November 1st, 2016

“Very rarely do I wake up so emotionally traumatized by my dreams that I cry into my pillow for hours after I awaken. Unfortunately, this was the case as I awoke this morning. You may read this and feel as though there is a happy ending to it all. However, after contemplating the meaning of this dream I came to some interesting conclusions that illuminated parts of my mind/heart I didn’t know or didn’t want to acknowledge. Form your own ideas…

The sun was shining through the clouds that formed over the clear, but choppy ocean waters. I walked along the shore with a group of friends I had just seen the night before. We laughed, the few of my friends with significant others held hands; it was a relaxing afternoon to say the least. As I leaned down to brush sand off a particularly pretty rock, a breeze picked up. I looked up to see the water receding quickly. Everything came to a standstill around me. Beachcombers, children, we all looked up to see a gigantic tidal wave growing in the distance. As if an electric shock went through the crowd simultaneously, we all started running away from the water as fast as possible. The wave was too fast however and crashed over us. It picked me off my feet and slammed me into the stairs that were leading up from the beach toward the parking lots. I held on for dear life as bodies pushed past me and fingers tore at my clothes. My lungs ached from the strain of holding my breath. I was just about to relinquish myself to the sea when thankfully the waters receded.

The scene around me was silent chaos. Bodies were strewn among piles of unidentifiable debris. The air was painfully cold as it whipped through my wet hair. Then, in one chorus, screams began to rise up from the remaining lives around me. Cries of horror, pain, fear; all rang through my ears as the realization dawned on me that I needed to find my friends. I didn’t know if I was the only one left alive or not.

I ran through the wreckage around me. I found two friends face down in the sand, unresponsive. One was found floating in the shallows wounded so badly the end was close at hand. One of them had a boyfriend which I could not find. My best friend and her boyfriend were nowhere to be found. I worried that they had been carried out to sea but I knew in my heart that they were together. I looked for my other closest friend but couldn’t find him. I was running, flipping over bodies. Fear started taking hold of me. Was I the only one left?!

As I ran, calling out their names, a cold breeze hit me again. I froze in place, turned and saw yet another tidal wave forming on the horizon. I knew this one was going to be catastrophic and would destroy everything and everyone in its path. Knowing I had only a little time to escape this second onslaught, I ran up the remnants of the stairs leading to the parking lot. My feet carried me as fast as they could to the airport that was close by. Planes were on the tarmac loading any and all passengers they could in what little time they had. I threw myself onto the first plane I saw. The loading doors slammed shut behind me. I scanned the people crammed into the seats around me, looking for a familiar face. Alas, I found none. The engines roared to life and we were pushed into our seatbacks as the aircraft accelerated. I peered out the window to see planes screeching down the tarmac and ascending around me. I leaned closer to the glass and was able to get a glimpse of the wave behind us. It was gaining ground; swallowing up slower planes attempting to flee its path. The water was just brushing our tail wing as we drove into the air. The wave crested behind us and engulfed the remainder of the airport and surrounding area. We had made it.

The plane was filled with sobs. I glanced around. Pain and loss was mixed with relief and gratefulness. Tears were shed by all. All accept for me. I sat in stunned silence as I contemplated my situation. Everyone I knew, everyone I cared for, was dead. I was alone. I let myself be helped by the crew and people around me. I barely realized we were descending until I felt the tires hit ground once again. “We’ve just reached Toronto, Canada. All flights are being diverted here. Pray that your loved ones are waiting for you. We don’t know how many made it. God help us.”

I walked through the terminal scanning the faces around me yet again. The feeling of hopelessness grew in my gut. I had to make a new life for myself as the old one was now drowned along with my loved ones. I had to start anew. As I walked toward the bright light of the outside, I knew life would never be the same.

[Fast forward to 1-year later in my mind] I’m in San Francisco. My business suit is pressed, my shoes are polished and I’m ready to make this Business Fair happen. I’m set up in Hyde Park. Tables line the walkways with small businesses ready to reel in customers and advertise their services. I am fanning out some fliers when a breeze blows toward me from my right. I stiffen as fear grips my heart. I turn to the right, expecting the worse.

But I see no wave. Instead I see the silhouette of a man walking toward me from down the hill. Light from behind him makes it hard to make out his features but the shape of his face, the distinct walk, the hint of a smile all hit me like a freight train right in the gut. It’s him. He survived! One of the best friends I’ve ever had made it out of the horror. I ran up the hill and dove into his arms. “You’re alive! How!? I don’t care!” I sob. “You’re alive, that’s all that matters!” Tears stream down both our faces as we embrace. “We made it” he says as the scene slowly fades to white…”

I’ve never cried as hard after a dream as I did waking up from this one. My heart was heavy for weeks after this dream occurred. It took lots of introspection to make a decision as to why. I feel this dream holds meaning in my deep-seeded fear of growing older, growing apart, and eventually dying alone.

The friends in my dream are all real people. After the night I had prior to the dream, I had some mixed feelings about certain people in my friend group. Within the dream, some of those people died. I feel that I had decided there that those friendships weren’t worth hanging on to. Ultimately, I did end up severing ties with two of those friends a few months after –

Subconscious: Score 1

The other friends that I couldn’t find – I wasn’t worried for two of them. As we are all growing older, I knew that I didn’t need to be there as help for all the friends that needed it. They have others they can depend on and I need to learn how to accept that. As my psyche had it, my best friend eventually became engaged to said boyfriend from the dream –

Subconscious: Score 2

Lastly, the friend who came back – I believe this was a sign that everything will be okay in the end. I had to learn how to let go. It was scary, painful and horrifying at times. But I learned how and I succeeded regardless. When he came back, it meant that I will always have people in my life that care about me, love me, and want the best for me even if I never get to see them. It showed, too, that I don’t have to be there for everyone. They can survive without me holding their hands the whole way. People need to grow, including myself. Although we may grow apart, we will still survive.

This has been an ongoing theme in my life, 2 years after the initial dream. The friend who came back? He’s off being successful in another state all without me holding his hand and guiding him through life (although I do get the random phone call needing me to give a pep talk haha)

All in all, even through the storms of life, we will make it. I know we will.

I know I will.