Every now and again, I have these dreams that wake me in frustration.
I hate to bore you, but the set up is this. I played competitive volleyball for a long time. I started playing when I was nine years old and “retired” when I was rickety and old at the ripe old age of twenty-six. I wasn’t very good for a very long time and then I grew, my practice paid off and I was good for a short period of time. Okay, set up done. It’s boring even to me, but my dreams may not make sense with out that part.
Anyway…the dreams are these volleyball dreams. I am somewhere in some gym (most commonly our old P.E. building at the University of Awesome – sorry, Georgia) and I can hear that the gym is already packed with fans and it’s almost time to hit the court. We are all in the locker room waiting for our coach to come get us and tell us it’s time to run out together. I am usually finishing up putting on some piece of equipment, like tying a shoe or looking for a knee pad or lacing up one of those old white leather ankle braces (I mean talk about subconscious, I didn’t even wear those in college!). While I am fumbling around getting my stuff on, my team begins to leave. One by one, they leave the room and I can hear them all running onto the court – without me.
I can feel my frustration and my anxiety mounting and oh, my gosh! Where is my sock!? I feel totally helpless and like I am going to miss out on something and I freakin’ hate it! I always wake up feeling frustrated and not knowing what that dream means. Is it volleyball (can’t be that literal, it’s a dream, right?), is it life, is it my kids, my marriage…what am I missing that my brain is playing this theme over and over while I am trying to slumber? I could seriously write a one hundred page thesis about that last sentence alone! I won’t, but I could. I have managed to connect some of the pieces over the years because I didn’t start having these dreams until I finished playing. It is usually during a time of stress and feelings of being overwhelmed that I tend to have these dreams. I also know that since I stopped playing competitively that there has been a void or space in this area that is being filled with lots of other wonderful things, but sports people you know what I am talking about when I say that nothing even comes close to the feeling of competing.
So, this morning I read this little snipet by Jon Acuff: http://acuff.me/2014/01/learned-6-months-nightmares/ and was like sweet, I knew I wasn’t crazy!
Here’s the deal, I’m not trying to be like Joseph and say that God gave me some uncanny ability to interpret dreams, but I do think they try to tell us something. Something that we aren’t able to see or feel in our waking hours – because doing dishes and laundry don’t usually lend themselves to major epiphany. BUT, whenever I have that dream it’s a reminder that I am struggling with something and that I do feel like I am missing something. It’s a reminder for me to slow down, get back in touch with my surroundings on a more intimate level and stop trying to tread water through my life. It is a crazy, chaotic snapshot of my life when I try to take control. Oooohhh, now there’s an epiphany for you. Wait, that was for me.
But, wanna know the coolest thing ever? Fine, it’s just cool to me. About a year and a half ago, I had that same dream and you know what? I was no longer in the locker room, I had made my way onto the court, fully dressed and ready to play with the rest of the team. I woke up before I hit the winning ball hard angle inside the triple block for the win against Florida…but that’s okay.
I was on the court. I was living my life and participating. Haven’t had the old dream since.