What happens when you have a bad dream?


This post is dedicated to Sean Bellaviti, whose brief interaction with me has unlocked a spiritually energetic part of me (if this properly summarizes how I feel into words) that I’ve lost touch with over the years.

Written by Monica Ng

Don’t know about you, but when I have a bad dream I write about it. This post started as an IG post, but I quickly realized that it deserved a full write-up.

I had a crappy night’s sleep, but finally fell into a deep dream state (the type that leaves you with sheet imprints on your body) at about 6:30am this morning. I woke from a bad dream about my parents. I was transported back in time with my parents in Montreal Chinatown. My parents were both wheeling themselves in their wheelchairs along the central area. Suddenly my mom went a bit crazy and somehow managed to flip my dad onto her lap and he was screaming in pain. I know this wouldn’t be possible in real life, but my imagination can be pretty vivid. Anyway, I woke up frazzled and 30 minutes behind schedule. Appropriately so, it was a gloomy, rainy Monday morning.

What is the meaning of life?

Now…what thoughts did this bad dream trigger for me? I started to ask myself the deep philosophical question: What is the meaning of life? Have you ever asked yourself this question?! The meaning can be similar in concept to “what is happiness?” and “what is a good quality of life?” There’s a spectrum. These things don’t mean the same to everyone. For example, relating to quality of life – my mom is happy to sit and watch TV all day long even though her health has taken a toll because of it, while my dad yearns to have conversations with family and friends.

Back to the meaning of life…

I think that it’s a personal quest – a mission to find one’s place in context of ones community, the society or the world. To me, accepting a monotonous life is like accepting death. We have so much potential as humans to learn and experience life – everything from learning about ourselves; learning from and about others; and constantly finding new things to learn. Our brains are incredible until the time that disease hits or death. Thing is, despite what some people think, diseases like dementia are preventable (click link to Alzheimer Society’s website to read more) or at the very least, can be slowed down.

What’s the bottom line?

Find your thirst for life. Learn more. Learn everything you can before it’s too late.

While this post may seem a bit random – there are so many thoughts running through my mind. I’m trying to encourage you to keep going on your quest to find meaning in life. Small things count too – so don’t discount those. Don’t compare yourself to others, because you are not them. Feel good about YOU and do things for YOU.

For those who follow me on IG/FB, you would know that I write often about how nature, music and people inspire me. Often, I’ll dedicate posts to people who have made an impact or sparked some sort of change in my life. This time, I dedicate this post to Sean – a hobbyist birdwatcher I met on a trail. We shared a brief conversation about birds, wildlife and my website TheLazyHikers.com (which I told him was created out of my passion for nature and the outdoors). We connected on IG. After checking out his IG profile and website, I was impressed that he was not only a great source of info about birds – he is also an outdoors guy, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Ryerson specializing in Ethnomusicology, a super-talented pianist, band member of the Sean Bellaviti Trio (playing jazz, etc.), and the author of “Musica Tipica: Cumbia and the Rise of Musical Nationalism in Panama“.

Upon the release of Jacqueline Loor‘s beautiful Spanish song “Nunca Te Olvidare” back in May 2021, I started my trip down memory lane back to my times in Cuba. I’ve always been fascinated by the Spanish language, the people and way of life on the Caribbean Islands (Cuba being one of my favourite places). Through the introduction by Sean to Panamanian Murga and his fascination of the Panamanian history, culture and music – I’m delving deeper into my memories of carefree times, my love of music and my desire to keep learning.

Bottom, bottom line: Time flies too quickly – much like the butterfly (pictured above) who flew away after posing for a few shots. Observing my parents’ “quality of life” is a constant reminder to me that life’s too short. Grab life while you can.


Pure Happiness


This post is dedicated to Frank Kadillac of Neon Dreams (www.neondreams.ca), as it was inspired by him.

What is pure happiness? What is innocent happiness?

Do such things exist? If yes, do they still exist? I sure like to think so.

A short while ago, I wrote an Instagram story about the days of innocent happiness (as a child) (pictured top left). You can’t tell from the photo (me on the left), but I was carrying my favourite small pillow in the fabric carrier tied around my chest. I can actually remember that moment. I was happy. No other care in the world.

After I created my IG story (pictured top right), the creative juices started to flow and I knew I had to get off the couch and write a post.

Here’s the story…

Ever since I met Frank Kadillac and Adrian Morris of Neon Dreams at Tyler Shaw’s concert (they were the opening act) back in October, 2019, I have been listening to and digging their tracks. Check out the video of one (among many) of my favourite songs, “If not now, when”:

Anyways, in this song, one of the lyrics go “I wanna make you smile like in CPH”. It was driving me crazy what CPH meant. Was I that old that I didn’t know that acronym – OMG! LOL! I Googled it, thinking that maybe it was a drug. Finally, I decided to send Neon Dreams a DM.

Frank explained that it was a place where he was happy. I won’t reveal this place in case he wants to keep it private. Of course, I then start to think about myself…was there a place where I was truly happy?

I couldn’t come up with any specific place, but thought that maybe certain events would stand out. Often happiness is paired with other emotions, so our happiness becomes muddled. Pure happiness is something special. The best I could come up with was my recent trip to Killbear Provincial Park. I have an inflatable two- person kayak. When I got in my kayak and left the shore, I could feel the sun shining on me. My kayak supported by the waters of the Georgian Bay. The majestic Georgian Bay rock formations stretching in the distance on my right. My destination was a small island not far from the shore. I was so excited. With every paddle towards my private island, I was smiling. I was so happy. Nothing could bring me down.

Life jades us

Not being able to quickly recollect a “pure happiness” moment makes me a bit sad. Life really jades us. Think of our daily grind. Work, work, work, pay bills, eat, exercise, sleep… I know you are feeling stressed now! Unfortunately, life consists of good and bad things – seems like more bad things sometimes, don’t it? Like how my car broke down when I was about to go to the gym…

Take home message

I think the goal is to make every happy moment count. Dream about your happy moments often. And even better…create more happy ones!

In this thing called life, it’s important to cherish the happy moments and like Frank – remember that there are happy moments. Cheers!

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