I was Little Miss Overachiever in school, so much so that when I got a B+ in gym class because I couldn’t do an arabesque on the balance beam (seriously, marked down b/c of my agility? That still bugs me!) I didn’t actually lie to my dad, but I wasn’t entirely honest in my relaying of report card info (“I got straight-A’s in all my academics, Daddy!).
Most subjects came pretty easily. Not that I was spewing forth brilliance or anything; I wasn’t. But I tended to “get” the subjects, and I tested well. Algebra and geometry were both favorite classes, and I loved all my math teachers, especially Mrs. Zaiontz, who was so amazing at explaining complicated stuff.
So why did I have–for years–a recurring dream that I had forgotten to take my algebra final? We’re talking major nightmare city here–way scarier than monsters or demons or dark things from the depths of hell. The dream was the kind that wakes you up, certain that your life is over in a way that head-eating monsters just don’t convey (at least not for me). And in the dream, kind Mrs. Zaiontz was faced with the task of telling me that if I didn’t take the final, that all of my diplomas (my B.S. in film, my J.D. that was my then-livelyhood) would be taken away.
Years and years and years I had this dream, though interestingly I never dreamed about studying for this final or even taking it. All I would do is argue with her, telling her that I’ve seen the direction of my life, and could solidly and firmly state that I really didn’t need algebra. Alas, she didn’t care.
I had a similar dream in which I signed up for a history class, then promptly forgot to go to class until my best friend told me that the final exam was that morning. Disturbing, yes, but it was the algebra one that was truly persistent.
I had this dream practicing law in Los Angeles. I had this dream practicing law in California. I had it before and after my marriage. Before and after my kids. Before and after my writing career. Not every night, mind you, but frequent enough that it became a familiar part of my personal landscape.
I haven’t had it now for about eight months.
Honestly, it beats me.
I guess I’ve managed to work through some personal issue that was manifesting in my head as a forgotten algebra final. But what issue? I have no clue…but I’m glad I worked through it. After all, algebra dreams are cheaper than therapy!
Have you had a recurrent dream in your life? Do you think it represented an unresolved issue? What happened?