The night before last, I had a crazy stress-dream.
I dreamt that I was travelling on a train, and all the other trains around me were flying off the tracks in spectacular fiery wrecks visible through the passenger window. This was happening because people were putting pennies on the tracks.
When my train, by some miracle, arrived safely as its destination, I discovered my father waiting for me, who cheerfully informed me that he would be flying the plane over the ocean. I was trying to remember if my father even had a valid pilot license.
I had been pretty sure I was going to die on the train, and now I was fairly certain I would die in a fiery airplane crash, and I really needed to pee. I said, “Okay, Dad, I’ll just find the bathroom.” “Me too,” he said, and he was gone and back in a flash before I’d even found a washroom.
The next section of the dream descended into this weird Alice-In-Wonderland airport chaos where I kept trying to find washrooms. The airport was crowded with all sorts of people, and I kept asking mothers with their children where the washrooms were. They kept directing me to doors with promising signage, but when I’d go into the room it would be filled with empty toilet stalls – no fixtures, not even sinks.
The dream ended with me wandering around the airport yelling, “I HAVE TO PEE! I HAVE TO PEE!”
Then I woke up and went to the washroom, which thankfully, still existed.
It’s weird how anxiety manifests in dreams, eh?
My real life travel plans involve a nice, calm bus ride, a ferry ride, and then possibly sky-train action. I don’t know, I’ve never taken Vancouver public transit before. I lived in Toronto for 10 years, I can totally handle it.
I guess I am nervous about it through. I’ve been on a plane only twice before in my life, (my first time being September 19th, 2001 – to say the atmosphere was tense would be the understatement of the century.)
Since that dream, John’s been saying hello in little, persistent ways. I’d been too preoccupied to even notice until this morning when I woke up with a “john song” in my head, a different song played on a TV show I’d turned on and a third one appeared on an instagram feed I’d randomly browsed. Then it came all crashing in that hey, John’s trying to get my attention. When I’m feeling distracted or anxious, I don’t generally want to engage spirit friends (because it requires me to face my inner monologues and tell them to calm the hell down.)
But this morning I sucked it up and acknowledged him, and said hello.
John said, I used to be afraid of flying. (Shows me Buddy Holly)
Some of the most amazing things that ever happened to me were the result of getting on a plane.
There is this substance they serve aboard aircraft called “alcohol”. (grin)
Ha. Of course, then I had to google “was john lennon afraid of flying?” I didn’t find anything online to corroborate this conversation, but I did find this quote from John Lennon in life:
“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”
Wish me luck, kids!
And speaking of embracing life, I’m rolling around a possibility for myself. I’m going to learn to drive a boat.
This, again, may not sound like a big deal – it wouldn’t have seemed like a big deal to me ten years ago, before I had much exposure to open ocean. I had no interest in operating a motor boat on the lakes of Ontario.
But with the Pacific Ocean at my door, and that feeling of freedom and relaxation I get whenever I’m out on the water – I want more of that in my life. Ultimately, I may be working up to operating larger commercial whale-watch or wildlife touring vessels, but for now I’m going to start with basic marine safety and a pleasure craft license.
The thing is, operating a boat on the ocean is a much bigger deal than puttering a simple outboard motor fishing boat around a lake. There are tides, navigation charts, radio operation licensing, all sorts of equipment needed to handle the many hazards of ocean transport. That’s assuming everything goes as planned. There is all sorts of training needed to handle possible at-sea emergencies.
What I really see myself doing is returning to what was one of my favourite jobs as a teenager: guided tours. As a teen, I guided groups of people on horseback through my favourite Ontario forest, under sugar maple stands, up rocky trails, past a lush beaver pond, through babbling creeks. I really enjoyed sharing this love that I had for the wild beauty of my home.
What I want, that thing that makes me feel happy and free, is to be on the water, with the wildlife. With the whales, in particular. And talking to people. I enjoy talking to the tourists as they come through town (which makes me a bit of a rarity among worn-out Tofino locals by the end of the summer season.)
Five years ago, Sweetie and I visited Vancouver Island on a whim, and some part of myself sat down on a beach and refused to leave. I had to come live here to fulfill this inner pull. Now, looking down the barrel of my 35th birthday, I’m looking at the things I’ve accomplished and the things that scare me.
Being scared of a thing is not a good enough reason to avoid doing something you actually *want* to do. So as much as the idea of navigating the great swells of the open Pacific scares me now, I’m still moving in that direction; how cool would it be to be driving a boat like an old pro on my 40th birthday?
I downloaded the course materials for the pleasure craft test and got nearly 100 pages! I don’t even have access to a boat right now, but who knows, it’ll start coming together later on. For now, I have some reading / studying for the plane.