In My Dreams
I had the strangest dream last night. I’m driving along a narrow, dark road with rails. I don’t know where it leads. I don’t know why I’m on this road. And I don’t know where I’m going. I can’t see anything. It’s pitch black. But I keep driving anyway, using the rails to guide me. There are people in front of me but I can’t see them. I keep inching forward cautiously, afraid that I will hit someone. I can’t stay still because I’m in the middle of nowhere. I have to keep moving but I feel nervous. Finally, I get to a crossroads. Darkness has faded and there is finally light but it’s super foggy so I still can’t see very far into the distance. I have 2 options. I can choose to continue going on that same path even though I don’t know where it leads. It looks like it gets lost in the fog. Or I can go into the train station that has suddenly appeared. I choose to go into the train station, but then I don’t recognize any of the destinations on the map. I am frustrated. I don’t know which train to take, where I am, or where I’m going, or how I even got myself into this situation. I’m lost. And then I wake up.
It was one of those dreams that lingered, long after I was awake. They say that dreams are a reflection of your current state of mind. I have also heard that your mind works to resolve issues in your dreams. Perhaps, my dream was trying to tell me something or provide me with an answer to a question I didn’t know I had. This feeling of being lost has been reoccurring for me, not just in my dreams but also in real life. My dream did not need to tell me this. I had been feeling it everyday for maybe…the last year as well as on and off throughout my life. By now, I really should have learned to embrace this feeling. But I naturally resist. I get uncomfortable. I feel anxious. I fight it. I worry about not knowing my destination. I worry about being complacent. I worry about moving in all different directions but never really getting anywhere. Maybe I need to stop trying to hold on so tightly, let go and ride the wave. How do I do that?
About a year ago, I once told a stranger about my journey last year: getting laid off, starting a cookbook, and going through a break up all at once. Embrace the uncertainty, embrace the unknown, he urged. He said, “You may not like your apartment now, but you know what, this could be the last apartment you live in on your own, as a single woman, before you meet your life partner and move in with him.” When I told him about not knowing what I was doing with the cookbook, he said, “You’re going to figure it out. You’re going to finish the cookbook. Once you finish the book, you’re going to think back on this time when you didn’t know what you were doing and appreciate the journey. Embrace this part of the process.” It helped to hear someone say that to me.
This week, 2 random strangers reached out to me, one on my blog and one on my Instagram. The person who reached out to me on my blog is from San Diego and he just wanted to say that he hoped I finished the cookbook and that he loves Cambodian cooking. The person who reached out to me on Instagram wanted to tell me that she peeked at my blog and loved my story and encouraged me to keep writing because she is looking forward to my cookbook. Sometimes, kind words from strangers make all the difference.