The Fever Dream Series: More than Coincidences, Something like a Dream

I wanted to sew these stories using a single silk thread that would connect each experience chapter by chapter into a beautifully bound book that you could curl up with. Sometimes though, the tides turn and we’re pulled in a different direction. As 2020 unfolded, something set an urgent fire within me to share these stories briefly and vulnerably. There was no time for a book. 

Tell the stories. 
You need to tell the stories.

I knew in my gut I just had to write them on my blog, but I wasn’t ready. Sure, I had already shared these stories with all my friends and family. Everytime, there was at least one person who had a similar experience. Jaws dropped and hearts opened as we all came to the same conclusion—maybe there was something to keep us wondering, something to give us hope. 

Despite all the positive reactions about these stories, I hesitated. You see the thing about a book is that it could’ve easily been rejected or edited down, and left for only a few to read. A blog though, brief and accessible, paves the way for just anyone to read. Someone who wants to judge you won’t take the time to read your book, but they will browse your blog. I promise you that. Let me just tell you, the stories in this series are held very close to my heart. I wanted to safeguard them with all my might so the judging eyes wouldn’t pry. So, I continued to ignore my intuition no matter how much it nagged at me. 

Then one morning during all this internal conflict with my intuition, I opened my email to read a weekly subscription I’m addicted to—an email filled with a bunch of positive advice to start your week, naturally. And that week’s topic kind of shook me. It spoke directly to my dilemma: to write the series or to not write it. The email spoke all about the importance of sharing your stories with the world. That if you’ve seen good in your life, you shouldn’t keep all that good to yourself. A direct quote from the email read: 

Here’s what I’ve learned in age: you can just share your story. You can tell people about the good in your life. You can report the miracles… People are always looking for something…. Always wanting that significance… Why not just go and tell someone whenever you get that next chance: hey, I found something that really changed my life. I can’t speak for your story but I can tell you mine.

There was no doubt in my mind, it was a sure sign that I should just share the stories on my blog. I couldn’t ignore it anymore. Yet, despite my intuition and this blatant email, there was still part of me being stubborn. I told myself, if I was meant to put these stories on my blog then I would obviously need a series name to collectively tie them all together. That’s how I’d make it up to myself for not making it a book. Firmly, I decided I wouldn’t start writing for the blog until I had a series name. (If you’re thinking, this sure sounds like procrastinating, you are absolutely correct.)

My boyfriend, Brett, has been a firsthand witness to more than half the stories I wanted to write about. So, I decided to confide in him about what my gut was telling me. I emphasized my refusal to start writing until I had a name to call the series. Knowing how important this was to me, and never taking my gut instincts lightly, he helped bounce around ideas for titles. In the end though, we were left defeated and he felt terrible. I told him not to worry though because if it was meant to happen, it would come naturally. Maybe I’ll get another sign or it will just fall in our laps, I said. I was being so bullheaded. Let me tell you, the universe was not having it. 

The very next morning I’m in the shower with my usual playlist going. I’m humming along to a song by Odesza when my phone stops in mid-song and switches to something wildly different. I immediately think okay rude, Brett popped in and changed the song trying to be a big funny guy. As I’m listening, I realize it’s a very specific song—and I pause. Fever dream by Movements. Hmm, I thought, I know damn well Brett wouldn’t have put this on. I peak my head out of the shower. I see he’s not in the bathroom. My phone is in the same place I left it, delicately propped up on the sink. Weird.

As the acoustics echoed though, I didn’t even have the chance to get freaked out. Memories came rushing back to me. I was reminded of all the comfort this song gave me during one of the roughest times in my life. Something in my heart said, This is it. This is the title. Call it Fever Dream. Naturally though, I doubted my intuition. No way, I thought. Then suddenly, in the midst of my doubt, my phone simply stopped playing music.

At this point if safe to say I was startled so I jumped out of the shower. I saw that I still had over 40% battery. My heart was throbbing as I was thinking, Okay fine maybe I’ll call the series Fever Dream. As I pulled up the lyrics to the song to see if it felt meant to be, my eyes flooded with tears. Instantly, I was reminded that those memories that washed over me moments ago were all about why I wanted to write this series in the first place; when I first started assigning meaning to my gut feelings and the coincidences like what was currently unfolding. The lyrics depicted exactly what happened years ago.

Cause I wanna feel something
Stuck in a fever dream
Make me believe something
More than this fever dream
I’m holding desperately to what’s left of me
Before I fall apart
Searching for anything to fight these enemies

Rereading the lyrics took me back to where everything began—waking up on my birthday to the news that my childhood best friend passed away. I remember crying so hard that I’d drift off to sleep. I floated in and out of consciousness the entire weekend, as if I was drugged with emotions, hoping it was all a fever dream I would wake up from. I remember thinking I would never feel happy again. I would never laugh again. I grew terrified that grief would spiral me into a depression I’d never return from. Not only was my heart shattered from losing my best friend, I was so scared I was going to lose myself too.

After the weekend we lost her, I went right back to work for my own sanity. I’m the biggest advocate of allowing yourself time to mourn, but I knew I needed my routine to maintain my mental health. As I waited for my train into the city, I felt an urge to open this unused app that had been wasting space on my phone for who knows how long. I was greeted with a Quote of the Day. How jolly, I scoffed as it read,   

Ask, and you will receive. 
Search, and you will find.
Knock, and the door will be opened for you.
Everyone who asks will receive. 
Everyone who searches will find
.

Visibly frustrated, I thought, what the hell am I supposed to ask for? What am I supposed to search for? I have no idea what this even means. Am I supposed to ask why I’m still here and she’s not? Then why? Why her? Why me? Why now? Why on my birthday? I will never understand. I’m going to need an effin miracle because I will never, ever get through this. I will never understand why. Why. Tell me why.

Knock, and the door will be opened for you.

Despite my frustration, something in me clung to that app every morning for a daily quote. And when the daily quote wasn’t enough, I explored the app further for more inspiring words and stories to fill me. I was truly clenching on to any ounce of encouragement I could get my hands on as I braced myself for the depression to hit. 

I’m holding desperately to what’s left of me
Before I fall apart
Searching for anything to fight these enemies

Search, and you will find.

I mourned like hell every night, but day after day, an unexpected hope greeted me in the morning. To my disbelief, my grief never exploded into an elongated season of depression. As someone extremely prone to depression, I was in complete awe that I was able to manage my grief well enough that I didn’t have to experience a significant health relapse. It felt like a dream come true.

Make me believe something
More than this fever dream

Ask, and you will receive. 

Three years since my best friend passed away, and I am still utterly filled with awe and wonder. Every time the song Fever Dream plays, I’m reminded of how my biggest nightmare evolved into a radiant daydream as I chose to search for hope day after day after my loss. Where I searched for hope, I stumbled on signs, uncovered coincidences, and was met with meaning. I’m not saying the pain of losing my childhood friend ever went away. But I can confidently say I accept the fact that she fulfilled her purpose here and if I am to continue to walk through life without her, it’s because I still have work to do.

Part of that duty, I believe, is to simply share my stories about how I looked closer at the chaos in my life and the world showed me meaning in wildly unexpected ways. So here it finally is, The Fever Dream Series: More Than Coincidences, Something Like A Dream. May my stories nudge you to connect the coincidences in your life to form meaning in the moments you least expect. If we live in wonder and cling to hope, even our biggest nightmares can make way for extraordinary experiences. Experiences so surreal, they’re almost dream like. Don’t believe me? Look closer, let life surprise you.

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