Oh, for Chrissakes. Or as Charlie Brown would say, "I can't stand it. I just can't stand it." I keep having these dreams about school. Which is nothing new. And yet...It used to be that I'd dream I didn't really finish my Bachelor's degree because I had this one incomplete on a math class that I never completed and I felt the most horrible perfectionist guilt about it (that part is true), so I'd dream that I had some class I'd forgotten to go to all semester and now it was finals time and I knew I was going to flunk out. Then it was more than one class. Then it just became a hopeless chase in which I couldn't find the rooms or even a piece of paper or pencil to write with when I did go to class.
Now I'm having dreams that I didn't really complete my thesis for my Master's Degree. Which is not true. I completed it with flying colors. My thesis panel even told me I should send it out to publishers, that it was that good. But I'm not doing that, and I haven't felt like going back to that piece of writing, more than 5 years later. It's complicated. I lost a baby just a few weeks before my thesis was due. I was so happy to be pregnant, and it was huge blow to lose that baby. So there's a lot of grief associated with that time. And because of that whole event, I turned in other directions, found other creative outlets. Like knitting, sewing, altered art, and so on. And yet part of me feels guilty that I haven't gone on to publish a novel or a book of poems. I hear my thesis adviser telling me about the responsibility we have as poets not to waste that talent... Is it a waste that I'm spending my energy and time being a mother now? Absolutely not. And doing art instead of writing? Or even doing some writing that isn't what my adviser might have expected of me? It's like I always have to feel inadequate in some way. I always find some authority figure to attach to an expectation, whether or not it's really their expectation or just my perceived expecatation. But even if it is their expectation that I should be doing something else with my life right now, SO WHAT? Why do I have to get so bogged down with other people's expectations of me? When does it end?! What a pain.
I think all artists go through this, and if I didn't have any doubts about my talents then I'd just be an obnoxious boob. But it's hard to find a balance sometimes, to get out from under those demons. The better dreams are the ones where I decide to just take off and fly above it all, and I do literally fly like a bird, above all the chaos below me. But I have to really believe to be able to even get up off the ground, much less rise up to great heights where my body becomes something else entirely, larger, lighter, and more expansive than I could possibly imagine. I have to feel the force, Luke.