My life that was

Friday, October 17, 2014 Permalink

I’ve had two recurring dreams for much of the last two decades (about losing teeth and giant contact lenses). A third was added several years ago (missing the bus / occasionally the train). However I’ve been regularly having a variation on a dream which is becoming pesky in its stubbornness.

Essentially this dream is about my old life. More specifically – my old working life. 

I’ve said it a myriad of times, but I DO NOT miss my old life at all. There are people I miss seeing, but I can still keep in contact. There are places I miss eating (but, well… #meh). I miss my favourite faux-Zumba class and being fitter and less-fat. But – I do not miss long working hours, ‘work’ as it once was, and my daily commute. AT. ALL.

I’ve mentioned before feeling physically ill when I was driving out of Brisbane and saw well-dressed people with briefcases at bus stops. Sure I may now be poor but I can drive a few minutes to work and wear rubber thongs. FOR GOD’S SAKE!!!!

However, this new dream is a little perplexing. I know there’s a message there and it’s possibly pretty obvious.

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Generally (in the dream) I’m turning up to work (after an absence) and things aren’t ready for me. I’ve no desk or no stuff. Alternatively I can’t get into the building or my security pass doesn’t work. Almost always I’m back in (or trying to get into) a previous workplace but the players are different. I find myself having to explain who I am and trying to ensure my new colleagues KNOW I’ve done this before.

It’s not really worth googling as it seems to me it’s about a crisis of confidence. It’s two years since I accepted a redundancy and left public service-dom. It’s almost two years since I made my seachange – leaving inner city Brisbane for the Hervey Bay esplanade.

I’m not really sure there’s anything I can do to rid myself of this new dream. Perhaps it’s some subconscious fear that I’ve been out of the public service so long I’d never get back in – if that’s what I wanted. Perhaps it’s just that I feel I’m deskilling. Perhaps I feel I’m not achieving what I hoped in this new life. Or perhaps I feel undervalued. Who knows? I certainly don’t.

Any advice?
Any recurring dreams that you find particularly annoying.

  • EssentiallyJess
    October 17, 2014

    I find these kind of dreams quite disturbing. At periods of high stress in life, I often have dreams that I’m driving the car and the brakes don’t work. I think that’s just me feeling a lack of control. I hope you can work out what your frustration is, Hopefully then you can stop dreaming them.

  • toniazemek
    October 17, 2014

    Great post! I’ve had that teeth falling out dream too. As for this new dream of yours, I wouldn’t worry about it. Your new life sounds perfect to me x

    • Debbish
      October 17, 2014


      PS. The teeth dream is apparently one of the most common!

  • Sarah@Tomfo
    October 17, 2014

    I agree with Tonia, your new life sounds definately perfect to me… deskilling, never…reinventing a whole new adventure.
    Enjoy that magic place. x

  • Pinky Poinker
    October 17, 2014

    I dream about my old job a lot too and it’s never pleasant. Most of my dreams are centred around some underlying guilt about various things. Maybe you just feel a little guilty (unnecessarily so). I have the naked in public dream a lot. And one where I’m the lead role in a play and don’t know my lines and just make it up as I’m going.

    • Debbish
      October 17, 2014

      Eek! I have another (not as often, but occasionally) about my old sporting life – a bit the same… I’m suddenly playing in some comp or in a rep team and start worrying about the fact I haven’t played in 20 years, am unfit etc… #weird

  • jb
    October 17, 2014

    Well Deb, I think dreams are a conglomeration of what’s happening in your subconscious and your mind is trying to make some order of it. Sometimes thoughts are put together really weirdly. My recurring dreams are usually of playing hockey and I have a shit stick or I have to find a stick in a hurry and usually borrow someones. I think they’re either about regrets we have or about something that is really playing on our minds. Or why else would we be dreaming of similar scenarios?

    • Debbish
      October 17, 2014

      Yes…. There’s a common underlying theme there isn’t there?!

  • Jess
    October 17, 2014

    I find dreams really interesting! Our minds are so complicated. I would say your interpretation is spot on. I also find whenever I have moved, even if I wanted to and am happy with the change, I have weird moments of nostalgia almost regret. It is like I am mourning that part of my life is gone – even if I am happy about that.

    • Debbish
      October 17, 2014

      Yes, maybe it’s reassuring me that I WOULDN’T fit back into that world even if I wanted to. Or maybe that’s what I’m afraid of?!

  • Char
    October 18, 2014

    What you just said in that last comment was what I was thinking. Maybe you’re letting yourself know that you don’t belong in that world any more.

    • Debbish
      October 18, 2014

      Hopefully Char. I mean, consciously I have no desire to get back into it (other than for the money – but hopefully I’ve evolved more than that!!!!).

  • Jo
    October 18, 2014

    It sounds to me much like a confidence, structure thing. I have a recurring dream about driving on a high bridge- like the Gateway- where I can’t see the road. For me it’s a message to trust something…I suspect yours is the same 🙂

    • Debbish
      October 18, 2014

      Yes, I thought about this a lot since – wondering if I’m disappointed in myself and feel that I’ve ‘failed’ in a professional sense since leaving government. (Not pursued more paid writing opportunities etc I guess).

  • Tegan Churchill
    October 19, 2014

    I’ve been having realistic dreams lately and they are a little (ok a lot) disconcerting because sometimes it’s hard to tell if I dreamed it or not.
    I wonder if your dreams are about feeling like you are being ‘left behind’ because you aren’t doing the corporate gig anymore or what you saw as a ‘real’ job. I hope that the dreams stop for you soon.

  • Kirsty @ My Home Truths
    October 20, 2014

    I’ve only been out of the public service for three weeks now but I have had some weird dreams, particularly about my interactions with certain ex-team members. I guess it’s my mind’s way to resolve any subconscious unresolved issues I may have had with them? I think yours are probably a little bit of musing about the life you left and whether you have achieved all that you wanted to. As long as you continue to be happy in your choice (and it sounds like you are) then I wouldn’t dwell on the dreams Deb x

    • Debbish
      October 20, 2014

      Thanks Kirsty. Hope your subconscious issues get resolved!

  • NewLifeOnTheRoad (@NewLifeOnRoad)
    October 21, 2014

    I have heard that having dreams about teeth are related to not being able to speak up!!! And i have heaps of dreams about my teeth falling out – weird I know!
    Dreams do reflect our inner thinking and our own lifestyle so maybe the dream is represent a new career move?
    Or a new business idea?
    Or maybe learning a new skill?
    Some of my dreams are so weird that I don’t like to remember them.

    • Debbish
      October 22, 2014

      Oh yes… in a recent dream I went to a public toilet which was in fact some new-fangled thing like a joyride. You were meant to do your ‘business’ while zooming along on a roller coaster. ?!?!?

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