I’m stuck again in the same labyrinth of doorways and staircases. My throat is dry. I run frantically pushing the doors open to find a way out. I leap upstairs, I run downstairs. But no matter what I do, I get back to the same place.
As I continue to run through the maze, the doors keep closing behind me, staircases disappear midway and I land hard on the ground.
Photo Source: Marco Nürnberger
There’s a strong feeling of déjà vu. I don’t know how I know this but I do. I know this is a nightmare. Panting and sweating, I decide to stay put and beg my eyes to open and put an end to this nasty nightmare. But I can’t for I see them. They are everywhere. Men and women shrouded in blankets. They look like ordinary humans speaking in hushed tones. I strain my ears to listen what they’re saying, but I can’t. All I can hear is silence, a deafening silence. Like someone has played a video with the mute button on. Perhaps it won’t be so scary if it weren’t a nightmare.
They look normal until they turn their heads and look at me with that vicious grin. The piercing gaze of their green eyes cuts deep through my skin. I stand still holding my breath in a futile attempt to shrink my existence into nothing so they won’t see me. But they’ve already started moving in towards me.
I close my eyes as my hands instinctively reach over my head. I can hear my heart, every pound in my chest. My eyes open finally giving in to my plea and I see that my brain has already transported me back to my bed, safe and sound. My heart continues to race though. Bathed in profuse perspiration my body feels cold. I grab the water bottle on my bedside and let the water pour down my throat and my sweat smeared body.
I don’t exactly remember for how long this nightmare has kept me enchained, perhaps since my childhood. And every single time it manages to send shivers down my spine. However, over time, along the journey to discover my true self, I began to comprehend what that maze and its people have been screaming into my ears.
That maze somehow seems to represent the world where I often feel lost and unsure of which path to choose. In my quest to find that sense of belonging, I often get stuck with wrong people and at wrong places. I keep my real self hidden in an attempt to blend in. I pretend to blend in. But my mind, body and soul rebel in unison and signal me to run away. The deafening silence in my dream somehow symbolizes my inner voice I’m unable to hear.
And those people covered in blankets; perhaps they’re not all toxic and bad. It’s just that they’re not the right ones for me. Their stabbing gaze is the judgement that I fear. And as they move in to get me, to tell me that they accept me as one of them, I feel my existence drowning among the crowd, a crowd which is not mine and where I feel like an alien.
My desolate conscience whispers into my ears, “You deserve to exist, don’t erase your existence.” The nightmare ends there. And what begins is a journey of self exploration, of giving up the social mask, of finding my own tribe, and of becoming someone I’m meant to be.