Some thoughts for the New Year

I slept fitfully last night. Dream after dream dug up old regrets. In the course of seven hours, I managed to uncover too many insecurities: Classes I never attended, or worse, attended but dozed my way through. My undergraduate thesis, which prevented me from graduating with honors because I half-assed my way through it. Laziness everywhere. Mean words I’ve unknowingly spoken because I was too obtuse to notice. Promises made and promptly forgot. Thank you’s thought but never said, and notes never sent. Loved ones who have died without ever hearing the things I had wanted to tell them.

I popped out of bed and resolved to write more in this blog, if only because I won’t remember my life unless I write it down. I’ll wake up in thirty more years regretting everything, wondering why I did what I did, wishing I could throw a glass of ice water in my younger face and force myself to try a little harder. I need to be more aware. I don’t mean to be so flaky, I just forget things.

Somehow, I suspect that deliberately writing in this blog may help. Because when you capture your thoughts—as trivial as they may be—days don’t roll into one another and life becomes less of a blur. You remember things good and bad, and you know why you did what you did. You float less.

And maybe, with any luck, I’ll hold myself more accountable. I’ll show up on time. I’ll try my hardest, always. And I’ll thank the people I love.

Weirdest dream ever

Last week I had a somewhat disturbing dream. Not for what happened in it, per se, but for what I felt.

So I was walking down the street—it was my mother’s street—and outside of her building was a loitering stranger. The front door was wide open, and I was immediately suspicious. That’s when a sudden blast exploded in my ear. It felt like the sound of incredibly loud speaker feedback at close range—that is, deafening, shocking, ringing, unbalancing. In my dream, I had been shot in the ear by some sort of ear-blasting dart that rendered me deaf in the left ear.

Livid, I ran up to the man and began to yell: “WHAT THE F— WAS THAT?! F—ING HELL THAT HURT! OUCH! WHAT THE HELL DID YOU JUST DO TO ME?” (Yes, I have a potty mouth even in my sleep!)

He didn’t answer, and I went inside to make sure my mother was OK. I remember talking to someone and saying I couldn’t hear out of my left ear. Slowly, it started to get better, and eventually my hearing returned. I woke up, unsettled, a few minutes before my alarm.

What happened? Maybe nothing. I may never know. But that pain was so real, so ridiculously amplified and tangible, that I find it hard to believe I dreamt it. My ear felt fine when I awoke, but a little tingly. Not painful, for sure, but… off. Still—at 5:57 a.m., it’s hard to tell what’s on and and what’s off.

A week later, I can still imagine that pain in my inner ear when I recall the dream. I feel it down my spine and in the back of my head and, when I yawn (this is the oddest thing), I feel that tingly, pressured numbness. It’s almost like I’m on an airplane and the damn thing is popping from the pressure drop.

Dreams are so odd. I guess it doesn’t matter whether o not the ear-blasting dart happened in real life—it really hurt. And I hope it (whatever it is) doesn’t happen again.