I’ve spent entirely too much time lately pondering all the ways in which my life hasn’t lived up to its potential. Included in this pondering has been the question of how differently my life would be if I’d choosen the safe, well-trod path of all that is normal and average. Last night, I recieved the answer to that question, in the form of a long and horrific dream.
The dream lasted most of the night and came in various tableaus that roughly covered the entire period of cradle to grave. The highlights, if you can call them that, included becoming a hairdresser, having a simple yet terrifically expensive white wedding in a Christian church, accepting a husband who was a full-time accountant and part-time couch potato named Bob, creating a marriage based on begruding tolerance with a dash of affection, maintaining a ridiculous house in the ‘burbs, having kids who thought playing football and going to the mall were religious experiences, taking a Disney cruise every year, and eventually dying of old age and boredom in a sappily-named retirement community in a skin-cancer ridden state. It was a very regular, secure, safe life in which the most upsetting occurrances tended to be things like the death of a pet or the family arguments about where to order take-out food. It was an existence protected from all that is dark, scary, and unknown. It was happy, safe, boring, and by most standards, perfect. It was full of sunshine and daisies and completely vanilla flavored. In short, it was hell.
What made it so bad was not what it provided, but all the things that were missing from the reality of who I am. The really obvious things were gone: tattoos, multiple peircings, love of all things dark, my ability to spew witty sarcasms at the speed of light. Then there were the other things that are so integral to who I am… the very strong spirituality, the ability to see and understand things that most people are blind to, the need to wander and explore, my insatiable curiousity, and my openness to lifestyles other than my own. The dream was filled with a bright pleasantness, yet enveloped by a mediocrity and closed-mindedness that I can’t begin to wrap my head around. Frighteningly enough, I was quite happy within the context of the dream and wouldn’t have traded that life for any other. That aspect scares me more than any other.
So, even though I’ve gotten a sneak peek at what my world could have been like, I’m more than grateful to have been given the life I have. No, it’s not perfect and yes, I tend to be the token freak at most gatherings. However, I’ve been fortunate to have some incredible, unique experiences and I’ve also been blessed with a good deal of love in my life. Presented with the choice, I’d gladly take the precious time I had with Andy over a lifetime with the man I’d married in that dream. The well-trodden and secure path has never been mine to take. Although I may sometimes question it, deep in my soul I know that the life I am living is the one I’m meant to have. There may be pain and darkness at times, but I am a more complete person for it.