Learning our way forward


College students have anxiety-filled dreams about taking a final exam in a class they never attended.

My recurring nightmare is about being poorly prepared to teach a high school class, although I haven’t been a high school teacher in decades.

As they say, Sigmund Freud would have a field day with that….

What does it mean that, at least in my sleep, I am anxious about doing something I haven’t done in years and am not likely to do again?

Perhaps it simply means that part of being human is that from time to time we will unexpectedly be asked to do something for which we feel poorly prepared and that our dreams reflect that reality.

A new responsibility at work. A relationship challenge with a partner or child. A significant life change in our lives, like caring for a loved one or requiring care ourselves with the sense of dependency that creates.

Life hands us many things for which we feel ill prepared.

But another part of being human is that we step up to those challenges and responsibilities and learn our way into doing things we previously may have thought were impossible.

And then many years later we may dream about them and realize how far we have come….

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