I'm at a point in my career - in my life, I suppose - when I question what I'm doing, where I'm headed, what my purpose is. With the funding for my (previously) chosen career heading down the drain, I'm forced to reexamine my priorities (the funding issue being only a catalyst, and not the root cause in this particular instance). It's a conscious conundrum that I can't seem to untie.
Over the past couple weeks, however, I've had some pretty vivid dreams. Most of them involve people I knew in high school. In one instance, a good friend is sitting in the back of my car, telling me not to take what appears to be the last exit off the interstate, asking instead, "why don't you use the GPS?" The GPS unit leads me a mere five miles farther down the road, to a well-developed and pleasant area. In another dream, I am keen to demonstrate to a musician friend the unique way in which I've learned to play the cello, but upsettingly I find that the beautiful low-toned sounds I made at home cannot be reproduced by the stage-and-microphone setup available to me at the studio. In other words, I've developed a way of playing this instrument, but this microphone picks up the wrong tones.
Even as my waking life makes no sense, my subconscious brain is aware of the problem and trying to work out a solution. Consider that all of the friends who appear in my dreams are from high school: the last point in time when I felt, rightly or not, that I was genuinely talented at several things (and not just one specialist thing). So the part of me that feels like the "renaissance man" is speaking to the part of me that has specialized too far. And what is the message? This may seem like the last chance, but this isn't your exit. It's not how you play the instrument that's the problem, it's the particular stage on which you play which is wrong for your performance.
Listen to your dreams - your brain knows more than you think it does. Sure, it's not necessarily new information, but it may be information that your conscious self has forgotten, ignored or accidentally overlooked. It may be information brought together in new ways, forming new patterns, breaking old habits that have prevented the creative boost that you needed.
I can only hope there are more dreams to come.