Weird Dreams and Pipe Dreams

I had a weird dream last night.

I dreamed that I was at a conference in a big room full of people that I didn’t recognize, but somehow  knew that many of the people in this big hall worked at the same institution as me, and they were all talking about Nepal… how professors at the school were writing a huge book about Nepal, teaching classes about Nepal, and talking about creating a new abroad program to Nepal, stuff like that. It was like Nepal was the hottest latest thing at the university, and I had no idea. I was running around the conference tables asking, “Why didn’t anyone tell me? I’d really love to help!” but no one wanted to listen to me. I was really frustrated and depressed. Then I woke up and it was 4:58 in the morning. Sigh.

Hmmm… what does it mean? I’m not big on dream analysis, although sometimes I think that my dreams are a way for my brain to sort through different thoughts and experiences that I’ve been having/going through–mixing them in a strange way and letting them play out on a stage in my mind.

So what can be relatable? Two weeks ago I wrote a paper (for some coursework I’ve been finishing up for a degree in international education) on creating international programs. When I first graduated from undergrad I worked for a “third party provider” high school study abroad program, and had I been better prepared to take on the challenges of it, I might have been able to create all sorts of programming. For a series of reasons (including being a one woman office with no director, and spending most of my time as a telemarketer instead of a program provider) the job didn’t work out, but it got me interested in something else… I thought it would be fun to create and run a program in Nepal some day… a “pipe dream” so to speak. Ideally it would be great to do it in conjunction with P… I could do logistics, recruiting, program design, orientations, culture stuff and P could teach the program from a sustainability and environmental background. I think we would make an incredible team.

I don’t know if it will ever really happen, but it makes my life kind of schizophrenic, because I’m always thinking about two potential paths– my five year plan always seems to have two directions. This leads me to have silly arguments with myself like: will we ever own a house, because if we did it would make it harder to up and leave the country; or I wonder how I’ll pay my education loans back if we have small Nepali incomes; or will it ever be too late to decide to do something really “out of our comfort zones” and really entrepreneurial like creating a company and running programs?  Not to mention, I like the job I have now (international student advising)… and I’m sure I’ll still really like it when P finishes his degree and we have to make a decision– stay here, move somewhere else in the US, go to Nepal. So I don’t know.

Also, last week I encouraged the Nepali students at the university to sponsor a “Nepali dinner night” (as part of the international student council activities) where they made nearly 600 (delicious!!) momos for the campus. It was a lot of fun, and when some students showed up early to eat and the momos weren’t quite ready, I happily put them to work teaching them my veg momo folding technique (I should make a video on youtube about this! Note to self).

This one history professor (in particular) who works at the school came to the “Nepali dinner night” who (I think) was in the Peace Corps in Nepal (or maybe he was a Fulbright?) and can speak the language fluently. He and I have run into each other a few times at different Nepali get togethers, although I have a feeling he always forgets who I am… I mean, I’m usually the only other American he finds at Nepali festival parties, how hard am I to remember? Anyway, we saw each other at the event and he mentioned that he wanted to push the study abroad office at our school to create a program in Nepal (BINGO!!!) although he had the feeling that the administrators there were still too leery about the political climate, and probably aren’t ready yet. The study abroad people have already sent this professor to lead a program in Costa Rica and Australia, and with his Nepali-influenced background, he would be a prime candidate in helping to organize something like this if he could allay the fears of political turmoil.

I think this might be where my dream came from. I told him not to forget me if he moves ahead with the plan, because I’d be VERY VERY (did I mention VERY?) interested in helping, and that I knew of several college programs (like SIT’s) which were planning to start their programs back up again (a sign of the political situation getting better). He kind of smiled non-committally.

However my boss helps with the Denmark study abroad program—teaching a Danish Culture class before students depart, and travels to Copenhagen every year to grade their final projects. Sure, my boss is Danish, and speaks the language fluently, but I think if given the opportunity I could design a great Nepali culture pre-departure course! I’d love to travel to Kathmandu once a year to grade projects. Not to mention this would bring me one step closer to my “pipe dream.”

So anyway… I think my subconscious is worried that opportunities are abound that might pass me by. Powers of the universe, I plead, don’t let that happen! Remember my secret talent… “I can talk about Nepali culture for three hours without stopping… probably without even taking a breath…”

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One response to “Weird Dreams and Pipe Dreams

  1. the dreams that keep us up at night are usually the ones that most need our attention….or at least, that is what I heard somewhere. I am also finding that the “pipe dreams” that seem the most terrifying (because of fears of failure and not making enough money) are usually the ones most worth pursuing…I’m all for dreaming BIG.

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