Are We There Yet?
Lately I’ve been having dreams about flying. Not the good kind – where you soar easily above the clouds like a bird with gorgeous wings, but the airport variety. And more specifically, I’ve been having dreams about airports. Usually being stuck in them, rushing through them, or freaking out about how slowly security is moving – even in the TSA Pre-check line.
In one such dream I was heading to L.A., in another to Bali. In others the destination is unspecified but they all involve some sort of stressful situation or mix up at the airport. You better believe these dreams are not resulting in a peaceful wake up. They’re leaving me tired, depleted and with a little anxiety-hangover as the intense emotion of the dream lingers.
So what to make of this pattern? I’m no dream expert but for as long as I can remember I’ve been fascinated by them. The freed subconscious finally able to braid images and events, wants and fears all together in an enthralling and sometimes terrifying tapestry.
Here’s the thing though. I used to spend time in airports. A lot of time. I would jokingly refer to Regan International Airport in D.C. as my second home – and I wasn’t really kidding. I was always on the go, navigating security, flight delays, connections, rental car pick ups and drop offs, hotel check ins and outs, GPS directions, meetings, etc. I was shuffling through lines and places of all kinds. I was always going somewhere and yet never fully arriving.
Life was about the next trip, the next upgrade, the next city, the next bonus, the next plan. As you might imagine, the present moment wasn’t really something I valued or even considered during those years of intense travel. I was valuing the never here “future” without any reflection or gratitude for the actual moment I was inhabiting.
So today I wonder, as these dreams creep in again and again if they’re not a little subconscious warning sign. A reminder to not fit old broken patterns into my new life and career. To not get too ahead of myself as I reach toward new goals for myself and for Wandering Wellness. This “Are we there yet” mentality is extremely detrimental to cherishing the present moment and even devalues the wins of the past, making only what’s just out of reach the dominant concern.
To be honest, I’m tired of creating a chasm between me and the present. And I’m grateful for these dreams’ not-so-subtle nudges to keep an intimate relationship with the now, and revel in its ephemeral magic. We are, after all, always somewhere.