I had a lousy dream the other night. I’ve been having a number of unsettling dreams lately. On the one hand, it bothers me, because I’ve been doing this new breathing practice, and I was hoping it would help me rest better. On the other hand, it probably means I’m doing better, because I’m not too exhausted to dream. And when I have these dreams, I get to find out what’s bugging me, and see if I can do something about it.
I dreamed the other night that I was going with some friends to Europe. I was really excited – we all were – and we got so caught up in packing and getting ready, that we got to the airport with just a little extra time to check in. (I have had this same kind of dream a number of times, actually — planning to fly out, and barely making the plane). Anyway, when we had checked our bags, I realized that I had forgotten my passport. It was back at my apartment. I looked at the clock and thought I might be able to make it home and back in time, but I had to keep recalculating the time, I couldn’t get clear, and by the time I figured out how long it would take me to get back home, get my passport, and come back to the airport, it looked like the plane would be long gone. I told the others to go on without me, but they wanted to stay with me. They didn’t want to leave me. If they did that, we were all going to lose our money on the tickets, and it was very upsetting for me.
The rest of the group didn’t seem bothered by the idea of losing their money, but I was distraught. I couldn’t believe my absent-mindedness had cost them this. I spent a lot of time at the airport, pacing up and down, berating myself for my stupidity, trying to figure out if I could make it back home and back to the airport in time… as the clock kept ticking away…
I’ve had similar dreams, in the past several months, where I was late to go to the airport, and I forgot my passport. It seems to coincide with my fatigue and forgetfulness, where I am working overtime trying to keep up at my day job, and all the while feeling like I’m falling farther and farther behind…
In these dreams, the airport is always small and the equipment is old, like it’s from the 1950’s. The main halls are cavernous but the check-in counters are low. Metal. There’s a lot of metal. And shadow. The scenes are dark and gray and shadowy, and the people I interact with are courteous, but they all seem to be speaking with thick accents I cannot completely understand. They want to help me, but they can’t. And I am stuck in my head, with all the jumbled up thoughts rattling around in them, making me feel like I’m insane… trying like crazy, trying to get the thoughts organized in some useful way.
But I can’t. I’m stuck. My head won’t work. I’m stuck. And I can’t get out.
One dream I had, I was actually able to go back home and get my passport and then I made it back to the airport in a huge rush and just barely was able to get on the plane. I was able to finish my trip, but when I got to the country I was visiting — an Eastern European country that had a lot of mountains — I had no idea where I was, nothing looked familiar or meaningful to me. I got lost, and I can’t recall getting un-lost in my dream. That was pretty nerve-wracking, too.
This is what it’s been feeling like for me, lately. I know I’m doing really well on the surface, but under the surface, there is this constant undercurrent of nervousness, this borderline confusion that is always threatening to get the upper hand. I have to fight it back with all my might, keeping my composure and holding it together for my own sake and everyone else around me. It’s exhausting. And I just want to run away. Disappear. Fade into the distance and not come out ever again. I want to just be done with the confusing crap, the disorienting crap, the perpetual guesswork, feeling like I’m getting lucky, time and time again, because I have no idea — ever — if I’m 100% right or maybe I’m wrong.
I get sick and tired of feeling like it’s all a gamble, all the time, and it’s just one big game that I may or may not win. I get tired of gambits, of pushing the envelope, of taking it to the next level. I want to find a simple job that I can do to completion — get something tangible done every day. Mow a yard. Or cut some hair. Or paint a house. Or wash a car. I long for work that has a beginning, a middle, and an end, and which lets me know if and when I have completed it.
But of course, then it would be nothing like my life. It would be an easy way for me to interact with the world around me, without really dealing with the truth of the matter — that there is tremendous uncertainty in all aspects of life, and that the “work” is never really “done”.
If I let myself fall into thinking that “done” is ever possible, then my bad dreams could become a bad reality.
Enough of this. It’s time for bed.