When I was in college I worked at the university library. For a while, I was one of the people who arrived before the library opened to get ready for opening. We didn’t have a staff entrance. We entered and exited out the front doors. When I would arrive in the mornings there was always a couple of students waiting at the doors for the library to open. Many times they would try to follow me into the library and I would have to stop them. This process is the origin of the stress dream I’ve had off and on for years.
At some point in my time at the university, I started dreaming that I arrived at the library to open and there was a large crowd waiting to enter. I would unlock the door to go in and try to lock the door behind me but the crowd would surge forward. There were too many of them for me to keep out. Eventually, there would be hundreds of them surging forward and taking over the library.
I thought that dream would stop after I moved away and left the university. I was wrong. I’ve had some version of that dream at every library I’ve worked at since. I’m writing about it today because I had the dream last night. Last night’s dream was not an opening of the library dream, but a closing the library dream. The library I was at was a weird hybrid of my current branch and the old version of my former branch but all of the people were my current coworkers. It was time to close the library. Someone else was supposed to lock the doors and clear the library. For some reason, they left and left me behind without doing either of these. I had people in the library who wouldn’t leave and more people trying to come in before I was able to lock the doors. For some reason, there was also someone there to fix the building alarm at the same time. Eventually, someone came back to help me clear the building and lock the doors.
I’m never sure what prompts the return of the dream. I used to joke that the dream was a sign that it is time for me to leave the job. The new wrinkle in the dream would probably prompt a therapist to see abandonment issues. Any dream interpreters out there?
I’ve always said that a clear sign that it is time to leave a job when you start dreaming about work. I’ve never actually left a job because I started dreaming about it. To do that, I would need someone else who is willing to hire me. Anywho, if I did follow that rule, it would definitely be time to leave. I had two dreams about work in the same night recently and they seemed to be alternate endings to the same story. I recently applied for a promotion at work. I have not yet been interviewed for said promotion, so they have not yet rejected me for said promotion. The dreams were two possible endings to this situation.
Dream 1 – I get an email telling me that they aren’t even going to interview me for the promotion. They know enough about me to know they do not think I would be good at the job. The dream ends with me going back to my office to pack all of my personal belongings so it will be easier for me to quit once I find any job that will take me. Not a great dream, but somewhat likely. I once did pack up all of my personal belongings even though I was not leaving because I felt disrespected and felt no need to pretend like I belonged.
Dream 2 – I get the job and a lot of people quit upon hearing the news. Not all bad news, though. While it sucks that the staff apparently quit to avoid working for me, it did help me to fill the empty spots with my favorite people. I always did dream of getting hired to open a brand new branch and hiring away all the best people to work for me. It sounds a lot better when it is a new branch and not, according to the dream, a branch that emptied out when they heard I would be the new boss.
The most likely scenario is neither dream, but closer to the first. I’m interviewed, rejected and feel like I’m somewhere where I am not welcome. I have a long history with that scenario.
Sometimes I go months without remembering any of my dreams. I might have a fragment of a dream in my mind when I wake up, but it’s gone by the time I’m downstairs at the Keurig. Right now I’m in a period of my dreams being very vivid and memorable. I’m not sure what leads to either phase or which I prefer. At least the dreams I’m having aren’t nightmares. Here are a couple of recent ones:
- I dreamed I was an assistant basketball coach for the University of Kentucky. he head coach, John Calipari, had to take a leave of absence and I was named the interim head coach instead of the people on staff who actually know how to coach basketball. I didn’t make it to an actual game before I woke up, but I’m sure it would have been a disaster. This one was so vivid and memorable that it almost seemed like a memory. If someone had asked me in the first hour or so after I was awake if I had been the interim head coach for UK I might have said yes.
- I’m going to cover the desk at another branch today. I received an email meant for management at that branch this week. I’m not exactly thrilled with my current situation at work. All of this obviously lead to my dream that I was transferred to this branch. Part of me wished it was a prophetic dream.
I’ve had a few of the extremely vivid dreams like the first one in my life. So strong and memorable that they feel like memories and not dreams. I’d almost be afraid to write my (very boring) memoir because I might discover some of my memories aren’t true.
DO you remember your dreams? Are they ever so vivid they seem like real life?
My daughter sometimes tells us about her dreams. Her dreams are sometimes weird, but usually fun and entertaining She told me one this morning that really just involved her and her brother going down a big slide. I’ve reached a point where I rarely remember my dreams, but when I do, they seem to be more anxiety driven.
When I worked at the university library I would arrive before we opened. As I entered the building the grad students waiting to come in would always try to sneak in with me. I would have dreams that I opened the door to go to work and hundreds of grad students would swarm me. It was like a scene from a zombie movie. i would have a similar dream when I worked in the jail. They would just keep sending more and more inmates to the library. The swarm never stopped.
Last night I discovered I still have lingering job interview anxiety. I dreamt that I was back in my old job and had applied for a new one. I was uniquely qualified for the position, but they were insisting on hiring someone with no experience. I’m not sure where that came from, but I wish it would go away.
I miss my heroic dreams I used to have when I was younger. I was always saving the day. Pushing people out of the way of a speeding car, taking down a shooter, battling terrorists Die Hard style. I really had a hero complex.
Do you have anxiety dreams? Fun dreams? Don’t remember your dreams?