generally inadequate

I was writing the screenplay for my first short film, which would feature two to four original songs, played by the protagonist’s band.  I’d written some lyrics and was sketching out a tune when I realised that my songwriting is basically deeply embarrassing and that given how many actual musicans I know, there wasn’t really an excuse.  I asked my ex, two of my housemates and (I think) a friend of a friend whose band we might see support My Vitriol in a couple of weeks, if they had any songs I could use, or could write me one. The riff from a song that my ex wrote years ago stayed in my head as the dream ended.

Same night.  My art teacher hauled me up to talk about my paintings – she was annoyed that I wasn’t applying myself seriously enough, producing consistent work or looking after the pieces I had produced.  She pointed out that one drawing, on a large sheet of cartridge paper, was torn.  (There is some reality behind this.  In sixth form, I’d roll up large pieces of paper on which I had my pastel drawings, and tuck them under my arm to carry them round the school grounds.  My teacher was scandalised.)

She brought my attention to a number of box canvases, stacked up against one another, which had been painted over the last couple of years. “You see, these are beautiful,” she said.  “But then you’ve got these, which just aren’t the same standard, are they?”

I was pretty impressed myself by the first few.  Did I do those? I’m better than I remembered.  I looked closer.  There was another student’s signature on them. When I looked at the gauche watercolours I’d really produced, I could see that I hadn’t improved since I was sixteen.

Same night, small consolation. I was watching old recordings of our bollywood shows in years gone by, to see that much better dancers than me make mistakes, too.

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hair

Some time last week, I dreamt I had a bald patch gaping at the crown of my head.  Two nights ago, I was walking around in a shortish skirt with my legs making no attempt to look shaven. (On the subject of legs, in the same night I also dreamt that I couldn’t kick as high as some of my dance comrades, which indeed I can’t.)

My hair dreams had settled down recently, but about a year ago I had a rash of them – I saw myself losing hair from my head and eyebrows, while growing a winter coat across legs, chin, breasts, belly.  Oh, and there was that time when I had a long soak in the bath at my (then new) shared house, then left the bathroom not realising I’d left a light but even covering of pubic hair in the tub….

First day at university

Induction day for my MSc course, although the building it was in was a cross between the sixth form block at my school, and an NHS outpatients’ centre I once worked at as a secretary.  My Dad drove me there although it was only a few miles down the road. It was in an uninspiring suburb of the city, surrounded by a large car park.  The main road there was congested.  I was the last to arrive and the other students were already settled at long trestle tables and were eating from a buffet.

Surrounded by 18-20 year olds who first assumed I was a similar age and reacted with unflattering surprise to finding out how old I actually am, I felt embarassed that my career isn’t further along. I felt they were looking at me thinking they would be mortified to be in my position at my age.

We were directed to play ice-breaking / team-building games outdoors on the back lawn.  It was a sunny day, and I loitered by the outer edges, feeling out-of-place and looked down upon.  I felt I may have made the wrong decision in coming back to university, not only because I was out-youthed, but that the course was too basic and not covering my real interests.  I couldn’t show those around me my strengths, and the experiences I had – which my coursemates didn’t – were not recognised.

wtf, subconscious?

Well, this one doesn’t need much interpretation.  The insecurities that crop up here are real and self-explanatory, albeit not as prominent in my conscious mind as in this dream.

My dad would drive me to university if I had to move away for it – although in the dream, the campus was only a short bus ride away, and in reality, though it will involve a bit of a commute, I’ve no intentions of moving out of my current house. I see the being-driven as a metaphor for the help that my dad – a lecturer at another university – is helping me in getting back to academia.

The symbol of being on a busy, congested or slow journey is a common one in people’s dreams. Easy enough to see the analogy. In this case, I also had a sense of guilt that my dad was putting himself out, when I could have made my own way to campus and in fact probably would have got there more easily.

It’s only as I’m writing these dreams up that I’m seeing the links that my subconscious mind makes between different times of my life, and how they affect me now. The locations – sixth form, and my former workplace – tell me that I’m still feeling sore about being underestimated, undermined or unrecognised in those places.

As for the buffet, we could explore the symbolic meaning of food – nourishment and all that – but I dunno, I’m happy enough to say that I just fricking love food.