Here it comes.
I’m sure of it.
I can feel the ground vibrating as it approaches; I can feel my stomach twist itself into a knot; I can taste the blood on my tongue; I can feel the train crash into my side, crushing my skull and shattering my bones.
To be honest, I used to be terrified of this dream.
Perhaps my fear was heightened by (a) my wild imagination at the ripe age of seven and (b) the pain I had felt in the dream.
I don’t understand why I can feel pain even in dreams. I’ve heard that it’s supposed to be impossible to do so, but apparently I am an anomaly. So, I dream and it feels real. I feel fear, and dread, and pain—the kind of pain that causes a child to cry uncontrollably.
For this reason, when I was younger, it was difficult to compartmentalise dreams and reality. I remember Mom waking me up for school one day, and me staying in bed but dreaming I’d already gotten dressed. Five minutes later, when Mom came back to wake me, I muttered “but I’m already dressed.”
Another afternoon, after a nap, I began to dismantle our wooden dresser. I tossed shirts and pants here and there, claiming I had tucked a golden pouch in between my shirts. I remember being extremely upset about it, only to realise years later that it had been a dream. I’d never owned a golden pouch.
And so, when I slept, I often feared my recurring nightmares. The crash, I soon found out, was inevitable. On nights I was quite aware of myself, even when I dreamt, I attempted to manipulate my fate. I struggled to outrun the train; I tried to climb off the tracks; I lay flat on the track gaps so the train would whizz above me.
All attempts failed.
All ended as painfully as the last nightmare.
As the years lapsed by like wispy clouds on a windy day, the nightmares faded away. I no longer have these dreams, but I am still afraid of a different sort of crashing.
I fear that there will be that one opportunity that life presents me—that incoming crash—that I will fail to live up to.
I fear that after all my attempts at living a meaningful life, after all the opportunities I’ve been given, I will crash and achieve nothing.
There are times I fear that I won’t be ready when this great opportunity knocks on my door. What if I hadn’t heard the doorbell ring? What if I’d slept in? What if opportunity just decides to up and leave before I can turn the knob?
It is the crash that seems inevitable.
But I refuse to believe it is certain.
I suppose this urgency keeps me on my toes—keeps me writing, and studying, and learning, and improving myself in an attempt to prepare myself for fate’s vigorous knock.
Yes, opportunity may never come for me.
Yes, the crash might be this huge myth I’ve been inclined to believe in.
Yes, maybe I will have to seek my fate in another way.
But no, I refuse to sit idly by and dream of the rain whilst failing to till my soil.
My crash is coming.
I best be ready for it.