Unmet Expectations

Dream: Undated, sometime in mid 2015

I’m in a grocery store with all of my sisters. Everybody there is trying to decide what to do. I talk to a guy and he says, he hates his PhD. I know it’s because he’s in the wrong field. Haley leaves the grocery store. I freak out, wondering how I’m going to get home. She tells me to wait for Jaime, but I have no idea where she is. I run into my friend Ayla, who has disguised herself as my cousin, Rachel. I apologize to her and she gets really mad and says we should just leave it. Except, I’m ashamed of what I said. She nods. I notice she’s missing an arm beneath her right elbow.


The beginning of the dream makes perfect sense to me. In mid-2015, I had just finished my PhD and decided not to continue in academia. I’ve often wondered if I might still be an academic if I’d chosen a different field of study. I think that’s what the grocery store represents, the myriad of different choices that I had. Except even in a grocery store, your choices are limited. You can’t buy something the store doesn’t stock. Just like I couldn’t study a lot of things I was actually interested in.

As for the rest of the dream… my friendship with Ayla was complicated and confusing. It actually ended within a few months of this dream. Perhaps the dream was a foreshadowing, a preparation for the end of the friendship. The last time I saw Ayla, I did say something I was ashamed of. As for her being disguised… I think that’s partially why the friendship ended. I wanted her to be different than she was. I guess that’s the link between her and the PhD. I expected both things to be something other than what they were. In the end, when they didn’t meet my expectations, I was disappointed and had to let them both go.


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