I was lying in bed the other morning having a fantasy about an alternative…career. I’ve had this dream before. It basically consists of me being the inspirational teacher to people who have trouble with literacy. I’m currently a volunteer TESOL teacher so this fantasy is grounded in a wee bit of reality. The point of the story is not so much about the warm and uplifting scene that I was concocting in my head, as about the puncture that happened shortly after.
In my head I tell them that the only reason why they might overcome the problems they’ve had to date, and the storehouse of bad memories about reading and writing ingrained into their cells, was finding a very unique and personal to them goal for getting through the class. Because simply by being in an adult literacy class they had stepped into what I like to call the baggage hold. I suggested that they needed to find a vision of the future that was bigger, more compelling and down right alluring as way to get past this nasty interim bit.
Time ticked on. The work day launched and my gentle heartwarming fantasy was washed away under the shower. A few hours later I was at work and deeper down the depression hole. The subject matter of my work is quite depressing at times, and as I’m not coping too well myself at the moment following my diagnosis of diabetes, the subject matter is really affecting me. I gazed out of the trees at the top of my screen and sulked. (I’m good at sulking).
One of those thoughts hit me. You know, the thought that sneaks in before the thought that you think you should have. In my experience these thoughts are always inconvenient, and always true. This was what it was. I was at advocating for my imaginary students something that I cannot achieve for myself currently. In short I am an unconscious hypocrite. See what I mean about inconvenient?
Fantasy is a powerful thing and it needs to be used with care and discernment. Fantasies say far more about their generators than they do about anything else. They are also a little like a spotlight, illuminating only some things. They shouldn’t be taken at face value. If I had taken my fantasy at face value I would’ve completed the scholarship application to retrain as a literacy teacher.
What I now think is going on is that my subconscious/higher self/call it what you will was using this fantasy to get my attention. It’s another attempt to get me to deal with my own baggage, to not project onto others, and not to make the mistake (again) of an unconscious career choice.
I could still end up as a literacy teacher. If i did, I would probably still say to my students exactly what I imagined myself saying to them. And if that is the case then at least then I would be able to say to them that I have done as I advocate. Dreaming a bigger, compelling and more alluring future for myself seems to the first order task.