July 9, 2019
I love mornings.
They’re a time when I feel that I’m at my most honest. Unencumbered by the needs of somebody’s attention or the coloring of someone else’s agenda.
Mornings are a place that I can really sink into and relish the space. Relish the silence. At least until my thoughts start making a clatter.
I woke up at 5:00 AM today unintentionally. Almost on the dot.
I was having a dream that I was sitting in a seat on some type of ride. It’s hard to remember but I think it was along the lines of an amusement park ride but going at the pace of a ski lift. I remember looking to my right and seeing a mountain range and an assortment of buildings you typically might see in some quaint village somewhere.
Oh, and I was talking to Robert Downey Jr who was sitting in the seat across from me. We’re friends apparently. I did NOT know that.
I remember asking him his permission to take his picture assuring him that I wouldn’t post it to social media. My motivations for capturing the moment wasn’t rooted in any vain sense of “look at me! I’m with RDJ!” I distinctly remember this strong desire to remember this moment as I knew that I would soon forget because the ride was still going and there was so much to take in.
I remember the ride not going very fast at all. Like I said before, it was around the pace of a ski lift so I could really take in my surroundings and truly enjoy the experience. It also gave me the time and mental space to think about what I wanted to say.
That was the dream. That was it.
After waking up, I looked at my phone seeing I was awake 2 hours before I needed to be. It’s day two of the annual Songwriting and Performance camp at the School of Rock in Chatham, NJ and I was already burned out from the first 10 and a half hour day co-running the camps on top of my teaching schedule.
I was pretty annoyed that I was up so early. I’ve done the camps for enough years to know that energy management is key and I needed the required amount of rest.
“Really?” I thought. “I’m up this early because of THAT dream?” “Is this how boring I’ve become that THESE are the dreams I have now? Fangirling on a slow rollercoaster asking for a picture from Iron Man?”
But the feelings I experienced in the dream were still with me and I started thinking about it more. I soon realized how beautiful that dream actually was. I think it’s actually highly symbolic of the things I’m craving in my life right now.
The slow pace of the ride symbolized my desire for a slower pace of life. I’ve been in New Jersey for 10 years now. That’s 10 years longer than I ever thought I would be here or ever want to. I’ve proven a lot to myself in that time. From selling my car to pay the rent for a room while interning for Ill Nino in their Hoboken studio to clawing my way up in the ranks to become a salaried music instructor at School of Rock. I even tried to make a home here. But after so much clawing to the top of the hill, the reality is that Jersey is Jersey. It’s still a rat race and ultimately this is not my home.
Just like the pace of the ride in my dream, I desire a slower pace of life. Not one so desperately consumed in the thought of survival and surrounded by people too caught up in the thought of the “not enough” scarcity mindset. I crave a slower pace of life allowing me time and space to think, write and create.
The amusement park ride itself symbolizing my life.
After thinking about it some more, I realized that Robert Downey Jr was symbolizing a role model. I lost my father two years ago due to Parkinson’s disease and before then, he was estranged from my life since the age of nine due to a history of mental illness. Other than my older brother who left home to become a father at 19, there weren’t a lot of male figures in my life who I could look up to. And as with anything, you learn to move on, to grow up, to adapt. You make the most out of what you've got. As a result of my father’s passing however, a lot of dormant feelings have surfaced as I’m sure you could guess. The idea of Iron Man being in my dream I think symbolized the idea of trust. Something that in all honesty, I’ve had issues with for most of my life but it’s something I’m working towards. In the dream, I see him as a role model. Someone to look up too. Someone to trust. In turn, by asking for a picture under the promise of keeping it out of the public eye, I was asking him to trust me.
Time is the most valuable resource because it’s ephemeral. Non renewable. But if it was, it would come in second to love.
Love is such a broad, complex confusing universe of a word to me. But what I do know is that it’s like a medicine we all seek to supplement with our vices when it’s not around. And trust is like a subsidiary of Love. Maybe associate is a better word. Not a bi-product necessarily but a key component. It’s like rhythm and tempo. These two things are not exactly the same but one can’t exist without the other.
Sometimes I remember my dreams only usually during times great business or transition. There are more than a few stories about some of the most significant turning points in my life and I feel like I’m face to face with another one. I’m not going to lie, I'm scared.
I didn’t expect to be saying all of this. I'm trying not to overthink my decision to hit "publish" on this post for fear of what you might say. Just like the transitions I have to face, I'm equally scared to be sharing this with you right now but I guess this is my leap of faith. This is me putting myself out there to a sea of strangers. Extending my trust. If this resonates with you, please let me know.
Thank you so much for reading.