There are places I remember in my life, though some have changed

The other night I had a dream in which I saw myself returning to a place from my past, a place I’m not really interested in revisiting. It’s not that it was wholly or even mostly bad for me, it’s just that I was in a period in my life where I thought relationships and growth were more systematic, that I had to do certain things to make them work. I thought I was doing the right things, but I was trying to make myself fit a certain mold instead of thinking about the ways that I have seen myself learn and grow in the past.

In the dream, I had reverted to my former ways of interacting with the people of that place, and I felt . . . trapped. I wasn’t comfortable and I wasn’t expressing what I really thought, and I felt patronized. I was very unhappy. I wasn’t sure why I was there, or why I had changed my mind and decided to go back, but I knew that it was the wrong step for me. And then I woke up, and I was very relieved to find out that I was in bed next to Mike instead of being in that place.

Normally, a dream like that can be kind of upsetting. At the very least, it starts the day off wrong – I woke up feeling distressed instead of rested, and it can be hard to change gears after that (just ask Mike: two nights ago I dreamed that we were at my Master’s graduation, which was – in my dream – held at a water park. And for some reason, Mike couldn’t come. I reminded him of that all day). Surprisingly, though, after I realized it was all a dream, I wasn’t all that upset. It made me feel good about the decision I made several years ago to leave that place, and it made me realize that I know myself a lot better than I did back then. That’s a good thing, not something to get worked up about, no matter how disconcerting it was to be floundering in that place just like I remember.

It also made me realize that I just don’t have the energy to be upset because of a dream right now. I would have been upset about this dream two months ago. I would have gotten worked up about it, and I would have thought about that place and what those people think about me, because I didn’t get the closure I wanted. But I don’t have time for that right now. I have more important things going on. So I’m going to focus on the good things – the fact that I can see how I’ve grown in the years since leaving that place, the fact that I have Mike to help me make decisions, the fact that I have a group of people who support me and know me and let me be myself.

And, as I said to Mike, perhaps that’s a sort of closure after all – I finally feel like I am letting go of some of those feelings, because I realize that there are things that are a lot more important than the opinions of people I don’t even see anymore. You can call it growing up, or you can call it God being faithful to answer the prayers I have prayed. Or maybe it’s just that time heals wounds and I’ve got more perspective on the situation. Whatever it is, it’s nice to feel like I’m moving on.

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  1. […] Kari recently wrote about moving beyond troubling feelings from her past, and I wish to echo some of her thoughts for you in my own words. […]