I Had a Dream…

I’ve had some telling dreams lately. Anxiety dreams I think they are called. The two I remember involved test taking. In the first dream, which took place a couple of weeks ago, I was supposed to be taking a test in red ink. I, being very well prepared, had three red pens with me. In the dream I sat down at my desk (the type of desk that has just enough space for your paper and your elbow) and pulled out a pen. The pen was red, the ink was black. So I pulled out another pen, this one was white but the ink was supposed to be red–it wasn’t. Finally, I tried my third (and last) pen. I don’t remember what it looked like but it didn’t work either. So, panicked, I explained my dilemma to the proctor. After hemming and hawing and making me feel worse and more panicked she finally gave me a pen with red ink to use. It too was broken, there was no hard outside shell, it consisted of only the tube like structure that holds the ink. And to make matter worse it was wrapped several times over in the curly wire that is used to operate the spring in a retractable ball point pen. But it was useable, so I used it–though by this point the alloted time had almost expired. Other interesting details of this dream: Everyone in the room was female. And they were all around my age.

The second of my test taking, anxiety inducing dreams occurred two nights ago. This time I was being tutored for the test. A test that had two components to it. In the first section I was to identify common herbs and plants. And in the second section, I had to correctly label color palettes. The tutor went over both sections with me, but only once. She used materials that looked just like this:

And this (minus the names):

I went to take the test and nothing that I studied was on it! The tutor had deliberately tried to sabotage me. In the dream I confronted her, but woke up before I could exact a confession or motive.

I don’t usually feel the need to analyze my dreams. Occasionally I will share the contents of one with my husband, mother or a friend, but that is about as far as I take it. This time I was a bit more curious, I don’t recall ever before having two closely related dreams practically back to back, so I did what I always do when I want to learn more about something, I Googled it. Here’s what I found:

To dream that you are taking an exam, indicates that you are being put to the test or being scrutinized in some way. These dreams highlight some anxiety or agitation that you are experiencing in your waking life…

…These dreams usually have to do with your self-esteem and confidence or the lack of. You tend to believe in the worst about yourself and are often overly worried that you are not making the grade and measuring up to other people’s expectations of you. You may also experience the fear of not being accepted, not being prepared, or not being good enough.

Test dreams also suggest that you are feeling unprepared for a challenge. Rarely, these dreams are about the actual content of the test, but rather it is more about the process and how you feel during the exam taking process. These feelings often parallel how you are actually feeling in a particular challenge or situation in your waking like.

Test dreams are also an indication that you are being judged. These dreams serve as a signal for you to examine an aspect of yourself that you may have been neglecting and need to pay more attention to….

Nailed it! I am feeling judged and scrutinized. And to some extent I don’t feel adequately prepared, but not due to lack of effort, more likely that feeling is attributable to a lack of experience. Yes, blog friends, I am going through a developmental phase. You know the stages we discuss passionately (and openly) when they pertain to toddlers and teens but not so openly or passionately when they apply to middle-aged adults? Have no fear, I am not in crisis. I am, however, in the process of changing aspects of my life–at least I hope to.

A very wise woman once told me, “In most instances, when you leave one comfort zone in search of the next, you will go through discomfort.” The source of my discomfort is not unknown to me. After 17 years of primarily focusing on my kids, I am now interested in starting a career. Not the best time to be doing this, for many reasons, but it is where I find myself, where I want to be, yet, thus far I am not enjoying the process. Hence the anxiety dreams.

Yes, I am uncomfortable. And apparently, my sub-conscious very aware of this fact, is trying to work things out while I sleep. And if that weren’t enough I have a dilemma. I am not sure how much of this journey I want to share here on the blog. For many reasons. So, if I disappear for a bit, please understand it is not because I have literally disappeared, it is because I am going to take time to focus on some other stuff. Or, if I don’t disappear but I periodically write about the developmental phase I find myself in, it doesn’t mean I am not also digging and feeling the Flashback~Forget About-Friday.


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