The other night I had a strange and unsettling dream, which is not uncommon really, but this one was remarkable to me in the sense that it made sense.
The dream (as much as I can remember it):
Richie and I were not married yet, but we had clearly been in a long-term relationship. There was this other guy, a guy who's face I have never seen before in reality, but in the dream, I knew him evidently well enough to be marrying him. So, I was engaged to this guy, and we were trying to plan wedding details, but every thought in my head was making me completely nauseous about it--I didn't have any feelings except for disgust for the guy, I was wondering why I was even doing it--and how I got involved with him and all that.
It was really weird... I had a terrible feeling that I was on the complete wrong path and that I needed to turn back and fast. In the dream, I missed Richie terribly and really wanted to talk to him. I remembered our times together, and all I wanted to do was to make things right, and get back with him and move forward.
However, it wasn't as easy as that. I called him up and he answered the phone "Hello?" Oh I was glad to hear his voice.
"Hey Richie, it's Jackie." I said happily.
With a very dull and apathetic tone, he said "Yeah."
"Can I see you? I mean, can we get together and just talk?"
There was a hesitant pause, then he replied "...Um, well... Ok I guess--I don't know what for though."
Then there was a feeling of sadness and doom, as though he had made his mind up that whatever I had done, or for whatever reason that I was supposed to be marrying this 'weirdo', that it was over and hopeless-That he would talk to me, but not really... There was nothing I could say to turn the situation around. I knew then that I had made a grave mistake and that all I wanted to do was be back with him, because in my heart (all this in the dream remember) In fact, I knew wholeheartedly that he was my soul mate, and because I had screwed that up, a huge hole was left in my soul... all I could feel was hopelessness after that because I did NOT want to marry this other guy in the dream.
I woke up not really having resolved it--you know how you wake up in the middle of something, but just glad that you wake up and realize it was just a dream.
Maybe that is telling me deep down to never let anything happen to what I have in my life-Richie, our life together. He's like my best friend, and my love and sometimes I still think about it while I'm brushing my teeth, or getting ready for work... 'Wow, I don't feel a day over 19 and I feel like I'm just having a slumber party most of the time.' I mean, responsibilities beckon, and we deal with those-and yeah that sucks, but for the most part we enjoy doing whatever it is we are doing whether it be playing music together (he's a guitarist and I play keyboards/vocals), or playing video games together, or watching our favorite t.v. shows on Tivo. We even still go down to my Mom's together and spend the night and rent movies and Richie always make sure to pick out a movie that he knows my Dad will love-We make a big pallet in the living room floor just like teenagers and snack, and watch our movies and fall asleep there on the floor-It's something I know I'll cherish forever.
However, i'm still affected sometimes when I think about the different roads that I have taken in my life, when i'm faced with any thoughts or knowledge of 'What could have been.'
I may not have mentioned it but I've always had an interest in dreams, dreaming, astral projection, quantum physics, and all kinds of things my family would deem out of the ordinary and 'crazy talk'... I'm just unlike anyone in my family in alot of ways, but of course very alike in some.
On thinking of this lately, I was faced with knowledge of results of a path that I nearly did take when I was 19 years old. His name was Lee, he was a Marine with big puppy dog brown eyes and blonde hair (an odd combination some might say). However we'd met on one of my many trips with friends to The Mall of Memphis (in depth Mall post I did Oct 06).
Things got serious rather quickly, and we were in Love (capital L-type-Love). We hadn't dated long when he declared that he wanted to marry me and spend the rest of his life with me, I would go wherever he was stationed and he would even pay to help send me to Art School, which was my plan at the time. [Shiree was dating his boot-camp buddy James back then, and we were on our way, taking them back to the Bass. Lee and I were riding in the back seat, and he proposed while this particular song was playing, and that song forever stayed locked in memory as sort of 'Our Song' I guess. Funny how that happens]. Fate is a headstrong monster, though... We lasted all of 2 months maybe--When his supposedly ex-girlfriend came forward and ruined everything with the news that she was pregnant. We broke up, but nearly got back together like maybe a couple of times, I cried to my mother and it took me a long time to get over this, as I thought it was true love. I thought my life was over, and I thought that I would never, ever find anybody else because he was 'the one', but he got away. Maybe all that was just a dream... can one be sure?
Still, through the years following I heard word of where he was and how he was doing because his Mother sent me holiday cards and occasional letters--She liked me although we'd never met and told me once that she and her husband had actually been in favor of me rather than 'her'. There were alot of details within the whole scenario, which would take too long and too much space to place here. The fact was though, that he ended up with three children and alot of headaches with his 'high school sweetheart', and alot of times their relationship was strained and i'm sure it has been a tough road at times... a tough road that I almost took myself.
Recently, I heard that they separated and were finally getting a divorce... A few years ago I might have been thrilled to learn this and might actually think 'What if we could get back together'. He was my first love, so hey it would be only natural for that to occur to me. So they're finally getting a divorce--it took this long for them to battle it out, and now it's finally happening... The oldest of the kids is almost 15 years old... That blows me away! I could have a 15 year old daughter... that is, if it had been me instead of her... I might have traveled anywhere in the world, being the wife of a Marine. But it didn't happen. It wasn't me... but it might be me in some strange, alternate universe... The Married "Mom" Jackie with three Kids and soccer practice, and recitals and parental dealings, and watching my kids' in marching band and all sorts of things that are at present, alien to me, married sans kids "Aunt" Jackie.
Like I said, Fate is something I can't quite explain... Destiny. Who we are meant to be and what we are meant to do, it all falls into place even though we don't understand it at times... even though, it might even hurt and disappoint you, until finally it unfolds, page by page, day by day.
In reality, I went on to lead a lifestyle that I probably shouldn't for longer than I should, and would not actually get married until my "twenties" were over. I don't regret much, but I do have things I wish I could do over, and even things I wish I hadn't done at all... But not many. For the most part I am happy that 'it wasn't me', because if I could go back and "fix" anything, I might mess up the one thing that keeps me from going insane... and that's Richie's love, humor and understanding... his friendship, his soul, his music. His heartlessness to those who deserve it, and his love to those small few that have earned it are priceless.
Where would I be if I had taken any road differently??? Will I end up regretting any of those choices? Will I be sorry that I didn't have any children? That I remained "Aunt" Jackie instead of "Mom"? I might never know.
Maybe only our dreams can give us glimpses into these alternate universes... maybe just a small glimpse of 'what might have been'. I believe that each of us knows deep-down in our subconscious what's truly right, and exactly what must be done. We need only to listen to those dreams, and take magical nightly journeys to find our answers.