Tag Archives: dreams

Dream Recurrence

‘A dreamer is one who can find his way by moonlight’ ~ Oscar Wilde.

Sometimes the setting changes or the people around me but the theme is recurrent. Exams. Even though I have left my academics behind for now I still find them creeping into my dreams. The general premise is an imminent exam, whether that day or standing and shaking outside the exam hall. What is so unnerving about these exams is that I’m totally unprepared, I haven’t studied for them and I know that I won’t be able to do my best in them when they’ve just been thrust upon me. I’ll feel terrified, a sinking feeling in my stomach and sick because in my dream these exams are really important and failing is an unthinkable.

I dream most vividly when I have woken up and then fall back into a deep sleep, like this morning. I was having a French A-Level exam (I never even took French A-Level!) and I was scrambling through the notes in my rucksack to get some last minute study time in. All I could find was notes on bioluminescence. I can feel an internal panic coming on as I acknowledge that I don’t even take French but I’m still going to have to sit this exam. My high school friend Kat appears out of nowhere to tell me, ‘You’ll be fine’, in the real world I was writing her a letter to congratulate her on her wedding yesterday which I think explains seeing her face. What happens next – well when I sit down in the exam room my mind will go blank, I won’t be able to answer a single question and time will speed up, the minute hand on the clock will race along and before I can do anything it’s over. Then I wake up, and take a minute to realise it’s not real and sigh in relief.

I wish my dreams were more like this...

Meaning? Well I’m not sure if this is delving into my fear of failure, maybe something else deep in my unconscious. Maybe feeling unprepared or not having things mapped out is something that scares me more than I think. I have always found exams stressful and dreaded those times of year. The expectation to do well. The feeling that study time is running out and I’ve nowhere near learned everything as there is simply too much to go over. Feeling a bit out of control of the situation no matter how well I planned out my time. This scenario crops up in my dreams every so often and I’m hoping as I let go of one stage of my life, so the dreams will fade away too.

Normally my dreams border on the silly to the weird. The strangest dream I had, which I’ve kept with me today is one I had when I was still in primary school. I dreamt I was trapped inside the Captain Planet computer game.

The only things I actually remember – having to overcome platform game-style obstacles, seeing the girl with the heart ring and worried about getting a Game Over. Oh and it was all in 2D to add to the weirdness factor. Maybe my imagination was in overdrive or I had a crazy gaming session that night.

The only pleasant dream in remembrance is awakening in a colonial style home, with amazing stonework and columns. Walking out onto the balcony and gazing upon an Italian mediterranean landscape and seeing the striated green and yellow landscape, a swaying wheat field beyond a grand fountain. The sea winking at me in the distance with one of those diamond cut gleams. Cue running through fields and walking through the fountain with the white airy goddess dress dragging across the surface. Becoming heavy with water. It was a feeling of being free and anything being possible. It was so real at that moment and probably why it has stayed with me to this day. And by writing it here I have immortalised it in print, never forgotten.

A hilly and striped landscape in the foreground would complete the scene.

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Filed under Life, Musings and Aphorisms, NABLOPOMO

No Second Rate Substitutes

Why would an orange try to change itself to become an apple?

Just because there are more apples?

By doing so, it negates its own value – Vitamin C.

A fruit analogy to display just how important it is to stay true to yourself.

Never negate your own value and try to be something else because if you do, you’ll be nothing more than a second rate substitute. Brian Kim

Now I’m not too familiar with a fruit analogy telling me to be myself! But here are some things I do know…

When we are children, we are told to be nothing but ourselves, people would like us better that way. But as our childhood gets stripped away so we begin to hide ourselves away, maybe confused about what we think we should be and losing ourselves in the process. Well not losing, more like hiding who we are. I’ve always felt an internal demand not to reveal my true colours too suddenly but let them out in slow, controlled trickles. But lately I’ve been letting my guard down and they tend to burst out in pulses, uncovering who I am through gestures, conversations and expressions. No longer being chipped away at, more like stripping off layers. I will accidentally let my quirks and strange sense of humour out the bag and the best thing is people don’t seem to mind that. And I’m even surprising myself when I shine. Feeling good to no longer masquerade.

Before I was about 19 when I met new people I would either be really quiet (often mistaken for being cold and aloof, even though I was listening to everything being said and very interested, thinking of questions to ask) or I would feign super confidence and feel utterly exhausted for playing this character. I really didn’t know who I was. I have no idea which stone my confidence has hidden under or who paid its ransom but it finally found its way into me, better late than never. I have less qualms about saying what I really think in conversations, giving my views on controversial topics and slowly the awkwardness of revealing my true self is dripping away. Even feeling more comfortable taking the spotlight when it falls on me, when did that happen. The best part about it is I don’t have to fake the confidence it’s radiating externally and through my being because I’m more sure of myself.  I have always had so much to say and finally I’m voicing it.

I’m breaking down walls and resisting building new ones and I know people like me for being me and not a part I’m playing. I love meeting like-minded people who I connect with instantly, we understand each other from the beginning in an unspoken-but-it-will-show-soon way. Maybe through a passion for animals, books, science, life, living, making a difference, a whole myriad of things with a hope for it to run deeper over time. I might have the occasional moment where I feel a bit wobbly and uncertain of myself, but I just need to take a good look in the mirror and remember this.

It’s taken over two decades to get to this stage, but the more I realise THIS IS IT. NOW. The more determined I am to make the most of life and be a first-rate me.  Wouldn’t it be sad to go through this life as a unique, one-of-a-kind person and the world never to see that. To have all these hopes, dreams and desires but be too scared to live them out, to let fear run your life. You can’t let this happen. In us all is a confidence we need to find and as Oscar Wilde said, ‘Be yourself; everybody else is taken’.

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Filed under Life, Life Lessons, Musings and Aphorisms, NABLOPOMO, Personal Development

Creative Mind Never Sleeps

‘Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.’ ~ Edward de Bono.

Last night as I was staring into the darkness my mind was busy assembling a scene. It was raining heavily, smog encircling a lone figure and there was an immense feeling of loss and regret hanging in the air. Normally I’m busy untangling thoughts that have seeped into my unconscious during the day, rerunning a conversation or telling my mind to dump because its constant babble is keeping me from sleep. But last night it was weaving a creative piece and I couldn’t stop it. I promised to write it down when I woke up but upon the sunlight creeping through the window it had slipped away with the night. I was pretty frustrated as it was really going somewhere, or at least it was a starting point.

Science has been at the forefront of my mind, everything from critiquing research to coming up with investigative questions and experiments to lead to some answers. Trying to piece together concepts to get a full story, thinking of possibilities and applying research to the real world. This was something I found difficult at first but my brain slipped into these thinking patterns and being able to think for itself in a scientific way. I felt more like a scientist and less of an imposter playing pretend. I always got the feeling professors and teaching assistants  knew who was just winging it. It started to be natural and not forced, to an extent I had to think out the box and be creative, but it involves a lot of being able to think critically, with a splatter of abstract thought and logical inquiry.

Creativity keeps the world interesting

With my mind having been conditioned to focus more on the science-y stuff I thought other subjects may have got lost on the way. I got back into languages after graduation, what’s stopping me from getting back into writing creatively? Something I haven’t really done since I was in English Language classes – age 16. Something I don’t think I was really encouraged to do since primary school, I would write short stories with some really unbelievable and zany goings-on that my favorite primary school teacher Mrs De Val would coo over and tell me I would be a fledgling author. Then again when I performed in a theatre group (age 11, no teenage confidence dive yet) I was written a thank you letter from the producer/writer lady telling me an Oscar lay in my future, no gold statuettes thus far. Miss Bell, a maiden of physics, said a Nobel Prize could be in my future (I got the feeling she said this to every student pursuing science in higher education). So I don’t expect prophecies of greatness to come true when my name is involved, I just assume people are being encouraging to reach for your dreams and giving you hope and fire inside that you might achieve what you strive to be  – which is nice all the same.

Four things put me off a little from writing:

  1. I’m pretty conscious of the public reading. The main reason I took my journal public was because I was secretly reading many blogs and wanted to see if I could do it too, I have met some wonderful people blogging and love reading about their lives, that is enough to keep me going. I don’t want an earthquake of traffic but I love having those bloggers that matter and are genuine, I’m less wary of posting what I think here because I want people to know the real me. Isn’t it always pointless to not be the real you?
  2. I find it hard to take a leap from the diving board, not scared to commit or lacking determination, but I often feel that when I don’t instantly feel a small victory or I falter in my attempts I can get very defeatist and feel like giving up a little before I’ve begun. This is something I desperately want to overcome, I will write more about this and endeavor to change this attitude as I think it could stump any talents I try to develop. If I hadn’t neglected girls football, netball, kayaking, cartoon drawing, electric guitar and bass (some as I sucked, others due to costs or time) who knows where I would be now. I would love to feel passion for these things again.
  3. I don’t know if I have what it takes to piece together a story, develop characters and have all the glue needed to hold a novel in place. I’m not even sure this is something that can be taught. I suppose I don’t think I will have the continuity of ideas or a strong enough idea to carry through. I think I’m more a ‘moment person’, if I transport myself to a place in my mind, I can imagine the dialogue and the setting but lack the follow through to make it anything more than a moment.
  4. It’s too late to start. Though my rational minds say it’s never to late to start anything. Ever. Period.

Life is about applying what you know and learning some. Maybe I need to act on this.

Given the blessing/curse of having some time on my hands. I was tempted to try my hand at a children’s book, my boyfriend even offered to illustrate! We’ll see, I have a ridiculous mental list of stuff I want to do in my life and so many interests I would love to delve deeper into – maybe being an expert in certain fields someday!

This daily blog post challenge has certainly kept my journaling in shape. Sometimes I get to 11 pm and I’m still wondering what topic or thoughts to reveal to the world. But so far I’m managing, I’ve discovered daily blogging is exhausting but satisfying. I will probably do small posts over the weekend as I really want to catch up with everything online and off. This past week has been so energy-draining – Worry? Stress? Dull skies and rain? Silly insomnia? Maybe a case of all the above.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, Career, Graduate, Life, Life Lessons, Musings and Aphorisms, NABLOPOMO, Personal Development, Science

Nothing More Unexpected

‘A story to me means a plot where there is some surprise. Because that is how life is – full of surprises’ ~ Issac Bashevis Singer.

A journal can broadcast so many thoughts, tell hundreds of stories, revealing who you are and what makes you tick for the whole world to read. Over time telling the story of the person you’ve become today, acting as a memoir to look back at the person you were back then.  Summarising  a mammoth piece of writing, such as your masterpiece journal, can be difficult but I’ve found a fun and aesthetically pleasing way to go about it. Look no further than Wordle.

Yesterday something unexpected happened. I say unexpected because before I’ve been left disappointed, making me think perhaps there’s some pattern going on here or a trend of bad luck is suddenly on a roll. Which is what I’ve been led to believe with so many 20-somethings struggling after graduation to get a job in their field and are instead forced into temping jobs that are not fulfilling yet pay the bills. Or worst being unemployed for years after graduation and being cornered back into living with their parents. Graduates from several consecutive years are fighting for the same job openings as they become available. Prompting quarter-life crises. It’s a reality of the times.

Yesterday something reminded me not to give up hope to get where you want to go.

Yesterday reminded me not to give up on my dreams and that glimmers of hope do exist even if they are few and far between. Yesterday made me believe in fate and that things happen for a reason with regard to where you end up and who you meet. Yesterday reminded me enthusiasm and persistence pay off.

Yesterday reminded me of this.

About yesterday. Generation Y has been labeled the most educated, affluent, assertive and IT-literate generation, but even then I know I can’t just walk into a job with just qualifications, employers seem to be demanding experience and it helps boost your interview confidence when you have an arsenal of experience to draw from. The problem I’ve found with getting experience is you either need previous experience to get experience (vicious cycle) or with the economic situation there isn’t the resources to offer it in the first place, any spaces limited and therefore competitive.

Now firstly it’s quite coincidental that I ended up in Calgary. Calgary having one of the most successful IVF programs in Canada. IVF being a career I had contemplated for a long time, applied work, science to help people, it made perfect sense in my head. The pieces of the puzzle seemed to fit together. Maybe it is fate in action.

The gamble. Unsolicited genuinely passionate letter and CV to the IVF clinic. Asking for the opportunity for experience working in the IVF labs. Anytime, for as long as possible, unpaid, that’s how much I want it. The fact this opportunity isn’t even out there makes me buffer myself against disappointment. The most you can do is try, right?

Yesterday. I discovered an answer machine on the phone at 7.40 in the morning. The Canadian working day begins early compared to England but correspondingly ends earlier too. It was from one of the lab directors I wrote to a few weeks back. So with a quickening heart and a sinking feeling I call back. Now it’s not 100%, totally, crystal-clear or certain BUT  two of the lab directors I wrote to have discussed, and there is a chance I might be able to have a placement in their labs. They just need to discuss it with someone else first. Talk about set me up on a high for the rest of the day! After so much rejection, even if it’s not a guaranteed yes, it’s progress, finally. Even if the placement is for a couple of months it will make my time here worthwhile, it would have given time here a purpose even if I’m struggling to find something to boost my resume for the rest of the year til I can apply for clinical embryologist schemes. Surprising what can jump out at you when you least expect it.

LESSON: At the end of the tunnel there is always a shining light no matter how bleak or impossible things seem. Hang on in there.

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Filed under Building my CV, Calgary, Canada, Career, Graduate, Life, Life Lessons, Musings and Aphorisms, Personal Development