Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What My Dreams Have to Say

I came across a great quote today that I'd like to share:

"Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them." - Anonymous

I've always been a great dreamer. Not when I'm sleeping, but when I'm wide awake. In fact, I like to talk my dreams out loud as I go about my day, mostly in the car on the way to and from work. With the ever present cell phone as part of our driving experience, I no longer get the looks I used to get, especially in warmer weather when the windows might be rolled down. My parents told me that when I was a little girl, they would hear me talking to myself, making up stories with me as the central character. 

My favorite place to talk my dreams out loud was New York City. I was right at home there, walking along busy avenues chatting to myself and never once did anyone ever look at me sideways. This was above the ground behavior only, never on the subway or a bus. Only once did I get caught and it was by my then partner, now husband, Jack. He'd been walking behind me a few steps without my knowing he was there and he noticed I was carrying on a conversation with myself. He caught up with me at a curb and asked me, "Do you always talk to yourself like this?" I answered yes. He shrugged his shoulders. He knows of my capacity for chattiness and accepted without question that sometimes, when there isn't anyone to talk to, that I'd just turn to myself. 

But what does my talking to myself have to do with the quote? A great deal. Most of what I talk to myself about has to do with things I want to happen. Like the house I briefly dreamed about last month. About any of the many jobs I've come close to getting. Mostly I talk to myself about dreams that are within my reach and step into a conversation with a part of myself that is already there. 

Some of the dreams have come true. Sadly, others have been talked away. 

But I also think there is something to my dream talking that might just be useful in moving away from the front end of the quote - some people dream of great accomplishment - and toward the daily actualization of the second part - while others stay awake and do them. And something that is missing. 


What I've come to realize is that I'm not listening to either part of myself I'm giving voice to, the dreamer and the dreamed. If I can begin to listen to what my dreamer self is saying, what dreams I'm talking out loud and perhaps start asking questions of both parts of that voice, instead of just posing possible situations that might happen, then that could be the way to continue this conversation with myself. 

If I listen to myself in this funny little dance I do with myself, the very act of listening will change the conversation. Instead of driving along within the alternate dream life I've created for myself commuting to and from my "real" life, if I begin to ask questions of myself, I'll actually have to come up with some answers. And answers mean action. 

Asking questions of myself will take me out of what has been a tendency to be present in my own life and will plant me squarely back into my life, my blessed and slightly messy life. Asking questions will force me to investigate the difference between a dream, a fantasy and just a temporary escape from my life. 

And just as I'm beginning to ask financial questions of myself, and expecting answers, I need to do the same with my dreams. I better spend some time thinking about the questions I want to ask of my dreams. 

I think I'll start with asking - are these dreams I speak out loud part of the under current I began to explore in this series 25 days ago - the turns in the other direction, the dreams left on the curb, the life I haven't lived? 

I believe this would be a very good place to start. 

No comments: