Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Recurring Anxiety Dream

The other night I had an interesting dream -- a kind of a twist, or a variation, on a recurring nightmare I've had periodically since my earliest childhood days of being aware of my dreams.

The dream has always been about anxiety and it involves having to drive a car in an unusual fashion. Normally I'm in the backseat, trying to manage the steering wheel, brakes and gas pedal from back there. It takes an enormous amount of concentration on my part, and the anxiety is the result of being put in a situation where I'm being asked to control an unfamiliar situation. The fact that I'm in a two-ton vehicle adds to the tension; lives are at stake, after all.

It would be fascinating to go back and look for a pattern, and to see whether the events in my life at the times in which this dream has resurfaced have anything in common. I can say with confidence that the events happening now -- finding myself, all of a sudden, in this position of leadership in an enormous comprehensive high school -- does create a very real anxiety, which I'm forced to sublimate in order to perform my job. The analogy -- of maneuvering a car (in this case on a tow line, in crowded city traffic) -- is an accurate one.

Maybe I had the car dream/nightmare my first week of Kindergarten. Or moving upstairs at Virginia Road Elementary, to Fourth. Maybe my first day of teaching, or before I performed in front of a thousand middle-schoolers in Madrid -- my first real public performance as an actor.

I wonder: could this dream be my unconscious mind's way of saying, "Chill, dude. It could be a lot worse than what you're going through now....."