Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dream Catcher

"Is a dream a lie if it don't come true, or is it something worse?"

When I was younger, I used to have nightmares. Not your typical 'monster under the bed' nightmares... more like 'picture your biggest fear' nightmares. I would wake up crying and it would take a long time to shake that feeling, to convince myself that what I had just dreamed of didn't actually happen. When my grandmother bought me a dream catcher I remember being fascinated by it. The idea was intriguing to me. This tiny object with its interwoven fabric, blue suede border and feather trim would somehow 'trap' my nightmares? I hung it up and believed in it, and although the occasional nightmare would still somehow manage to sneak through, for the most part, I felt like that dream catcher was doing its job. I took it with me when my parents and I moved into our new house, and it has made its way into my first apartment. Although my cynical side would probably make me the first one to laugh at the idea that a dream catcher actually works, I cannot say with certainty that I'd remove it from my bedroom without hesitation.

When I was little my mother had a lot of health issues (She's ok now though! ). I developed a sort of 'separation anxiety'. I was convinced that if I wasn't with her, if I couldn't physically see her or hear her voice, something would go wrong. It sounds ridiculous now, but at that time and at that age, it was my biggest fear. To alleviate my anxiety, my mother gave me a silver necklace with a small angel pendant on it. She had an identical one, and she told me that in a way we would always be together so long as I was wearing that necklace. I had more faith in that necklace than in any of my Catholic School teachings. To this day, if I am particularly upset about something or feeling uneasy, I will put that necklace on and feel safe somehow. It is amazing to me how at 24 years old that has stayed with me. It fascinates me how simple it was to believe in... despite knowing the rational side of things, the magic in that necklace was indisputable, and remains so.

When my boyfriend and I first started dating, he admitted to me that he often had nightmares. I found a dream catcher at an antigue/thrift store for $1 and gave it to him. I'm doubtful that he thought it would do much except look kind of cool hanging on his wall, but I thought it was a nice gesture... in a way, I wanted to be that dream catcher for him. I wanted to trap every fear, every nightmare and shield him from it. But sometimes, despite our best efforts the bad stuff can still manage to get through. Although rare these days, I still have nightmares. And when I wake up in that moment where for a split second it's hard to distinguish my fears from reality, it is impossible to put into words the comfort it brings me to look over and see my own personal living dream catcher. His face the reminder that reality is pretty amazing; the safety I find in his arms around me; the calm I feel at the sound of his voice. Maybe dreams are just like life -- sometimes they're happy, sometimes they're frightening, sometimes sad... sometimes they simply seem meaningless and we barely remember them. Whether the nightmare is a monster under my bed or the scary reality of life, it is a comfort to know I am never in it alone.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No Other Way

It's been awhile since I last posted. Admittedly, I think i was being a little bit of a chicken. See, writing forces a lot of thoughts, a lot of emotions, a lot of truth.. and I think I was enjoying living outside of my own head for a little while. Don't get me wrong, things are pretty amazing right now. I feel lucky every single day. But I thought it might be time to clear my thoughts. So here I am.

The point of this blog is not to sit here and tell you how lucky I am. Those of you who are closer to me know that the happiness in my life does not come free from challenges. In fact, the biggest happiness in my life may prove to be the biggest challenge I've ever faced. But it brings out a strength in myself that I did not even know I had and more so, makes me admire the incredible strength in another person. And although I wish on a daily basis that I could somehow make things easier for him, deep down I know this is just one obstacle that we will face together.

It is hard for me to put into words how I feel about the person who has changed my world... the person who brightens every single day. The best way I can describe it is this: Imagine the most perfect person for you in this life.. your match. Your "other half" if you will. Your complete and utter dream come true. Well, as cheesy as it sounds that's what he is for me. It's like someone pulled him out of my head and placed him right in front of me. And I plan to hold onto him. ;)

He and I often hear that we have a "great story". People love things out of the ordinary...they love stories that make them believe. They love to find "reasons" and "meanings" behind everything. (I can't say that I haven't been guilty of this as well!) And while we do agree with how lucky we both are to have found eachother, I can't help but wish "our story" was different. I wish we had bumped into eachother on the street or at a bar... I wish we had never met the way we did, because then, perhaps, it would mean he never would have had to deal with what he's dealt with. Yes, maybe something incredibly wonderful has come out of something incredibly awful and for that we will both be grateful...but I can't help but think maybe some things are too terrible to have a reason. Did God screw up somewhere? Or maybe this is His way of fixing his mess up lol Or are things merely luck, coincidence?

Whatever the answer, I am grateful. I'm thankful for the happiness he brings to my life. I appreciate my face hurting from smiling so much. I find bravery in his strength. I find a sense of calm in his arms. I find appreciation in our days together and excitement in thinking about the future.

People face scary situations every day. Someone's life is turned upside down every minute. Life is frightening enough... but somehow I think together we'll be just fine. There's just no other way. And that's enough "meaning" for me.