I had a dream the other night.
It was one of those rare, coherent dreams that took me on a journey. A journey which marked some significant milestones and major shifts that had taken place in my life during this last one year.
In my dream I was shopping at a massive warehouse outlet. There were lots of items on display – reminiscent of the vintage toys, gadgets and an assortment of foods and clothes from my childhood.
It was surreal walking through the aisles, yet it filled me with a profound sense of familiar comfort and delight. From a forgotten time and place when I felt truly safe.
Then without warning, I suddenly came face to face with the person who had caused me immeasurable grief for over a decade of my life. In that moment, I felt my world turn upside down. A wave of misery and dread swept over me. I was then briskly told that it was time to go home.
Miserable, I numbly agreed – only to discover to my dismay that I had forgotten where my home was!
I scrambled to remember, but it seemed like I had suddenly developed some kind of temporary amnesia.
Ashamed and vulnerable, I was led to the car park where to my great horror, I found out that I had to drive a huge sixteen wheeler to get home!
Agitated and quaking with confusion, yet too afraid to speak up, I felt forced to climb into the driver’s seat. This person came on board, settled into the back seat and proceeded to dictate to me where to go.
I drove fearfully into the heavy traffic, a tight knot clenched in my stomach.
Along the way flashed certain routes which I wanted to explore further but was forbidden because I was told it was the wrong way. Being terribly uncertain, I obeyed without question. It was dark outside and I strained to see where we were going.
The truck was heavy and burdensome and throughout the dream I felt such a strain upon me as I pushed with all my strength trying to haul the weight of this massive vehicle behind me.
To make matters worse, I discovered in silent panic that I couldn’t locate any of the usual levers or switches near the dashboard of my massive truck. It dawned on me that I had not taken time to familiarise myself with my vehicle before plunging into this journey. And now it was too late. No turning back but to keep plowing ahead.
Finally, just as I was despairing that this nightmarish trip would never end, my back-seat instructor triumphantly announced that we had arrived home!
Relieved, I brought my great big wheels to a halt and looked around me to see where we were. To my immense and utter surprise, we were right back where we had first started! Yes, outside the huge warehouse outlet.
And in that moment, my heart exulted. She didn’t know where my home was either!
She had simply taken over out of an unchallenged sense of self-entitlement. I allowed myself to be overpowered. To be led. Some of us are taught to be self-subservient while others are bred to dominate. Sometimes when we find ourselves stripped from all familiar landmarks, we become easy prey in someone else’s territory. And in that moment of bewildering confusion when we’re still searching for our way, we lose our way. We lose ourselves.
I stood there as the gentle dawn slowly filled the sky. I felt so light. And my heart smiled. The person was gone. The truck had disappeared, thankfully.
I wondered how I was going to get home now and suddenly there was a brand new, shiny red bicycle at my feet!
And just as I was going to hop on my new bike, I saw a flock of burqa-clad women shuffling into a building on my left. Their burqas fluttering in the morning breeze. These women kept their heads bowed and moved like a a flock of frightened birds. Easily alarmed. Quick to take flight.
There and then I decided that, I will not be reduced to living like these women. That was not going to be the story of my life. I will not be hidden away, squirreling an insignificant life because someone said that I must. I will not give my destiny away to anyone.
I still had no idea then where home was but it really didn’t matter anymore. This was a journey that I have to make on my own. Me with my trusty bike. The detours, the byways, the hidden paths.
And then it dawned on me. It really didn’t matter anymore where home was because I knew then that I was already home.
This housewife is back in business. Now hear her roar.
I dedicate this first blog post to everyone out there who have led half lives. Hidden lives. Lost lives. Because of someone else’s sense of wrongful entitlement and claim over you. To all those who find themselves in unfamiliar territory and you’ve lost your bearings. Come home. To your precious, worthy self.