Roller-Coasting Along

by Eena

I blinked my eyes open to a barrage of thoughts. What a shitty dream. Why is the sun so bright! Ohmygod my back. Boomer puppy, STOP that! Ah… ah… achOO!!!

What just happened? I hadn’t yet gotten out of bed and had already decided that God cooked up bad days and labelled them specifically for me.

The dream was a recurrent one: I’m alone on a roller coaster ride. I barely strap myself in when it launches off. I can’t tell up from down but it’s over before I know it.

The first time this roller coaster entered my dream space was during hell week in senior year, and then again through particularly hectic (rajasic) months of my ex-corporate life. It is easy to interpret.

I wanna ride. (Image source:

The dreams vary slightly. Sometimes I hang loose, sometimes I fall out, but always I survive. (On a side note: It’s only in my dreams that roller coaster rides aren’t fun. I usually love them, the same way I love a playful yoga practice or a thrilling downhill ride on a mountain bike.)

For the rest of the day, sure that my dream was a bad omen, I let it consume my feelings. I spent the morning moaning about my chronic back pain and allergies, blowing snot into rolls of tissue, and glaring at my sunshiny dog. Self-pity (no, not the name of my dog) was no stranger to me. He’s like a worn blanket: smooth, familiar, but his embrace was threatening to engulf.

I looked around my bodega of a room and resolved to de-clutter my life. One step at a time. Two trash bins of dusty old documents and faded photographs later, I was ready to take a step back.

Specifically, I was ready to step into the toilet. (It is an excellent thinking space.)

Here I thought again about the dream.  My interpretation had always been straightforward. The dream draws a parallel to my life’s current state: No direction, no foundation, no grace, no control.

But in the exact moment my mind spelled out “no control,” I knew there was no such thing as “control.” No way to flip the world over. No way to command the higher powers to dismiss the storm clouds above my head.

All I could do was to change my perspective. Invert the argument.  Turn the subject upside-down.

Here, let me put on my thinking mat:

All of this is coming from me.
No one is trying to ruin my life.
I am not a victim.
This is just one misstep, but still a step, on my journey to infinity.
My smile is still pretty.
And ohmygod, I should be prepping to be a bride! (I’m getting married!)

After a good night’s dreamless sleep, I woke up today with my back stronger and sinuses freer. I stood up a little straighter.

The weather says that God is sending heavy rains our way this week. But in my mind’s eye, for now, the coast is clear.