Last night I had a vivid dream that is a variation of ones I’ve had in the past over and over. The dream was vivid and I can remember the little details this morning. This time, I’m in my childhood home. I’m getting ready to leave and go spend the day with my boyfriend. It’s then I remember I have an essay due in my English Lit class the next day. I start to panic realizing I haven’t even read the book (by Percy Shelley – no idea where that came from!) that the essay is supposed to be on and that it may in fact have been due last Monday. I frantically start searching for my backpack as my folder with the syllabus and a copy of the book is in it. Now I’m in my old bedroom and my daughters and their cousins are sitting on the bed talking. “Has anyone seen my back pack?” I ask. Blank stares. “I need my backpack!” Finally, my youngest daughter points to it sitting on the dresser. During this whole ordeal I’m thinking about how I can still spend the day with my boyfriend and read the book and write the essay by the next morning. Are their Clift Notes for the Percy Shelley book I can use? A movie perhaps? And then I woke up.
I wonder what it all means? It’s been 27 years since I was in school and had to write an essay for a literature class. I had to Google “Percy Shelley” when I got up. It turns out he’s an English Romantic poet that lived from 1792 to 1822. Hmmm…I may have to read some his poetry today. Is that a sign of something? A clue? What struck me most was that the dream was a weird mix of my past and my present. My next Google was to find out what my dream could mean. Are dreams our subconscious’ way of telling us something? According to dreammoods.com, dreaming about homework can represent anxieties about your ability and performance. Additionally, seeing a backpack represents decisions and responsibilities that are weighing you down. It suggested that dreaming about being unprepared could mean a lack of self-confidence and a fear of not meeting other’s expectations of me, while dreams about forgetting something signifies life’s anxieties.
Interesting…self-confidence is an area in my life that I’ve been working on improving. I guess my subconscious is telling me I still have a ways to go! In the past, my tendency has been to focus my attention on my failures and dismiss my successes as luck. I had a fear that people would find out that I wasn’t as smart or talented as they thought I was. Imposter syndrome haunted me. Over the years, I’ve learned to take a more balanced approach. I find it’s good to reflect on failures to a point so that I can learn from my mistakes and grow. However, it also good to give myself credit for my successes so that I can remember what I did right and build on them. More importantly though, I’ve finally realized my life isn’t transactional. I am not a vitae. When I die I don’t want people to remember me for a list of accomplishments and failures. I want to be remembered for inspiring people, for kindness, for generosity, for making people feel seen and loved.
Lately, I’ve been listening to podcasts as I drive back and forth from my house to my boyfriend’s house. One of my favorites is Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us podcast. Recently, she launched a new podcast called, Dare to Lead. At first I was reluctant to check out her new podcast. Why? Well, it’s about leadership. I would never have deemed myself “a leader.” I’m not comfortable reprimanding people, firing people or being a boss. What I realized though, as I started listening to these podcasts is that I am a leader. I was confusing being a leader with being a manager. The two are not the same. While I might not be a leader of a corporation or organization, I am the leader of my life. I am a leader in small ways every day. Listening to the stories on these podcasts inspires me. I learn about new books to read (I have a stack!) and inspiring people to follow on Instagram and Twitter. Now instead of news and negativity, my feeds are filled with inspiration and positive thoughts. I learn from others and find ways to apply what they’ve learned to my life. This reminds me that my story is important too. Sharing my struggles, trials, tribulations, frustrations and inspirations may help someone else along the way…
Next week, I’ll share some of the books and podcast episodes that have inspired me along the way.
In the meantime, do you have any favorite books or podcasts to share? Do you think our dreams mean anything? Do you have recurring dreams? Share below!