I have been having very strange dreams recently. Bad dreams, but I don’t know if you can call them nightmares. Usually my nightmares are completely debilitating, strange, and focused on images or aesthetic, and I wake up sweating and in need of reassurance. These dreams are taking aspects of my life that can never meet and mashing them together to create an unnerving experience, and confusing me between the real and the unreal. I am waking up disoriented. Last night, I dreamt that my headteacher wanted to see me after school, but my boyfriend came to pick me up for date night and insisted I could see him after – we ended up wandering through my school to a colleague’s office. In addition, something happened to another member of staff which confused me greatly when I saw her and she was jolly this morning, and I had to search my mind to remember that it happened in a dream.
I hardly ever remember my dreams properly, except for nightmares (because of the way they wake me up), so this is all very new to me and very unnerving. My disorientation has been lasting too far into the morning – thank god I work with children and have a mask I wear in front of them anyway! It’s the children who tend to shake me out of it – by having to pretend to be my hunky dory perky self I slowly become her, and the dreams become last night’s problem. Although one of my students did say I look tired today… and it has been making me sluggish, and distracted.
When I was a teenager we became obsessed with online dream dictionaries, and each morning my friends and I would search for some symbol which had been there in last night’s dream. Mine were always deeply specific – not just a snake, but a snake in a glass case with an apple in its mouth, or some other thing which wasn’t there – and darker than my friends’. No joining ginger pirates on adventures for me! As such, I’m a little sceptical of Freudian dream analysis. I can well believe that dreams are the guardians of our subconscious, and that they are the key to understanding our worries. But I don’t believe these symbols can be the same for everyone – how can my experiences lead me to have a cake symbolise the same things as it would to a German scientist 100 years ago? How can teeth be the same thing to me as to my friend? And what does it mean when my dreams are no longer symbolic, but linear? The pseudo-Freud that all of this simplistic dream analysis falls apart, surely. But since I can’t afford to see a proper analyst on the regular, one who knows I’m obsessed with having white, straight teeth and have a crippling spider phobia, shit Freud will have to do.
- Finish introduction to Eagleton’s ‘Ideology of Aesthetics’.
- Pick crap up off bedroom floor.
- Write a poem.
I do not have diabetes! I am not dying! I have not developed psychosomatic eye problems! I have early signs of optic nerve inflammation, a 90% chance of that not developing, and a stronger glasses prescription in the bad eye. She also recommended I get computer lenses – admittedly whilst telling me all about the medical community debate about whether they actually work or not – because of the strain I’m putting my eyes under and because I don’t need them for distances.
I’m actually quite glad about this – it proves that I a) did the right thing by choosing the optician rather than my GP. They did several tests on their fancy machines and she instantly knew the symptoms and the recommendations for if my symptoms worsen (actually saying go straight to the eye hospital if so, which is concerning). They’re having me back in a week for one more test. It also proves that b) I am not imagining things, my mind is not creating bigger problems than the ones that already exist (this is a BIG load off my mind – I do not need to be seeing spiders where there are none again) and I can trust myself to take my actual symptoms of my actual problems to professionals, who can actually help me work them out. In actuality.
I’m not thrilled that I have to get new glasses – not only is it expensive (even for cheap ones), it’s a shame to get new frames as I currently have two pairs of cute, vintage-y tortoiseshell ones that everybody seems to like. I was quoted £110 to have these ones re-lensed by Optical Express, which seems frankly excessive, but may have it done by an online-only company (as if they can’t do it cheaper from a warehouse not in London and mail them back).
I’d also like to say a big thank-you to my Englishness, as the eye test was free (thanks Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert Dot Com) and I doubt I would have gone had it been necessary to shell out for it. God knows how anybody in America is diagnosed with anything, and my sympathies as it only gets worse for young people and ordinary working people and anyone who isn’t a very rich white man or Ben Carson.
Basically, hooray for no diabetes! Although, I am currently drinking my first Starbucks in about a century, and if they get their way I will definitely be diabetic soon. #sugarcoma
Arthur Miller (BAE)
Raymond Chandler (and Taki the cat)
(My new look? Vote for your fave.)
- Proof-read and primp Modernism essay
- Persuade everyone I know to listen to You Must Remember This
- Buy the Lush face mask that will get rid of my gross zit face (according to the lady on the Nars counter)
Today, I am tired. Dog tired, tired of life, tired to my bones… all the kinds of tired there are. That really scuppers my plans! I wanted to go from work to university tonight and spend hours in the library, bashing out one of my essays until I had at least doubled the words I have at the moment. I had planned for today – hard graft. Saturday – up early, hard graft to the finish. Friday – swim and sleep. Sunday – run at the essay for my other module (which I have started, and have researched for, but need to begin writing more than a skeleton and quotes). Monday – more of the same.
I’m having to sit and think of things to be proud of myself today. They are there: I have actually got tonnes done at my work, stuff my line manager and another staff member asked; I am ready to get back and blitz it for the afternoon. I have tidied, helped several students and changed a display. I made it to work despite grotesque struggles with public transport (y u have a fire at Regent’s Park station, TfL??). I have achieved things, things that needed to be done and things that nobody else would have done.
What I am going to do now, for the sake of my physical and mental health (as well as my stress levels) is move rest day to today, and remind myself that I am not wasting my life, I am not shirking, that it is more productive to banish the tiredness now and work on my essay tomorrow. The importance of resting has been something I have not recognised until now, and it makes me feel lazy and like I will not deserve the meagre grade I am destined for. But I am so sleepy I just spelled ‘meagre’ and ‘grade’ wrong, and it is more productive to have one day of rest and one day of amazing work than it is to have two days of substandard zombie work.
This is me today. I have managed to alphabetise things and sort out very important orders and tidy despite wanting to crawl into a cold lake, hooray.
- Send off application for DREAM JOB (it’s already been proof-read by three people, I can do no more).
- Swim. Just a half-hour swim is SO manageable.
- Eat a healthy evening meal.
- Post an instagram.
- Avoid politics, social planning and controversial discussion. Probably no facebook.
- Get an early night!