I read an article recently which listed some of the most annoying types of Facebook status updates. The list included short statements ending with the fragment “that is all”, and the cryptic short post (or sad face), the sole reason for which is apparently to get attention and also… providing details of what you have dreamt about.
In which case: L I’m officially annoying….
A few nights ago, I had another in a ridiculous long line of similar recurring dreams that stretch back the best part of thirty years. The actual content varies slightly, but the underlying theme is always the same: it’s my last day at school, I either haven’t revised for, or didn’t pass my exams, and I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to do (presumably with the rest of my life).
I dread to think just how many nights my mind has been filled with these thoughts; but assuming there is some rational explanation behind the imaginary realisation of my subconscious, perhaps I should try and understand what these dreams might actually mean (although I reckon I could probably guess)?
The fact that I lived at the school I attended has maybe created some sort of predisposition for the school to be the setting for so many dreams? Apparently, dreams dating back to schooldays can indicate feelings of inadequacy and/or childhood insecurities that have never been resolved.
The latter is a maybe… but the former is definitely one of my personality traits. I’ve always feared failure… yet always found it easier to remember times when things didn’t (for whatever reason) work out how I wanted. Success sometimes felt like an unexpected or even undeserved outcome; it felt great, but in a funny way it was almost easier to accept or deal with the thing you feared.
It is only now that I feel able to willingly put myself in situations where failure is very much a possibility. Any feeling of long-term personal inadequacy is more likely to be an internal perception, but despite public opinion not necessarily having much bearing on the original sense of a lack of self-worth, surprisingly it might be public reaction that actually provides the catalyst for some level of greater self-acceptance.
I am not the sort of person to blow my own trumpet (although I did get a Grade 3 Merit in the mid-70s…), but I have started to gain a real sense of pride from some of the things I have achieved—especially over the past few years since I have been with Elaine. Success is obviously relative; and for me it means exceeding your own expectations… for example losing a game of darts would not normally be seen as a success. But when that game is against the world darts champion; you’ve played well, hit a 140 on the way, and were left one dart from a shot at a double… well for someone whose nerves stopped him playing in public for twenty-five years, I’d say that’s a pretty good effort. Similarly with getting a new job, with my writing, my stand-up, I’m not the best, but I’m doing my best, and if that is appreciated by those who matter, and accepted by my worst critic (me), then I’m making belated progress—albeit not enough to stop the dreams.
From what I’ve read, the concept of not completing your school studies can suggest a doubting of your own accomplishments, or an inability to measure up to the expectations of others. In my opinion, those expectations are unspoken; they are what I assume or believe to exist, and I am solely responsible for creating the pressure to reach those possibly unrealistic goals.
Some people have little difficulty banishing negative thoughts from their minds. Whether or not I can consistently do it during the daytime is largely irrelevant, because however far I’ve come, my insecurities still have little problem surfacing when I fall asleep….
I suppose that for some of you, these ramblings will make little or no sense, which is fine; but I reckon there will be a few who might be able to relate to what I’ve said—in sum, or in part—and if so, please feel free to leave a comment….
That is all.