Its time to write about the donuts….
This story is not about just donuts or dreams or time collapsing into itself or the ego’s love of status. It is about all these things and more.
A couple of weeks ago I had some chance encounters at my favorite Dunkin Donuts. I go there every morning on my way to work and typically buy a breakfast sandwich and a caffeinated beverage ( so it is not really about donuts after all.) I have been frequenting this establishment for years. It is on the way to my old job that I left two years ago and I like their quick service and convenient location. What is interesting is that my current route to my new job has me drive near the offices of my two last employers! Like I said it is a great location. Did I mention that during the three years I have visited this particular franchise that I have rarely seen anyone here that I know?
So about 2 weeks ago a woman taps me on the shoulder as I wait for my iced tea. She is the medical records manager from my job of 2 years ago. This encounter does not qualify to be a bona-fide Collisions piece, but it was interesting since I have never seen her here when we worked together. A few days later, I see another coworker from 2 years ago in the parking lot of the same Dunkin Donuts. We will call him Greg. He was a coworker/ quasi supervisor ( it is a long and boring story so I will spare you.) I mention that I saw one of his coworkers here just a few days before. He says I look happy. I don’t know if I felt happy but I was glad that he was interested in my well-being.
Who is following me?
Fast forward to this past Monday. I am attending a training in center city Philadelphia for a few days. The event is located in a lovely art deco style skyscraper near the heart of the city. I worked in this very building about eight years ago and have not been back since. Within a few minutes of my arrival I see Greg, the same coworker who I saw in the Dunkin Donuts parking lot. I said to him “Are you following me?” with a hint of laughter laced with anxiety/ paranoia. I saw the list of trainees beforehand and no one I previously knew was on the list. After I see him, a former office mate from the very same job walks in. He is a fellow Scorpio sun with a Gemini moon and a royal **** ( my shadow perhaps?). I call his name and say hello. It turns out that these two were added to the training class at the last-minute since they were unable to attend when their agency was scheduled.
* Conveniently forgotten detail/Mercury retro glitch?
While descending on the elevator with my current team on the second day of training, I quickly spy a former colleague from 8 years ago. I did not remember his name, but he looked exactly as I recall from 2006. I would have greeted him had I been able to compose myself before he exited into the lobby. Why did I forget to mention this when I posted yesterday? Blame it on Mercury if you like, but I think my subconscious mind was just protecting me from over stimulation. He was someone who I was fond of, and I hope he is content still working for the same organization after all these years.
So here I am with my staff from my new job being reunited with my coworkers from 2 and 8 years ago in the very building in which I once worked 8 years ago!
Now here is where it gets really strange..
On the second day of the three-day training I decide to sit by the window. There is more room to put all my stuff and I can disengage a bit from the crowd. The weather is hot and sunny and I glance out upon the stunning skyline. I feel my heart race a bit faster and a tinge of excitement washes over me. I have seen this very view before!
This picture above is not an exact replica but it will suffice.
As I marvel at the stunning architecture and the way the light cascades over the various structures, I realize that I have seen this view many times. I immediately recall being shown my new office eight years ago. It was huge and somewhat disconcerting. I had just left my employment with the city and had landed a promotion in the private sector. The job was at a non-profit but the atmosphere screamed grandeur and elegance. What really grabbed me was the view. I was up close to twenty stories high and the view was magnificent. While I was only a few blocks away from my city office, I might as well have been on another continent. The air was rarefied here.
The Bellevue beckons
During my lunch break in 2014, I waltzed across the street to the food court at the former Bellevue – Stratford Hotel. I have dined here many times before, but not recently. The streets had an excitement and energy that was electric. Many of the people were dressed in colorful, unique styles and exuded confidence and originality. I remember wanting to be one of them back in 2006. The film The Devil Wears Prada had just come out and I identified a bit with the lead character. I was evolving just like Anne Hathaway’s character did as she began to adapt to her new role in the corporate food chain.
After I devour my Reuben sandwich at the food court, I scurry upstairs to window shop. I walk into Nicole Miller after I eye the fabulous dresses in the window. I still feel a bit intimidated perusing the aisles of high-end designer apparel. I am so taken with the delicate ivory wedding gowns, one more stunning than the next. After that I visit a Swiss chocolate shop and indulge in a small chocolate hazelnut confection that was worth every penny ( and calorie !).
I want to return to 2006 as the woman I am now. I want to relive this time with the knowledge that status and title mean nothing. I had forgotten how much I wanted to be this person that was inconsistent with my true nature. But I had also forgotten how excited and alive I felt before my dreams were dashed and disappointment and regret set in. I knew that recapturing pre - disillusion 2006 is not likely, so I go back upstairs and reclaim my window seat.
Ready for the dream sequence?
Somewhere in the midst of all this alluring ambiance and time bending activity, I have a flash of insight. I once dreamt about seeing Greg in a center city skyscraper! I go home after the last day of the training and begin to search my dream diary to find the dream. I guess that it was fairly recent so I review my entries from late 2013 and early 2014. I discover nothing. I read every last one over and over, still coming up empty. Did I really have such a dream or was it simply that I failed to record it anywhere?
Tonight I went through my all-purpose journal in the hopes it may resurface. I am pleased to report that I did write it down and the dream occurred on 11-28-12. It seemed so recent in my consciousness, but in fact it took place 1 1/2 years ago, before I even began this blog.
The dream itself was very complicated and included people I know ( former coworkers such as Greg ) and TV characters. Themes of work and home were prominent, as were elevators and keys and new beginnings among people from my past. My goal is not to do a dream analysis here, but to point out the parallels between the 2012 dream and my 2014 “reality”.
The glorious view
I relished that amazing view yesterday during the final day of the training. I wanted to keep it close for safe keeping. As I traveled back to the train station at the end of the day, I walked at a leisurely pace. I took in the sights and sounds and marveled at the bohemian jewelry in the boutiques. I also treated myself to pineapple sorbet at the gelato shop. I fondly recalled how I once savored the decadent gelato flavors before becoming lactose intolerant. However, the pineapple sorbet was scrumptious and satisfied my sweet tooth momentarily.
Back in 2008, I associated the spectacular skyline view with prestige, power, and status. Sometimes I wish I could live in that space just a while longer, but it is not possible. While my ego is still quit robust, I am so past that illusion that superficiality is the key to inner peace. The glorious view has a new meaning for me now. It symbolizes excitement, creativity, possibility, and change. No-thing is static and experiences often tend to blend into one another.
I continue to be dazzled and mesmerized by the events of these past couple weeks. Why did these coworkers re-emerge now and not earlier, since I have been going to this Dunkin Donuts for close to five years? Was my dream pre-cognitive or perhaps a parallel reality that has morphed into my primary one? Does moving up in an elevator translate to the future and descending down lead to the past? Am I reading too much into to the fairly common encounters one may have with former associates who work in the same field within the same city? Can symbols in waking life take on the same significance as those attributed to the dreamscape?
I do not know the answers to these queries, but I believe that some force field is nudging me to pay careful attention to these events. I am really glad I did record this dream back in 2012, and I will certainly continue to gaze into the windows of my soul.
all images from Wikimedia free domain