Saturday, July 23, 2011


Last night, I had a classic anxiety dream. No, this isn't the "I horrifyingly show up to school naked" dream. I have never actually had that one (thankfully). My stress dreams involve topics that are much more realistic and consequential. My dream last night involved a vague scenario in which I was trying to get to Bass Pro Shops to buy a new pair of flip-flops (the annual highlight of my year) and the store closes before I can sufficiently select the RIGHT pair of flops and get to the checkout. There were all of these infinite frustrations, such as not being able to get the elevator by the bass pond/waterfall to work correctly; interested BPS patrons trying to "help," yet holding me back; and, the endless, futile, run-in-place-towards-the-cash-register for what seems like hours, at the end of which the lights go out and BPS closes.....thus ending my quest to simply go to the local BPS and buy a new pair of flip-flops. This sounds ridiculous, but it is really stressful to me. Besides the fact that I live 5 minutes from BPS and can easily go and buy flip-flops looooong before closing time, any time I want.....this is definitely how my anxiety manifests.

A few nights before this occurred, I had an even more disturbing stress dream. This involved a topic that comes up again and again when I'm anxious: being at a horse trial and not able to get to dressage by my ride time. It's always just dressage that's in jeopardy, since -- as an eventer -- my world begins at dressage.....and if you mess that up, it's all over with from there. In this latest dream installment, I was at an event not terribly far from Knoxville (although it wasn't Nashville or River Glen.....maybe Tryon?) and I had arrived on-site safely, only to find that it was time to get ready for dressage and I had packed NONE of the proper attire. No stock tie, no coat, and no tall boots. I frantically tracked down my friend Lauren Romanelli (who was, magically, also there competing) to see if she would let me borrow some clothes for dressage and I would go back home that night and get all my gear for riding XC the next day (yet another horrifying scenario: being at an event and having to drive all the way home to get something you forgot). She stood right in front of me, laughed, and was like "no freaking way!" and then she walked off and disappeared. This is sad and funny at the very same time. Were I to LITERALLY be at an event and need anything (a stock tie, bucket, spurs, pitchfork, or anything really), Lauren would be the first person to offer to loan it, and certainly the last person to refuse. But, in my dream, not even good old Lauren was going to solve my dilemma for me. Eventually, as is always the case, things go on randomly and vaguely and the situation is never resolved. I just ultimately end up in another dream that has invaded the previous one and taken over. I think in this one, I moved on to being on a Ferris wheel and trying to reach a twinkly light in a nearby treetop. CUH-RAY-ZEE.

I have recently been offered a job teaching some courses for my alma mater this fall, and I have been offered interviews for several additional jobs of late (which hasn't been a frequent occurrence over the past year), so I'm understandably nervous. I have to say the BPS dream is more standard when it comes to frustrating situations, but the failed horse trial scenario is very common when it comes to all-out terror. Anyway, let's hope that this unconscious fear keeps me on my toes when I'm packing for my next event. Perhaps I just need to do something enjoyable this weekend and relieve some of this stress. Maybe I'll just pop over to BPS this afternoon and buy myself some new flip-flops. :-)

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