She woke up to the alarm at 6:45 am and hit the snooze for 15 more precious minutes of sleep. The routine began as it does every work day; the Monday through Friday grind. Shower, hair, touch of make up, coffee to go, and a 45 minute commute on a good day to work. The job she performs each day as a budget analyst is not exactly satisfying, but it pays well. She never said, “I know what I want to be when I grow up; a budget analyst,” but having been proficient at math in high school, and landing a scholarship to college, she sort of just fell into her career that now has her feeling a little stuck. She doesn’t really think it suits her so called “passion.” About her passion? That is the one equation her math skills have not helped her develop.
Although she never speaks of it, the anxiety associated with finding her passion is ever present. It’s not so overwhelming that she can’t function, yet nagging, like a mild headache. It was there at 6:45 am when she woke. It was there when she fell asleep fitfully at 11 pm and dreamt of longing for a euphoric state of happiness. In the dream she sat beside a Marvel Baby Groot. She began to speak to Baby Groot without reservation, especially since he’s so adorable, and was able to express her anst for the first time.
“Baby Groot, I’m not sure I’m living my best life. Believe me, I don’t want to sound ungrateful. I get by; pay my bills; have a decent family and a few good friends. On the other hand, life feels so routine and sometimes empty and dark. I feel like I’m always reaching for something beyond my grasp and longing for something unknown. People talk about their passion, but I don’t know what I’m passionate about. What am I to do?”
When baby Groot began speaking, all she could hear was, “I am Groot,” but she understood his thoughts as he conveyed,
“Life is as complicated as you make it. There is life and there is death and everything in between that doesn’t always make sense, and isn’t always fair but can be beautiful and meaningful all the same if you are rightly rooted, no pun intended. Okay, don’t sue me for being cute. Rightly grounded, no, no no, I mean rightly present and mindful in flow.”
“What does being in flow mean?”
“Being in flow is being mindful of the present moment. It is immersing yourself in whatever the task, work or play. It’s so easy to do when I dance, a little harder at other times, but mindfulness is worth the practice. With everything you do, be keenly aware of your aliveness and surroundings. Focus on you breathing, your movement, and your senses. If you live this way, finding your passion come easily. You will be drawn to what makes you feel most alive.”
“What you have just communicated, no offense, but that sounds so easy.”
“Doesn’t it? It is! No offense taken. I am from root and soil, not human, so you can’t hurt my feelings. It is humans that make life so complicated, with all their negative thoughts that really don’t exist in the present moment: Worry, regret, indecision, loneliness; all just an illusion. Next thing you know, they are wrapped around the tree of anxiety and depression, with no roots, sometimes medicating themselves, often becoming addicted to all these substances I really don’t understand. Substances that don’t exist on Planet X. ”
“Ahh. Now I get it. It’s sort of like being in prison without the bars, isn’t it?”
“SNAP! I believe my work with you is done. Now wake up and I don’t mean from this dream. WAKE UP to a new reality in mindfulness, in flow, and it won’t be long before you find your passion.”
She woke up from her dream and looked across the room at the dancing Baby Groot her sister gave her for her birthday. It wasn’t typical for her to remember her dreams, but she felt they now shared a secret. She didn’t hit the snooze button, got out of bed slowly, purposefully patting the Baby Groot on the head on the way to the shower. Was it his voice or the hers commanding her to examine her hands as they touched the diminutive figure; knuckles looking at her like ten little faces, nails like puddles after a spring rain, veins that told a story of rivers unknown? Was she looking at her hands for the first time? Because she saw them as she reached to turn on the shower and she felt the aliveness within them as she washed her hair; the water streaming upon her head like a waterfall, washing away the angst of yesterday.
Last night I had a dream.
In my dream, I met your girlfriend.
I invited her to come along with me on a little trip,
and to my surprise she said yes.
Her baby was due in two weeks she said,
(although in truth he is almost two.)
She said you weren’t happy that she agreed to see me.
That made me laugh, actually.
How could he be?
Two timing bastard.
You were so nice.
I was just biding my time.
Deep down, I was still seething.
And that made me feel guilty.
We did mundane things.
She tagged along,
while I waited to drop my bombshell.
As the day progressed, I confess,
she grew on me and I started to like her.
I decided not to hurt her
with those gruesome words
and instead delivered her safely home.
Into the arms of a man who betrays her daily.
But she doesn’t know.
(I think she needs to wake up, though.)