I had a weird little emotional trip on my drive home today, and I for some reason feel very grateful for all the people in my life and all my experiences.
I had a dream the other night that sounds like it would be a bad dream, but I woke up feeling very good and very positive and I've been puzzling over why a dream that could have (should have) been a nightmare made me feel so good. On my drive home I had a chance to think about it and I've come up with an answer. I'm unlimited.
I dreamed I was in the summer after my senior year in high school, and in the dream I had decided, as I often wished I had decided, that I didn't want to be an artist after all, that I wanted to go to a regular school and become an engineer, or maybe something else. Where the dream normally would have turned into the typical nightmare "I'm not going to the college I got accepted to, what am I going to do with my life?" instead, with the calm rational mind of an adult, I thought about all the possibilities that were now open to me. I thought about the schools I could attend instead, how much money I would save by not going to such an exclusive school, that I could get a job and go to work, have an apartment, that I didn't need RISD, or any ONE thing or any ONE else. The possibilities were endless, but not frighteningly so, there were two or three things I wanted to do, all I had to do was decide, and I knew that if my first choice didn't work my second or third would be fine, and then I woke up, forgetting the end of the dream or why it made me feel good. But I felt good.
I didn't know why this dream had me feeling so good. Thematically, it was one of those "Test I didn't study for" dreams, but emotionally, which is the real key to dream interpretation, the dream was different, it was like a flying dream.
I realized that its because I'm leaving high school, where I ate with the same kids at lunch, started out as a little trainee who didn't know anything. I'm going to miss my friends but it was time to grow up now. I remember when Ansgar left PR. I felt like he was graduating, and it was the last day of high school and I was being left behind, and that things would never be the same. A year later, after everything changed anyway, I got booted out of the nest, too.
And here I am. It wasn't hard for me to find a new job, a better job, not yet, but at least I'm making more money. I keep thinking that this is my lily pad. I'll learn stuff here, but I need to keep looking. In the mean time, at least my lily pad pays me well. I just need to remember the number one thing I DID learn from RISD:
NEVER let your skills get out of date. NEVER.
It cost me way too much to learn that. And boy did I ever learn it the hard way. I will not get lazy this time. I must keep looking. If all I do is take classes and stay at this job, then that is what I will do, but I can't be content to stay here no matter how much money they pay, because I MUST keep looking for something better, I MUST keep my skills up to date and I MUST be open to the possibilities that the world gives me. That is the only way to stay out of despair.