her graduate degree.  She said they were required to list all the items that appeared in their dream when they woke up, then immediately go back over the list and, for each word, write next to it the first word that comes to mind.

As a lover of ideas, I wanted to try this.  I did so this morning.  Here’s my list:

Tornado                               Disheveled

Bathroom                            Stable

Mom                                     Hold On

Andy                                     Let Go

Coffee Shop                        Security

Two Floors                          Options

Book                                      Pleasure

Canadian                             Difference

Small Town                         Comfort

Owners                                Relaxation

I’m not sure someone who doesn’t know me or the dream can necessarily get the significance of this, but let me just say that I was blown away by this exercise.  (If you’re curious about the actual dream, see the end of this post).  What was so incredible was that this is my current state of affairs summed up in ten words!  Life feels like it’s going to get a little disheveled, and then I’ll have my stability back.  Note the dichotomy in that, and in the next two phrases: holding on and letting go.  Actually, there’s dichotomy all over this list!  I want some security, but lots of options.  I want to surround myself with things that bring me pleasure, but I also want to experience all sorts of differences.  And have a place that gives me comfort and relaxation.

Here’s the thing.  Traditionally, I would have said the money was because I watching a show last night where someone was given three hundred-dollar bills.  And the Canada thing is because I’ve thought of spending a few weeks in Quebec City this summer.  The book was because I’m constantly checking to be sure I have a book with me, or that I didn’t leave it somewhere.  But to think the whole thing has this whole other meaning – how wonderful!

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DREAM

In part of my dream, I was in a house with family and a friend and saw a tornado on the top of a far off hill.  I screamed throughout the house for everyone to take cover in a bathroom, assigned some people to go to the upstairs one.  While sitting in the bathroom downstairs with my mother, I thought maybe I didn’t see it correctly, so I stepped outside the bathroom door to check and that’s when it started.  I ended up holding onto the doorjamb and my mother, but made it through.  In another part of my dream, I was in a coffee shop.  I was given change at one point in three hundred-dollar Canadian dollars instead of American ones.  They were closing up, and I was on the second floor of the shop when I realized I’d left the book I was reading downstairs.  They let me back down to get it.