Last night I dreamt I was running around a supermarket with towering white shelves. We were in India. I was looking for something. I can’t remember what now. And I was throwing up all over the shelves, projectile style.
The night before I dreamt – and this is a little weirder – that I was being tied to a giant wooden cross (like the one they use in Jesus Christ Superstar) and thrown into a swimming pool face down.
The night before that – I’m not going there on a public forum. I’d lose all my Twitter followers and gain a whole load more. It was dark. And graphic in a way that would take you days of trawling through the deepest recesses of the internet to find something that even came close. Which makes it sound like it was sexual – which it wasn’t. For me anyway.
I do what I always do with my hallucinogenic dreams – I turn to John and ask him to decipher them using his knowledge of pop psychology. Even he struggles to keep his face neutral at the symbolism of my drowning whilst being tied to a cross. Apparently the fear I’m prodding down during the day, is poking up at night into my dreams. But I don’t get it – fear? Why is fear hiding out in my subconscious? The first week after I slammed my resignation letter down on the CEO’s desk, the smile that was splitting my face was so wide that I thought I might need stitches. I wasn’t afraid. I was euphoric. But now that has started to fade. Which sucks. Because I can’t get it back. You can only resign once from the same job after all.
So I start blaming the voice of authority in my head, that sounds just like my father, for seeding the fear. I feel like I need to start reading ‘Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway’, donning a hooded sweater and dancing up the steps of Capitol Hill punching the air, before the voice in my head which is telling me loudly that I’m ‘insane to give up a well paid job in the midst of a recession’ makes me shuffle over to my boss on my knees and beg for my resignation letter to be shredded.
Luckily, before I can do this, the voice of the eighteen year old who normally rules the airwaves in my head (and convinces me I’m not too old to shop at Topshop) is like, ‘Whatever, shuttup,’ to the dad voice, and she’s shouting louder so I’m listening to her.
Anyway, I don’t need a job for the next year because the bank manager is nice and thinks we’re getting a new bathroom. And we shall be living in South East Asia on rice and beans and coasting in the spare bedrooms of friends and family wherever possible (and in a rather luxurious two bed villa with a pool in Ubud but shhhhhh). Thus I have declared to John that together with the bathroom slush fund, there are sufficient monies in the bump account (that we saved for a second child that we’re now definitely not having after the crushing tantrums of our first child showed me the light) to see us through on our journey. The extra pocket money from the bank manager is now necessary because having just paid £2000 for the tickets (Alula had better be sleeping in that seat and not on us for every single one of those flights), I have precisely £489 left in my travelling account. I know India is cheap, but it’s not that cheap.
But back to my nightmares, I hate to admit it but I think the real cause is not cheese, nor the voices in my head. It’s not the job issue, or rather the having no job issue, nor is it the giving up of a house, saying goodbye to friends, or the knowledge I won’t see Topshop in awhile (which actually, whilst I’m on a reality check, is coming at the right time – I just got caught in the stampede for Christopher Kane’s collection launch and realised that I actually am too old for dayglow and studs). It’s really all about giving up status. Such an ugly word but it’s the truth.
For the last eight years I’ve been working in the non-profit sector as a Head of Something. And there is a little part of me that is terrified of giving up that word. A head. I’m a head of something for another 13 weeks and after that I’m a nobody. I’m just me. And I won’t have lots of people to boss about. Only two, I remind myself, trying to look on the bright side.
I ask Lula, “Who’s the boss? Who’s in charge?”
“I am,” She tells me.