It was back at our “hometown”. That’s where we grew up. Naturally, there was a function going on—most likely a party or celebration. I was out busy doing my own thing, but I was close enough that I could observe from afar what was going on.
It was the afternoon. Howie my brother, and CJ my sister were working on a film. It was their first time doing such a task, and they had hired my fellow cousins as their cast. For some reason even my mother was involved.
So many local people were surrounding them out in the gruesome heat of the Philippine sun. I couldn’t really decipher the extent of the failure, but I could sense that it wasn’t going so well.
My mom and cousin Dennis were walking towards my brother, sister, and another cousin. They were by the footbridge across from the dirt road in front of our blue house. I could see that the scene was not going well from where I was standing. My mom was really going at it, and acting like her natural bubbly self, while the cousin sitting down with my brother and sister kept messing up his lines, and acting with robotic emotions.
I could sense the frustration. Howie stormed off back into the house, followed by CJ. The stress got to him and I knew how big of a deal this was for him. He always had been a perfectionist, even if he tried to come off as the “cooler” brother. CJ, of course, the more emotional one who always had trouble really expressing herself in words, but who would be instantaneously pained if another family member showed any sign of emotional weakness, absorbed Howie’s energy.
I race over to the scene, navigating my way through a crowd of unfamiliar local faces, mindlessly just there—whether it was for support or for something else, I wouldn’t know.
As I arrived, I see my father standing in front of the crowd. He was wearing blue jeans and a dark colored shirt. Attached to him was a wearable heart defibrillator. Then a stranger hands me a microphone. I took the microphone and what I first intended to say did not come out of my mouth, instead it was this: “I just want to say, that I am happy to announce that I’ve finally finished school! I graduated from college and I am moving on to bigger and better things.”
I felt odd. But I remembered what I had gone there to do. I needed to help my brother and sister. I needed to assist them in their efforts because I knew how important this was to them. I knew how frustrating it was to work on something so difficult and so time consuming, but then feel defeated when things don’t go as planned. Through life, you are constantly reminded of the extent of your control, and of other people’s control, or of things that are just out of anyone’s control altogether. I thought, “Life never goes as planned.”
So I’m there, holding the microphone and I remember what I wanted to say. I look around and I see my mom behind a block of people. I spotted her instantly because of her very colorful yellow and blue sun dress, with a pair of brown sunglasses, and her long straight black hair. She looks so pretty, like always, when she is herself.
I shout, “Mom, where is Howie and CJ? I need them here now!” She shuffles around, her face beading with sweat. She looks healthy, she looks happy. She signals me to come to the terrace. I walk through another cloud of people, and there in front of me was the blue Johnson and Contreras gate. I open it. I’m there.
I see Howie and CJ and a fog of emotions just hit me like a train.
I start out soft but get more fervent as I say, “I am so proud of the both of you. I’ve never been prouder of the two people I love the most. I’m not sure if you both know this, but my bond for you both could never be broken. I love you more than all my best friends’ combined, and I love you more than anything materialistic I could ever own. More than any experience I could possibly have in my lifetime. I’m not sure if this is a weakness, or if this is unnatural, but all I know is that I always want the best for you both. You are my best friends. I wouldn’t be able to live my life knowing you weren’t there beside me to experience all the shit that can possibly happen. If dad passes away because of his heart problems, if mom looses her mind, who am I suppose to experience that immense pain with? I know I’ve always been the most fucking selfish brother there ever was, and here I am again being selfish. Because if I really loved you, wouldn’t I want you to never experience that pain? But I need you to share that pain with me. I wouldn’t be able to deal with that immense pain on my own…”
And I just trail off, saying things I didn’t even plan on saying. I’m in tears… In real life as I’m writing this, and in that dream.
The craziest thing was how it all felt physically. During the peak of my dream, I could feel my real body take the deepest breaths I’ve ever taken in my life. It felt like I was drowning and needed to catch the first breath I could.
My heart was also burning like fire. I felt it. I felt a new sort of love. Something much more potent. It wasn’t so familiar anymore. It was not some butterfly-like, sweet, cotton-candy-like feeling… But it was an immensely strong overwhelming sensation that I felt deep within myself. It almost hurt as it expanded exponentially through my body. It wasn’t painful, but powerful.
Now I see why so many people are inspired by their dreams. I can safely say that dreams help you become more self-aware. They allow you to become more human. They are capable of allowing you to discover who