Sunday, February 09, 2014

My Recurring Final Exam Dream with a Twist

I had that recurring dream again. The one where I get to a class to take a final, but as it turns out I didn't go to class all semester. I forgot about the class and never attended, never did the reading, and now here I am and I have to take the final. And somehow this is always the last class that I need to take for my last college credit to graduate. In the back of my mind I know that I don't really need this class and that I've already graduated. I try to reason with myself not to panic and that's usually around the time that I wake up and I know for sure that it's a dream.

Miranda and I two years ago at her 5th grade graduation.

I hadn't had that dream in a while and I had it a few nights ago, but this time there was a different twist to the plot. Miranda was in the dream this time and I think it was her test but it was also my test. Wow! Freud would have a field day with that one.

I've always heard that the test dream can mean several things. The main interpretation I've heard is that you dream this when you have some big deadline at work or when you're going to be expected to perform. I personally always wondered if there was some correlation between the dream and the Imposter Syndrome theory. Like maybe it's my own insecurity and disbelief that I have actually accomplished as much as I have in my education and professionally. Sometimes it's hard to believe that I did all the course work and that I wrote a thesis to receive my Master's.

When researching this again recently I found this interesting article in Psychology Today that discusses several variations of the dream and the hypotheses. In this particular case when I had the dream, and because Miranda is in it, I think it's because I'm feeling the pressure of my kids' success now. Miranda is in 7th grade and next year this time we'll be waiting to hear back from her high school applications. (I've blogged before about living in the city and our great Magnet school program.)

As parents I believe we think our kids are a reflection of us and how well we've taught them. I feel that pressure many times and I know I shouldn't. My kids are going to be who they are going to be and as their mom my job is to be there and to guide them.

Or does the dream mean something more personal? Am I feeling insecure because I have to go out into the work force for the first time. I just realized that I have never had to look for a job and at my age that can be daunting.

When I graduated from college the Chronicle was calling before I even took my last final asking me to go work for them as a Holiday intern. Then they couldn't hire me because of a hiring freeze, due to the closing of one of the San Antonio papers so I started sending my resume out. I was offered a job at the Corpus Christi Caller Times and I was called back to the Dallas Morning News for a second interview. The El Paso paper also called me, but by that time I didn't want to waste their time or money flying me out to them because I had too many other options. Meanwhile the Chronicle started talking about giving me a full time position which they did by that March and I worked there for two years.

Fast forward to leaving the Chronicle and working for the University of Houston as an ad manager. I was there when an old friend recruited me back to the Chronicle. I interviewed and I was hired, so once again I didn't actively look for a job with them. I stayed there for 14 years before deciding to leave on my own this last May. Now for the first time in my life I'm actually looking for a job, sending out my resume and hopefully interviewing soon. The thought that I have really only worked two places in my adult life- the University of Houston and the Houston Chronicle- is strange even to me.

Yes, I've decided that it's time. Although I have really enjoyed these 9 months at home, doing my own thing and having time with the children, the time has come for me to return to full time work. I have no regrets. I have really had a great time and I have loved the freedom of being my own boss.

If I have any regrets at all it's only that I didn't write more. That's why I've decided that for these last months that I'm going to start looking for a job I'm going to spend part of my time working on two clients that I have decided to keep for now and I'm going to spend more of my time writing.

Sometimes I work better that way. When I know that time is running out on me that's when I get the most done. Now that I know that my days are numbered I will probably write more than I ever did in the 9 months that I've been out of work.... Maybe that's what my recurring dream is really all about.

No comments: