Something Amazing Out of the Abyss

Rittenhouse Square Park, Philadelphia, PA. Photo taken by Doctor Beauty using iPhone.

It appears we blinked and it was mid-November. Where did the time go? They say time flies when you’re having fun, but 2020 (for many) has been anything but. You know what 2020 primarily did for me (thus far)? It sent me into somewhat of a survival mode. Living below my means in many ways. Being okay with not having the things I previously called necessities, like fresh nails and eyebrows 24/7. It was more of a response to the circumstances at hand than a premeditated choice. The naileries and beauty supplies were closed for months. Everyone would see each other outside, men looking scruffier than usual, women with outgrown acrylic nails. But real recognized real. We each recognized “the struggle” in our eyes, even though we could not see the expressions of each other’s mouths past the mandatory masks. 

I became far more than self-sufficient or resourceful. I became adaptive to a degree unknown to myself. And I reached a point where my creativity became a gateway to what was previously impossible. I opened doors that were once closed and embarked on journey’s I had wanted to start years ago. Imagine me, at 29, thinking it made sense to start playing acoustic guitar? Or submitting my poem to a pediatric medical publication for the first time? I stepped outside of my comfort zone the way a shadow leaves our bodies in the sun. 

But I was not the only one who embraced this new call to self-reinvention. I noticed this attribute in so many, especially in the online community I became a part of during the pandemic. I was so impressed that I decided to give them a platform to voice their life journeys via my new interview series “Testimony Tuesdays”. It’s something I had planned on executing as a podcast years ago. In retrospect, it seems I have used my creativity to make something amazing out of the abyss that was a somewhat murky 2020.

So here I am, pretty much reflecting on a year that is not quite over but just about, typing through the odd sensation of the calluses I have developed over the past few weeks from practicing guitar. The road to 2021 does not appear to be around the corner, over the river and through the woods, or along some winding path. It feels as though it is just down the street but in an updated version of technicolor. And I think that is pretty exciting!

DREAM INTERPRETATION

Have you ever woken up from a dream that felt so real, you thought it was happening? I have periods of time when I dream, and periods of time that I call “dry-spells”, no dreams whatsoever. I have read several articles in which the writers believe that dreams are a reflection of our subconscious. Some even go on to say that dreams can provide a window into the spiritual realm. I am a believer of both.

This post is by no means meant to be scientific, but just a collection of thoughts and summary of my feelings towards dreams and their role in our lives. In all my life, I can say that I have had a handful of dreams that I still remember. And the reason why I remember them is either because they were super weird or scary, or because they were hilariously outlandish.

Some dreams have even caused me to literally wake up and PRAY. I pray over my life, my family, my goals, my dreams. To someone who may not be spiritual, this might sound like an absurd practice. But for me I believe that dreams should be taken seriously to some extent. Especially if you are of the opinion that dreams reflect the subconscious.

During our busy lives, our subconscious picks up on nuances that our conscious minds might neglect or fail to prioritize. When we sleep, our brains can make sense of these nuances, and string together what might appear to be unrelated thoughts or feelings. In other words, our dreams can provide clarity for situations that, while awake, might be foggy. This is probably the premise for the old saying “I’ll sleep on it” when we are confronted with an issue that might not be able to have a quick solution.

How about the dreams that depict terrible circumstances? Like danger, illness, or even death? If you are not spiritual, what do you do about those? Do you just ignore them, or do you feel compelled to do something about them? Do you try to Google interpretations about key objects in your dreams, such as bicycles, certain animals, or even certain time periods? Can you talk in your dreams? Do you see color or are they void of any hues?

Personally, I like to talk to trusted friends or loved ones about dreams that concern me, or those that excite me. I don’t think it hurts to try to at least analyze the components of this mirror of your subconscious mind. I also try to take these interpretations with a grain of salt. Sometimes what you do or think prior to going to bed can influence your dreams.

One of the most memorable dreams I had was when I was studying abroad for my Basic Sciences as a first year medical student. I was fighting a snake woman, a medusa of sorts. And I had a Rosary wrapped around my wrist and started praying, and she was set ablaze. I told my mom about it, and she said that meant that I had defeated my enemies (whoever they were). That dream was so crazy, I ended up fasting and praying the whole next day. I felt that compelled! I have also had funny dreams, like the time I dreamt that I met Ellen Degeneres while having dinner at an outdoor restaurant that probably does not exist in real life. I actually chuckled at that one.

I am interested in hearing about your thoughts about dreams. Please share them below. And if you feel comfortable, what was your most poignant one?