Today I’m facing what nearly killed me

The dream that helped affirm my dreams

Amani Ali
6 min readAug 7, 2023
Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

I had a dream that someone was “trying to kill me.” I write it in quotations because it’s what I kept saying however, he didn’t actually act on it. I was with my coworkers after work on a Friday in an unfamiliar multi-story building. We made plans to go out to a local club. I told them that I wanted to change my clothes so we agreed that I would meet them there in 15 minutes. After we separate, I recognize someone in the building, a white man in his 30s, who tried to kill me before. I panic and try to avoid him. It seemed like he lived there with his family. Though I could sense his disdain, he didn’t interact with me, but I was still afraid he would come after me.

I frantically traipse around this industrial building trying to find my way while gathering my things and changing my clothes. My coworkers and I talked about a couple locations and I couldn’t remember which one we decided on, although one location kept sticking out to me. Rather than just leaving, I tried on three separate occasions to contact them to be sure of the location but each time, I had an issue with using my phone. After an hour, I finally decide to go to the location that my intuition was telling me to go.

I arrive quickly and can see into the building from the outside so I scan it for my coworkers. There was a short line of people waiting to get in. I felt like I was being followed so I told the woman at the door that someone is trying to kill me. As I say it, the man pulls up in a boxy red car with two other mysterious figures inside. He steps out with a long brown fur-lined coat and a brown duffel bag. He sarcastically says, “Yeah, I’m trying to kill her.” The woman searches his bag for weapons. The only thing in the bag was a large bottle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. He takes it from her and holds it up smugly before leaving.

Unconvinced, I run inside and find my coworkers. Suddenly I recognize one of them as a friend from graduate school. I grab her hands and tell her I saw the man who tried to kill me 10 years ago as we shared horrified stares at each other. When I vocalized “10 years,” I realized I was dreaming and promptly woke up.

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Upon waking, I read that dreams of someone trying to kill you symbolize your life changing and your effort to try to control it. Before bed, I made a list of things to do the next day and one of them was to journal about manifesting versus controlling so I was already aware of my fear of not knowing what is coming next. For context, I am currently not working in order to pursue my passion of playing professional pool (think billiards).

Every synchronicity, every lesson, every bit of ease and happiness I’m feeling right now confirms this is the right time to fulfill my dreams, and I must give everything I’ve got despite my fear of losing control. I’m most alive when I’m pursuing my passion.

Ten years ago I experienced another huge transition. In May 2013, I graduated from graduate school (MSW, master of social work) and by August of that year I had been job searching for about 3 months. Overall, I searched for a full time job for a year and a half. During that time I questioned my worth and my direction. In my heart I knew that I didn’t want any of the jobs I was applying for, but I had just spent 2 additional years in school and at internships while accruing more student loan debt. I couldn’t see a new direction and I was afraid of trying to take one — this, not acting on what my heart was telling me, is metaphorically what tried to kill me 10 years ago.

Passion can be extinguished for an indiscernible amount of time when you don’t give it room to grow, but it never dies. Every synchronicity, every lesson, every bit of ease and happiness I’m feeling right now confirms this is the right time to fulfill my dreams, and I must give everything I’ve got despite my fear of losing control. I’m most alive when I’m pursuing my passion.

The chocolate syrup may represent things like setbacks, being mocked, a need for emotional nourishment, divinity and higher consciousness and/or questioning the person I’m becoming. For me, it means all of these things.

I’m still afraid to tell other pool players that I want to go pro so I just say that I want to be better or be as good as I can be. I don’t want to be mocked or doubted like I was when I first acknowledged it in 2015. I don’t want to be told I’m too old or there’s no money in it because nothing else brings me as much joy as playing and competing in pool. When I’m at my strongest, I remind myself I won’t know if I don’t try and this is the only response I need to give to naysayers. I don’t know what the future has in store but I know that I’m taken care of.

Now that I’ve accepted that now is the time, what I’m actually noticing is a bunch of people that want to help me become pro and the fear of being mocked is mostly internalized. Yes, I’m still afraid that I can’t do it but I keep putting myself out there and improving in skill. Everyday I chip away at the voice telling me I can’t get what I want, the voice that tells me to tense up and control the situation. But I play my best when I release the outcome, and when I shoot faster instead of overconcentrating. Everyday I’m doing the work to break through my conditioned self-sabotage.

Ten years ago I made a new way forward by combining my skills and reaching out to people to find new opportunities for myself and within a couple months I had a job in a field I was better suited for, one that I didn’t know existed. I’m in the middle of my latest transformation and despite the fear, I like how I feel.

For anyone struggling to take a leap of faith, I hope you find the right time to do it. Trust your intuition and skills, accept new opportunities and good advice, and only do what you’re passionate about. That is the only way forward. Trust that the path is being paved, learn from my 10-year-ago self by not forcing old ways just because it’s what’s familiar. Be brave enough to know that you deserve to be happy and go after that no matter what other people may say.

Photo by Alex Azabache on Unsplash

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Amani Ali

I'm blogging about my experiences as a competitive pool player. When I write, I transmute pain into power and shame into radical self love.