I’ve been having variations on the same dream lately. I’m either at a boarding school or college, and I’m enrolled in some sort of English literature course. The gist of the dream is that I’ve skipped a lot of classes and am way behind in the reading. I’m usually feeling a combination of anxiety and confusion about how to extricate myself from this situation.
This morning the feelings were particularly nuanced. I was aware that this was a required class, a class I otherwise would not enroll in. I remember feeling a mild curiosity about the class in general, but mainly a feeling of… opacity, like I was never going to “get” what was going on, or there was some sort of barrier between me and those who are in the know. I’m never actually sitting in the classroom, though; I’m just dreading going or doing the reading.
(As a former math teacher, I’m well aware that this is how many students feel about required math classes: what’s the point? how do I plod through this? what are other people seeing here that I’m not? I’d like to think that this sensitivity makes me a better teacher.)
Back to the dream. The distinct feeling underlying the dream was familiar – feeling a bit like an outsider, not “getting” what seems to interest other people. I sometimes feel this way in a few different real life situations; historically I think I’ve always felt like a bit of an outlier. In the best of times I’m a proud nerd with my own esoteric interests, not expecting most other people to share them. Sometimes, though, it’s reversed; I feel disconnected from what most other people seem to share.
So what’s nagging me nowadays? What’s not fitting? Sitting on the sofa this morning I could almost recall the dream feeling, as if I were surrounded by a translucent, flexible shell. If I concentrate hard I can push against it, watch the membrane thin and clear as I get a glimpse of the “real” world. Then I relax, retreat, and feel slightly apart from it all.
I think it’s best that I work out the details of this in my private journal. I’m glad to be back to the blog (has it really been over a year?). As two new maker spaces open locally, and I anticipate some personal shop space at home, I’d like to get back to blogging about my projects.