Sunday, September 2, 2012

Lessons of A Nightmare: My Life As An Episode of "The Walking Dead"

I just got out of bed from the most vivid nightmare I have ever had in my life. No joke. I woke to the sound of my alarm clock blaring and I could not move. I had to take a minute and simply be grateful that it wasn't real. After that moment of gratitude, I completely understood why I had that nightmare and what the nightmare was forcing me to face. I had to ask myself a question. Was I going to dismiss this clear message or was I going to use it to move forward?

I did something last night when I got home. A simple thing but It set things in motion. Perhaps my trip to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery had a small influence on the texture of the dream but not the content. What did I do? I will get to that later.

The dream began in the lower level parking garage of a major casino  in what I can only assume was Las Vegas. I understood I was attending some event where everyone I ever knew in my life was there to celebrate. I was getting out of my new used red Ford Escort. As I looked toward the front of my car to see if there was a letter or number on the wall to help me remember where I parked, I saw a man and a woman crouched down. The were hiding and trying to get my attention without making much noise. They looked so completely terrorized, I was completely confused. I thought they just got mugged. I went toward them. They grabbed me to make sure I wasn't seen. 

In the distance from us the elevator doors to the parking garage level opened. I couldn't see if anyone got out. I did notice a group of people who had parked in another area making there way to the elevators. I knew I knew them. I started to get up but the couple held me down. Suddenly, behind a huge cement pillar I saw four or more disheveled men pull out guns. They didn't shoot but beat or bit them until everyone was dead or crawling on the cement floor hoping to escape. The lady with me said, "THEY ARE HERE TO KILL US ALL"!! 

I broke free and went to help those who I "knew" were friends of mine. The killers saw me and charged. They did not shoot. I finally could see their faces. They looked like a cross between hardcore prison inmates and zombies from the AMC series "The Walking Dead".  I fought them off trying not to get scratched or bitten. I managed to help some of my friends get to the elevators. We made our way to some random floor. 

The elevator doors opened to utter chaos. Guests of the casino/hotel were all running for their lives. We made our way to the roof somehow to collect ourselves. We all understood that everyone was gonna die. I knew that somewhere in this place was all of my family and friends either in hiding, dead, dying, or turning into zombies but I never actually saw specific people. I just "knew" in the way you can only in a dream.      

Those few of us who made it to the roof decided we had to get to the ground floor somehow by the stairs and the air shafts. Before we left I ran into someone who asked me if I knew who of my friends and family were dead. I pulled out an orange piece of paper and started writing with a piece of charcoal. I could not say their names out loud but as I wrote their names down, I began to cry uncontrollably. We all took a moment of silence for the dead, hoping they actually died and could rest in peace, praying we would not see them as the "Walking Dead".

We gathered what little we had. As we walked to the stairwell, a guy who I didn't recognize consciously but "knew" was a friend said something. "Hey, Kevin. I read your blog and I didn't appreciate what you said about me. You are a jerk. Fuck you. Who do you think you are? You aren't anything special." I said, " Are you kidding me right now?  I have no idea what you are talking about. People are dying and you're talking to me about a comment I made on my fucking blog?" I was compelled to punch him in the face. It felt satisfying.

As I was about to descend the stairwell, I looked back and some women I "knew"  were gathered singing "I am so blessed. I am so blessed. I am so grateful for all that I have..." It was so beautiful to listen to but I had to move forward. They seemed to be resigned to dying at the hands of the zombies trying to burst through the other rooftop entrance. I descended the stairs without them.

However it happened, I found myself cut off from the folks from the rooftop. I ran down the hall of some hotel floor. Zombies were coming out of every room. I made my way into the area where the elevators were. The doors were closing before I could get in. With the zombies getting closer, I used all my strength to pry the doors open and get in before I was bitten by a zombie. Inside the elevator were two other people- strangers I seemed to "know". The elevator wasn't moving. It was however, filling with water. There was at the top of the elevator small ledges where the other two people got into for safety. Somehow, we all understood that the entire hotel casino was being flooded to kill the zombies. I joined them on the ledge. 

As the water rose, one man decided he wanted to die in the elevator instead of at the hands of possible zombies waiting outside the elevator. He peacefully got off the ledge and drowned in the water below us. I started to reach for him but he went under. I began thinking about everyone I loved who were most likely dead or zombies by now. I was not sure if it mattered whether I survived if everyone I loved was gone. I thought about joining the strange man who just drowned. 

A hand grabbed my shoulder I looked at the only other person with me. This person was the first person I felt I recognized. It was a very close friend who in my real waking life was dead. However, in this dream he was alive and not a zombie. He said, "Stop wasting time caring what other people think about you and decide to LIVE". 

In an instant he disappeared, along with the ledge. I plunged into the water filled elevator. I swam to the water's surface and pushed against the escape hatch in the top of the elevator. It was jammed. I was fighting for my life! The elevator's emergency button went off as I struggled to get free. The sound of the emergency button transformed into my alarm clock buzzer and instantly...

 I was awake.

As I lay in bed  I got it. I have always known this about myself. I have always but way too much importance on what everyone's opinion of me is. The fact is my family and friends ARE very supportive. Nevertheless, I have been consumed with appearing like I have it all together even when I don't. I don't want people to see me in a negative light, or worry about my struggling as I am pursuing this "acting thing", or simply judging my life choices.

If a friend needs my help, I can get very disciplined, and efficient in my ability to use my skills to help them. However, I rarely put the same amount of energy into helping myself. I think the Universe is confirming what I have been thinking about a lot over the last few days. I need to channel the same energy and attention I put into supporting others' success into creating a more successful life for myself. I need to decide to "LIVE" and not give a damn if anyone else likes or approves. It is all up to me.                  

So what sparked this nightmare inspired revelation? Aside from a fun night at Hollywood Forever cemetery or a recent purchase and viewing of Season One of a certain AMC series, I added a widget to my blog that links my blog to my Facebook page. With one click I sent out an Invite to ALL my Facebook friends to view and maybe even follow my blog. I suppose I was a little conflicted between wanting friends to follow my blog and the reality that I would be exposing myself so completely. .

Lesson learned? Drop the useless "fear" baggage. Life is about "LIVING" and not becoming some version of the "Walking Dead".

Now that I am up. Time to get on with my "zombie free" day!       

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