It is no secret that dreams offer profound insight into our psyche.
My mom lived in a penthouse box suite at a baseball stadium. Of course. Because dreamland makes no sense, but in the moment it feels perfectly normal and like the only version of reality that could possibly exist.
The baseball game had ended and my mom and siblings rushed downstairs to the exit. I still had things to pack up and wanted to straighten my area a little bit more. I was trying to figure out which clothes to leave and which to take with me to my dad's, and I also wanted to clean my bathroom. So, I stayed and did those things. I didn't beg my family to wait for me, I didn't go rushing after them. After all, they were long-gone before I even collected my thoughts to begin my first task.
When I was almost done sorting and organizing, a blonde lady in a burgundy polo shirt and khaki pants barged into my room, "Are you Lindsey Van Wagner?!" I said yes and she immediately shouted into her walkie talkie, "I found her! She's upstairs. I'll bring her down."
I folded one last thing, zipped up my bag, and then calmly followed her to meet my family. They were wide-eyed, "What were you doing! Where were you? We couldn't find you anywhere!"
"I was right where you left me."
The message here is two-fold:
1.) We don't need to wait until there is a crisis to finally pay attention.
If my family had taken the time to ask if everyone was ready to leave, or to notice that I wasn't, all of this confusion could have been avoided. I wouldn't have forced them to wait with me but if they hadn't rushed off, I could have said, "I am going to need a few more minutes, so you can go along without me and I can meet you downstairs, or I will find another ride," but they were gone so quickly that I didn't even have time to utter those words. It wasn't anyone's fault. They didn't know any better.
2.) Progress, not perfection.
I am getting better at listening to myself and following my own instincts, despite the whirlwind of influences around me. In the past, I bent and twisted and turned in ways that fit everyone else's agenda, leaving myself mangled and deformed to the point of dysfunction. Then, I would wonder why I felt so awful and how I got to this level of disarray. It's because I was trying to squeeze into someone else's mold, not letting myself naturally shape into my own. It wasn't anyone's fault. I didn't know any better.
Moral of the Story:
Today, I am aware that I am different, especially to those closest to me. Instead of swimming upstream and trying to get someone to notice and understand and perhaps lend a hand, I make my own decisions and I communicate them. I wait for the stream to settle until I feel comfortable making my move. And guess what? No one has ostracized me. I haven't been banished by my family and friends. Everything is okay, confusion is prevented, and everyone benefits.
It sounds simple but it has taken me years to cultivate this wisdom, and more importantly carry it out with confidence and grace.