All week long, I’ve been having what sound like classic anxiety dreams, what should be classic anxiety dreams, but Dream Elsa keeps stepping up and mastering the anxious situations.
- A dream replays a real-life conversation in which a loved one asks me to do something I feel awkward about doing. In the dream as in life, I tactfully and pleasantly say no, re-establishing my boundaries; in the dream as in life, the loved one graciously accepts my refusal and we chat about other things before saying “I love you, bye.”
- I find myself at a party where I know absolutely no one. Instead of freezing up or standing in a corner, I pour myself some punch and smilingly make my way around the room meeting people.
- I awaken in an unfamiliar and busy bank lobby without pants. “Huh,” I say to the tellers, “my pants have disappeared, along with my wallet. I’ll have to get new ones! See you later.”
- The bank building shifts, as dream landscapes tend to do, and becomes a shopping mall bustling with shoppers. Unsurprisingly, all of them are fully dressed; I am still trouserless. “Well,” I think, it won’t be the oddest thing they’ll see today. Hmm, I bet I can buy some pants in one of these stores!”
- I’m out with The Fella in a busy bar when I’m temporarily struck dumb. He looks at me quizzically; I calmly gesture to my mouth and shrug, smiling to reassure him. He understands completely, flashes me a loving look, and without words we fist-bump, clinking our wedding rings in solidarity.
I’m not sure what these mean, but I wake up each day nodding in appreciation of this Dream Me who sizes up each situation and faces it with calm confidence and competence. I half-expect to dream of showing up, naked and unprepared, at a final exam — and to get an A+.