Once we choose a path, it’s hard to turn back.
A Powerful Dream Of A Life Not Lived
I had a very powerful dream the other night where I dreamt of how my life would’ve been had I not chosen improv over love 10 years ago.
It wasn’t a cinematic dream with Michael Bay helicopter shots or music from John Barry playing during poignant moments.
It was a slice of my life had I chosen love over being a comedian.
I was married with four kids, two who were not my own, to a woman who loved me less than I loved her.
Basically, she settled for me, and that was a victory for me.
I worked two jobs, a white collar 9-5, and some catering staff on the weekends. We were broke but happy. And we lived in a big house I had organized.
However, I was exhausted, and I was a shitty father because of it. I was a bad son too because I had not seen my parents in a while. I had but all abandoned my sister.
I was visited in the dream by two friends who have been pivotal to my improv journey, and I to theirs.
But we weren’t friends. We were strangers. We were strangers who immediately liked each other, but did not know why.
In the dream neither of us were doing improv. No where near it in fact.
One friend was selling stainless Steel Japanese kitchen knives door to door. He was an excellent salesmen, and I invited him in for coffee and chatted him up. My wife did not like him, so I dismissed him. I did buy some knives though. I was left wanting more however.
Another friend I didn’t even meet in person. He was playing in my kitchen television, a headline in a CNN segment. It read, “YouTube Star Nearly Dies In Drug O.D.” He looked sad and lost. My heart sank as I felt for this stranger I had just met for the first time.
The dream ended with my wife telling me to turn off the TV and get ready to visit my parents.
The dream has stayed with me some days, and I have not been able to shake it away from my consciousness.
Dreams are more intense for me as I am Salvadoran. Growing up, dreams were discussed out in the open and shared with the family.
Dreams were valid and respected and warranted interpretation if you were to go about your day unimpeded.
So what is the interpretation of this dream?
Important fact: September will be my 10 year anniversary of doing improv.
Here’s what I think the dream meant: There is room for only so many people in your life, and by choosing some you are immediately disqualifying others.
The paths we choose come with people who will impact our journeys, and we to theirs. And for some people, you are more important to their journey than you know and imagine.
And that this artform we all love and suffered for is just some larger force that brings people together in a way no other thing can.
It doesn’t have to be improv. It could be power lifting, comics, or rock’n’roll. It’s something whose shared love can bridge the gap between two strangers and turn them into life long friends.
I also think it means that some people are meant to be in our lives. That some people are just that important to our journey; without them we would not become the awesome human beings were meant to be.
Finally, I think it was a confirmation that I made the right choice nearly 10 years ago.
Yes, I loved this woman, but she didn’t love me back with the same force. She would’ve settled for me because it was the path of least resistance. But it wouldn’t be a love that would’ve aged well.
With improv, despite all the bullshit that comes with it, there has never been a day that I have regretted this decision.
Nothing beyond family, friendship, writing, and school has brought me more joy. And a lot of those aforementioned things all had improv in there somewhere. I chose improv because it was a path with a heart. And in this big unpredictable world, this long and meandering march to death, all we have is a path with a heart.