I’ve had this dream for quite a few nights in a row. I dream that I am in a race with a large group of people, most of them people I know: from present-day friends and acquaintances at school to friends from when I was younger. I start the race off pretty good, a nice slow pace not worrying about being in first or last, just taking my time. Can’t go too fast and tire myself out, can’t walk and get behind. So I just jog slowly, passing someone up every now and then. At times, however, I try to speed up and I feel as though I am stuck in a really thick fog or mud up to my knees. I struggle and struggle and usually that is where the dream ends.
Except for last night (or this morning, depending on how you see dreaming).
I got to a certain point where I just decided I wanted to be first. I was jogging already when I realized this and I could see the person in the lead. So I started to run, really run. Nothing was holding me back and I finally passed the first person. They did their best to catch up but they didn’t. Finally after I rounded this corner I had never made it to before, I felt lost. The path was no longer clear as it had been before and it was difficult to tell if the track was going left or right. And the people behind me were nowhere to be seen so I couldn’t just wait and see where they went. I was really, really confused as to where to go and I just kind of faltered in my running. Then I woke up.
I didn’t know what it meant and maybe I still don’t. But I think I have an idea.
I have never been in the lead, a leader. I have always followed along with whatever others say, think, and feel in terms of what they think I should say, think, and feel. In school I was never a leader, in work the same. Now I am here running this race, this marathon and I am taking a lead role…a leadership role. It scares me a little bit to write a book, to mentor students. I love it, really love it — but I don’t like being the one heading a race that I have never ran before. I don’t want to lead anyone in the wrong direction. I am confident that I will learn my path and lead well, for now I will pace myself and learn the track before I try to sprint.