The School Dream

This weekend I found out I’d reached milestone in my nascent career as a novelist. My book was listed on for pre-sale. Butterflies fluttered in my tummy, my heart skipped a beat and then…nothing.

I went ahead with my normal business, sent out a ‘woohoo’ email to friends and family, updated my webpage and tried to milk the event for a nice dinner out. I dealt with it with a blasé attitude I've learned to perfect. No happy dance in the kitchen for me. I mean, what did I expect? Of course my publisher would sell my book on Amazon.

That night I had the school dream, one I haven’t had in a while. I was at home and realized I wasn’t going to graduate from college because I’d missed so much of a math class (it’s always math) that there was no way I could make up the work. I was going to get a big fat ‘F’ and that would be that.

This dream, in itself isn’t unique, I have them often enough so that at one point I could blow the whole thing off, because even though I was asleep, I knew the routine and I knew I was over and done with college. I’d even say ‘It doesn’t matter. I don’t need the diploma. I’ve done fine without it.’ It was just a dream and I knew it and could move on. But this time I was desperate to get to class. To do what, I don’t know. Take the final with absolutely no preparation? Discover I’d been away for so long I had no idea where the class was even held? Hear that I’d have to attend summer school? All that mattered was I’d royally fucked up and this time it really mattered. When I woke up I had to tell myself I have graduated, I have the diploma (somewhere in my closet), I never have to go back to school again (unless I want to, which I don’t) and math is my friend.

I once asked a shrink, a nice guy, what it meant. He said the usual, fear of success, general anxiety, I’m math challenged…OK, that part I added myself. The dream, it seems isn’t going to go anywhere, its buried deep in my subconscious and will rear its head when it sees fit. And I expect I’ll be having this particular dream a lot more frequently since things are really starting to pick up some momentum.

And in the end, isn’t it what I’ve wanted all along?


booksbrown said...

Do you think you're the best interpreter of your dreams, or are you looking for ways in which your dream fits a more universal type?

I guess asking a psychologist about dream meaning implies the latter, but I'm more inclined to think I know best the meaning of the images, actions, and symbols I experience while dreaming.

Margo Candela said...

I never really wanted to think about the deeper meaning of my school dream, since it is a reoccurring and mostly likely signifies a deep seated neurosis on my part.

But in this case its fairly obvious to me on its surface, I have math anxiety and I don't like to be late. Plus, I hated going to school (even though I dragged out my formal education as long as possible). What I'm curious about is why I still have it, after all these years, and that's where the expert opinion comes in.