The longest running theme I can remember in my dreams is travel. Going. Leaving. I've got bags, I'm in between places, I've got paperwork and identification and it's important to be someplace specific at a certain time because the plane or the train is going to leave. Usually there is family involved in these travel dreams. I'm with them, or I'm going to meet them, or they are going to bring me my ticket, or I'm going home to see them.
It's not anxiety, exactly, but it's something. Excitement. Wanting. The not being there yet-ness. The in-between spaces that make up airports and the insides of luggage and taxis. Often there's a feeling that I'm wanted or needed someplace else. Rarely does the dream involve the getting onto the actual plane, the traveling, or the arriving. It's all about going. It's all about departure.
I love leaving. I'm good at it. In my waking life, I can leave very easily and quietly, with no questions or drama. I'm not someone who needs to root around in her purse for twelve minutes before getting out of the car. I'm not big on goodbyes. My mind is already on the road.
It doesn't take me long to pack, and when I do, I pack light. I've been known to disappear for a week with just a small bag. The hardest part is figuring out the shoes. But if I have shoes and dental floss and my passport, I'm set.
One of my earliest memories is of a lava lamp in London. I don't remember the traveling part, but I do remember a woman at the bottom of the escalator in the Underground handing me a large silver coin. I was four. We were going somewhere and she wasn't, and it was important that she give me something to take as I went from that place to another place.
I'm going to another place again, now. Maybe it's because I work near an airport or maybe because I'm choosing to see them as signs, but I'm noticing a lot of planes taking off, going up, traveling from my lower left field of vision into the upper right quadrant of possibilities. The other day, I was getting some disappointing news on the phone. "Bummer," I thought, "That's not what I wanted." And then, I saw one of my plane signs, gently beeping it's lights up and up and up. And it was easier to leave my own expectation in that moment and say, "It must be going for a reason. Farewell, then." And then the next day, I heard news that things were actually headed back in the direction that I had wanted. And I realized, we are always, always leaving. We never get there. There is no there. We just keep going.
Sarah Elovich is a writer, performer and humorist based in Oakland, CA.