I’ve only ever had three recurring dreams in my life. Twenty-five years after graduating college, I’ve finally shaken the classic “end of the semester, and I just remembered I haven’t ever gone to one of my classes” dream. Growing up in Kansas, I also had tornado dreams for years, though I’ve never seen one, and I’m not particularly afraid of them. But there’s one dream that I’ve never stopped having–that of rushing to catch a plane.
I don’t understand why this one keeps coming back. I’ve only ever missed a couple of connections, and they were pretty routine. It can’t be a tangible fear, certainly not in the same way a tornado is. I think it must be a metaphor, a symbol for something deeper.
I hate these dreams, even more than the tornado ones, because in them, I’m stressed. I usually don’t know where I’m going, and there’s often a line slowing me down. I know I have barely enough time to make it, if everything goes right. It usually doesn’t. Normally, I get just stressed enough to wake before I see if I’m going to make it. It’s unpleasant.
As I’ve reflected on these vivid experiences, I realize that they describe my work life almost perfectly. I’m generally slogging my way through an unclear path, with plenty of obstacles and not enough time, at risk of not getting where I’m going. It’s difficult to believe that this similarity is a coincidence. I’ve always been high energy, in a hurry to prove I don’t know what, to I don’t know who. I’ve struggled all my life for peace and rest with the status quo. I’ve made progress, but I have as far to go as I’ve come. It’s dawning on me that I may not get there before my journey ends. I don’t know the implications of that fact, but it’s a sobering one that I better figure out…before it’s too late.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” –Winston Churchill