My Friend, Fear

How a Recurring Dream Turned My Fears into My Greatest Accomplishments

I had this problem my whole life, until two years ago.

I accepted less, I didn't go for it. I put off school, I put off pretty much anything that would help me advance my life or better myself in some way.

I told myself I wasn't good enough, I let my fear of failing to stop me from even attempting.

I had no license, no car, a shit job. I was a single mom, sick of living off of child support. I felt helpless, I felt trapped.

I began having this recurring dream.

In the dream, I am leaving my old church. It is dusk. I wonder why I was there so late. A group perhaps?

I am thinner, my hair is longer, which tells me some time has passed.

I reach into my pocket to grab my keys to my white SUV. I unlock it and get in. I drive, down Market Street looking at the gorgeous homes.

I pull to the stop sign in town, and I feel this inner peace. I feel this sense of glee. I can tell I am not going home to an empty house.

Have I found someone?

Is he handsome?

Then, I wake up.

My dreams were trying to tell me something.

It took me an entire month, but I finally took my permit test.

I failed.

I felt discouraged, depressed.

I went home that night, and I had this dream.

The same one. It started at the church, white SUV, dusk, driving. This time, I pull to the stop sign, and I proceed forward, onto the street where my dad lives. I feel I am going in the right direction, as in my dream, I feel I know this is where my home is.

I pull up the hill, into the driveway of a brick house. I click the garage opener.

Then I wake up.

I go back a week later, I take the test again. This time, I came prepared, I studied with the app the DMV employee told me about.

I pass!

Then, I begin practice driving.

We start small at first. I haven't driven in years. My friend, Tyler, helps me. We go to an empty parking lot near his flat.

We go around so I can get a feel for the car. We go onto one of the side roads, and I adjust well. I am not terrified. He is patient, a good teacher.

We do this each day, a different level of the road. Until eventually, by the end of summer, I am comfortable with the roads and the car enough to take my license test.

I go to take my license test, I execute everything perfectly. I pass!

I walk out with my license all shiny and new.

Several weeks later, I get a call from the bank where I had applied for a teller position. They want me to come in for an interview. I say yes!

I go to the interview, I am nervous, I don't get my hopes up because there is a strong possibility, due to my credit, I won't be offered this position.

The manager says he will let me know.

In the meantime, I continue working next door, and pay off my debts as I can.

It takes nearly three weeks, a couple of callbacks and a lot of patience. When one day, while I am laying down, after an exhausting afternoon of parenting, my phone rings.

"Hello?" I answer, tiredly.

"Miss Haylan, it's Frank from [redacted] bank. I came across your resume on my desk, and I was wondering if you'd be able to come in for an interview?" A smile blooms across my face, the local bank near my house had posted an ad for a teller in the weekly shopper. I replied by dropping my resume directly in the mailbox which, my favorite teller, who was also a single mom, did me a solid & had slipped it on the bosses desk.

"Sure. I am free Monday, would there be a better time for you?"

We schedule it for 11 AM prompt. I call my friend, Tyler. I am so excited! He is excited for me!

I show up at 10:45. The interview is only five questions.

He says he will let me know by Monday.

I exit my interview and see I have a missed call.

I check it, along with a voicemail. The credit union had called. I call them back, they offer me the job!

The next day after my shift at the salon, I go to the credit union, we talk money and I get a letter for my landlord so he knows I'm switching jobs.

They offer me $14 per hour!

Tuesday comes around, I assume the local bank didn't want me.

Tyler and I go out to celebrate my newfound victory.

It's noon and we go for lunch. I excuse myself to the restroom.

Mid-pee, my phone rings, I answer because I don't recognize the number but see its local.

"Miss Haylan, this is Frank from the Bank. I wanted to let you know, we want to offer you the job. What time can you come in to discuss salary requirements?"

Tyler gets way too drunk, and by 9 PM we aren't friends anymore. Because Tyler says he loves me, and I don't love him back.

And I cry, because he's my only friend.

Tuesday rolls around and I am sitting in Frank's office.

Frank offers me $12 per hour.

I counter with the letter from the credit union. (Yeah, I do that now.)

He offers me $14.00.

I accept it.

Winter rolls around. I go with my dad because my jalopy car isn't going to cut it for snow safety.

My credit has gone up a lot. All those payments to delete letters to fix my credit really did well. I am approved for over what I expected to be approved for.

I look over on the lot and see a shiny, white Nissan SUV. Just like the one from my dream. We go over, and my dad and I look it over. I take it for a test drive.

"I'll take that one," I say to the salesman. He is a retired veteran, with dark hair and dark eyes.

That same salesman texts me to make sure my vehicle is running well for me.

Two months pass and regular check-ins about my vehicle & late night text conversations turn into coffee, coffee turns into dinners. Dinners turn into dinners and a movie, and one night, he randomly shows up at my door, with flowers and a smile.

He asks me to be his girlfriend.

I realize I have never been to his place.

He chuckles "I live right around the corner from you."

Next time, I go to his place.

A red brick ranch, just around the bend from mine.

And when you exit the driveway, you pass my father's house, and the elementary school where my kids go, and I arrive at my favorite church where I go every Wednesday night for women's group. I make friends there.

And the summer comes, I leave at dusk, my hair has grown to my chest and I get into my white SUV, and drive past the beautiful houses on south market, turn past the bank where I have been promoted to lead teller, past my dad's house and pull into the garage, I am sorry, OUR garage. Because Brad always corrects me, it isn't his, it's OURS. He built the kids a swing in the backyard.

And when I walk into the door, a beautiful, dark-haired, retired marine who sells cars smiles like it's the first time he's seen me and says "Hey babe. How was the group?"

And I kiss him.

And I cry because I am overwhelmed with blessings.

And all I had to do was believe in myself, and keep trying until it stuck.