Awakening: The Reborn Dreamer

I wake up every day look­ing at Death, and you know what? He ain’t half bad.

—Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp

Its not until you lose every­thing that you are free to do any­thing.

—Tyler Durden, Fight Club

I used to take pride in the fact that I felt like I could die sat­is­fied any day. I was at a place in my life where I could­n’t ask for more, and there was a tremen­dous sense of over­all sat­is­fac­tion. I had every­thing that I deserved. After that, all I had left to expe­ri­ence, every fall morn­ing caught or tear shed, was a bonus. Of course, the clos­est I had ever come to death was a minor case of pneu­moth­o­rax, which I imag­ine is as fatal as pinch­ing one’s skin between two Lego pieces while build­ing the Death Star, so this feel­ing was nev­er actu­al­ly put to the test. I’m sure I’d feel dif­fer­ent­ly if I ever came fright­en­ing­ly close to the end of my life, although just how much remains a mys­tery.

Perhaps this grew from a cogent sense of frailty, per­pet­u­at­ed by all the sto­ries of freak acci­dents echoed through­out the media. The stu­dent who impaled his heart on a num­ber 2 pen­cil while try­ing to catch a foot­ball in the mid­dle of class. The gen­er­al who drowned in a pool of his own blood from a nose­bleed on his wed­ding night. Even the pres­i­dent of the United States almost choked to death on a pret­zel. To dis­tance myself was the only way I could deal with it.

The prob­lem, I’ve only recent­ly dis­cov­ered, was that this left me alien­at­ed and unat­tached. I have no dreams, noth­ing to live for. Not even a goal to work towards. During high-school, the goal was to get into a uni­ver­si­ty. After uni­ver­si­ty, the goal was to get a ful­fill­ing job. After the job was the house. Now that I own a house, it feels like the rest of my life has been laid out in front of me. No risks, no sur­pris­es. I appre­ci­ate every­thing that I’ve been giv­en, but it feels like it’s been a lit­tle too easy. Even my most sig­nif­i­cant goal was rather sud­den­ly accom­plished this year. As Logan Pearsall Smith once wrote in his book Afterthoughts, “How many of our day­dreams would dark­en into night­mares if there seemed any dan­ger of their com­ing true!”. A simul­ta­ne­ous ful­fill­ment and dis­sat­is­fac­tion.

I pre­sent­ed this prob­lem to Pat, and from his infi­nite wis­dom (at 24, no less) I real­ized that one should nev­er live for what might hap­pen. Otherwise, a per­son would go crazy. Of course, to tru­ly live this way, it does­n’t hurt to be a bit of a fatal­ist. Having this belief means that one can only do the best that they can, and to go means that it was meant to be.

For now, I’ve been keep­ing myself occu­pied, until I can fig­ure out what I want in the last rest of my life. Blessed is the per­son who is too busy to wor­ry in the day­time and too sleepy to wor­ry at night. It’s only now that I’ve dis­cov­ered that I need a few dreams to sur­vive.

And I can only hope to nev­er reach them.

The Awakening Series

  1. Introduction
  2. Cause
  3. The Reborn Dreamer


  1. Thank God, the old­er you get the more you real­ize that wor­ry does chase things away. I del­e­gate nat­ur­al born wor­ri­ers to do most of my wor­ry­ing for me. So I can save mine for qual­i­ty wor­ry­ing time. The meds help too I think.:)

    Life gets more live­able when you’ve faced more days and as long as you can say *No one is going to die and we’re still going to eat tomor­row* there’s not much worth los­ing sleep over.

    It’s hard to wor­ry if you’re look­ing at the stars, trees, and flow­ers.

    I hope your wor­ries go find some­one else to both­er for a while.


  2. May you real­ize more dreams.
    Good luck to you.

  3. Thank you.

    I think you’re right, ME. Every day I’m real­iz­ing more and more the impor­tance of time as a source of expe­ri­ence and wis­dom. Everything seems to fix itself if I wait long enough. This means that I’m also real­iz­ing how impa­tient I’ve been, in my rela­tion­ships, my search for answers, and my goals (which may be why I’ve lost/achieved them so quick­ly).

    Sometimes, you just need to take a step back, breathe, and enjoy the cliché, sim­ple things.

  4. I came pret­ty close to death twice, in both cas­es I was will­ing ready and able to go. Dying’s easy, it’s liv­ing that’s some­time dif­fi­cult.

    I don’t think that you should both­er with “rest of your life” I think that when I was in high school I did think of being adult as one huge chunk of time in which no choic­es are made and life just drift toward their end slow­ly and the same. Now that I am an adult, I real­ize that the more grow and evolve the more rich and com­plex and chal­leng­ing and inter­est­ing life becomes, they change, all the time. Planning for the rest of your life’s futile — noth­ing last that long, you will change a mil­lion times in that course of time, and so your will will change a mil­lion times as well.

    We keep look­ing for some ulti­mate answer to the “what do I want?” ques­tion cause mak­ing choic­es and being aware is so dif­fi­cult, but it’s what makes us human, it what able us to go own grow­ing and becom­ing more and more of our­selves as we can.

    How about instead of try­ing to find out what you want to do with the rest of your life, try find­ing out what you want to do next week? It’s a much more com­plex ques­tion suince unlike the rest of your life — this have prac­ti­cal impli­ca­tions.

  5. It’s also hard to wor­ry if you’re look­ing at the stars, trees, and flow­ers through the haze of alco­hol. Speaking of which, I need a drink.

  6. Lilly, I’ve always been a long-term thinker. The short term is easy for me, but I need a long-term goal to work towards. Otherwise, I’ll always be look­ing for the next thing to do when I fin­ish one thing, con­stant­ly scared of run­ning out. A goal in the long term is some­thing that can keep dri­ving me, some­thing that can account for all the effort I make now.

    And Trolley…


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