Over the last two weeks, I’ve had dreams about being lost or unable to leave the New York City area. Last week, I was lost in an airport. Last night, I was lost in a train station.
A friend and I were traveling to Hawaii but when we got to the airport we couldn’t find our terminal. We ran around the entire airport trying to find this gate and kept getting turned around. We would ask employees for help but they would send us in the wrong direction. We were met with blocked off entrances and dead ends. Spending what felt like hours aimlessly searching, one employee finally pointed us in the right direction. We released a collective sigh of relief as we ran toward the gate and saw the airplane was still there. As we handed our tickets to the flight attendant, she informed us that unfortunately we would not be able to board the airplane. I begged and pleaded and tried to devise a plan that would get us on that damn plane. I told them that we already checked out bags and they were on there without us and asked to speak to a supervisor. However, they told us they would pull our bags off immediately and we could pick them up. I tried reasoning with them that it would take more time to do that than to just let us on. There was no way were getting on that airplane, so I just stood there and sobbed, until I finally woke up.
Last night, I was running around trying to print my Amtrak ticket. I started out in what seemed to be an airport only to realize minutes later that I couldn’t print a train ticket there. A coworker was with me and we walked to the train station together. Although she tried to help me, she also had a train to catch. She apologized that she couldn’t help as she left to board her train. Each time I approached a machine, it either wasn’t working or I couldn’t figure out how to use it. I asked employees for help but no one seemed to have any answers. No one could help me, not even well-meaning strangers. I even snapped at one guy in my frustration and told him to get away from me because he wasn’t helping. Each time I tried to get a ticket, my train was getting closer and closer to leaving the station. I was completely helpless and all I wanted to do was get on that train.
I’ve always had vivid dreams as far back as I can remember. In an attempt to make sense of these dreams, my mom would encourage me to look up the meaning. So I turned to the dream dictionary. Usually after a long night of drinking, my college friends and I would sit around our table and when someone said they had a bizarre dream, I referenced the dream dictionary. We’d joke about all the possibilities and it was fun to dissect their dreams. I believe that dreams are indicators of thoughts or ideas in our subconscious that we aren’t addressing in our waking life.
Apparently, my dreams lately are indicating an actual mid-life crisis. Dreaming of a busy airport signifies the desire for freedom, high ideals, ambition, and hopes. However, dreaming that the airplane sits on the runway and never takes off refers to a real life project or idea that has failed to get off the ground. And if you miss your flight, it indicates that you are feeling helpless and trapped by some situation. It symbolizes a disconnect in some aspect of your life - work, relationship or home life and a feeling of being held back. Dreaming you are at a train station represents a transitional period in your life. You need to take a short break to reassess your situation and determine your path and goals. An alternative suggestion according to Sigmund Freud, is that a train is a symbol for the male penis. I laughed at that one and, for the sake of this post, all I will say is I haven’t been on a date in quite some time.
I have been thinking a lot about my path and goals lately. For the first time, I really don’t have a plan. There are things I want to do and accomplish but I don’t have the answer for the loaded question, “What do you want to do with your life?” I’m reevaluating things that I felt so sure about for so long.
While having an infinite amount of choices and feeling like I can do anything with my life is empowering, there are endless possibilities and it can be overwhelming. Where do I even start? I’m viewing the world with different eyes and want to make a difference but I’m struggling to connect the pieces and get these ideas off the ground.