On the subject of dreams…

So, last night I had a strange dream. This is not unusual for me, but this one really hit me hard because I think it’s about exactly how I’m feeling right now.
In the dream, I had a baby. But, I didn’t have enough milk to feed it for the first two days of its life, and I was afraid it was going to die, but I couldn’t afford formula and there was just no way to feed it at all. Then, my milk came. But, it squirted everywhere. Like, seriously, I almost drowned the baby in milk because I had so much. I was projectile lactating. That’s also not an odd dream for me, but in this context it is different.

I’ve spent all day having my mind slip back to that dream. It’s almost 4 o’clock, and it’s still on my mind. And, I think I figured out what it’s all about.

I’m 29 years old. I turned 29 on July 15 this year. On August 1, I found out that I landed my dream job: Community College Sociology Instructor – FULL TIME, not adjunct anymore. This job comes with a livable salary, health insurance, dental insurance, and vision insurance. Plus a host of other random benefits. These are things I’m not accustomed to. As an adjunct, I got paid about $1400 a course, with no pay f

or the time I spent out of class working. I worked it out one time – it’s around $6 an hour of actual work, even though the posted rate is close to $30 an hour. I have retirement benefits, and a future I can start planning for. PLUS, I have my dream job before age 30. That, in and of itself, caused much anxiety. I barely made it through the interviews because I put so much pressure on myself to be stellar. Not just me, but a stellar version of me that would impress anyone. I threw up a lot. I had diarrhea for WEEKS. I would finally get the anxiety to ease off before bed each night, and then I woke up with a nervous feeling in my tummy before I could even start thinking about the fact that I was nervous. It was that far down in my psyche. It wasn’t going to be shaken. It still isn’t fully shaken. I wake up with that nervous feeling still, and it’s been a few weeks.

But, back to that dream. I’m that baby. The two days before the milk came – those are these days: Before my first paycheck, when we are relying on my mother, who receives unemployment right now and lives with us, to support us financially. That is, until August 31. On August 31, I get my first real paycheck. A half paycheck anyway. The half paycheck is about 3 times what I made last month. It feels a lot like waiting to drown in the milk that’s now pouring out from the universe in the form of money. Having grown up really poor, this feels awkward. I’m sure I’ll choke a few times. It’s also weird to be living in this space where I know I’m “making” enough money to support myself, my partner, and my mother when her unemployment runs out, but I don’t have it yet. I have the tits to feed the baby (the full time job), but those tits are holding back on releasing the milk.

This is where I office.

This is where I office.

I don’t know why I felt the need to post about this right now, but this is a huge transition in my life, and it feels good. But it also feels extremely awkward. It’s not often us trailer park kids get our dream jobs, and it’s rarer that those dream jobs are in any form academic. Us “nerds” were so ostracized as children, and not just at school. Middle class “nerdy” kids didn’t get picked on at home because their parents supported their academic achievements and their parents made sure their friends were similar in interests. In the trailer park, nerds like me are few and far between, and our parents don’t have time to carefully choose our friends. We get the friends in our neighborhood. I’m not blaming my mother for the outsider-ness I felt, though. She was too freakin’ poor to worry about who we hung out with on a regular basis. She had to put food on the table. But, the experiences I had certainly make this world feel a bit foreign to me. It also makes having a regular salary that I can count on being there feel really awkward, too.

2 Responses to “On the subject of dreams…”
  1. hpo says:

    I know exactly how you feel. I know that inner talk and trepidation. It will get better and you will be able to completely enjoy what you have made happen. I promise. 🙂

  2. Joey Cooter says:

    It is amazing how our dreams can bring to light all those thoughts, joys and fears we may not be able to lend voice to…but if we pay close attention to the inner workings of our minds through the interpretation of our dreams we may achieve some sense of better understanding and peace.

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