Out of town?

We’re going out of town later, so clearly the CEO will not be coming into work today. The CEO has done some minimal work on her to-do list, but spent more time than normal beating herself up about nothing in particular and then apologizing for it. This is a fairly normal occurrence.

A friend of mine is dealing with some crazy jaw pain, which led me to tell her the story of one of the most vivid dreams I’d ever had, because it just says everything it needs to say about me. I rarely remember my dreams. Everyone hates a dream story, but here it is anyway.

I dreamt that I was part of the French Foreign Legion’s fledgling space program (not a thing). We were testing equipment for durability to go to Mars. I was scheduled for a space walk, and there was a part of our training that involved my giving a signal if the pressure in my head got to be too great. My colleagues inside the ship (and ground control) would bring me back into the ship and pressurize my suit, alleviate the conditions, take some notes, make some adjustments, and send me back out. This was a training exercise that had been gone over thousands of times. There was no way it could fail, because it was someone’s job to watch for the signal. I was ready to go, so out I went.

Everything was normal at first, like “yay space this is so cool these suits are so durable there’s no way we can fail on this Mars mission I can’t wait.” As time passes, the pressure in my head starts to build up. I ignore it at first, but it keeps getting worse. I start with the signal. No response. I give the signal again and again and again, but nobody is paying attention. My head will explode and I’m going to die if the pressure isn’t alleviated.

Now, at this point in the dream, my conscious mind pops in and says “GURL. You feel like your head’s going to explode because you’re clenching your teeth so hard that your jaw muscles are starting to give out. You have to open your mouth. Open your damn mouth. Now now now now.”

(I clench my jaw and grind my teeth pretty intensely while I sleep.)

Anyway, I don’t believe my conscious mind and keep frantically signaling until I realize nobody’s going to help me, and I should try to open my mouth because I’m running out of air. It takes several tries, but I finally get my mouth open, and in my dream, oxygen rushes my helmet and I can take a breath. Once I do, whoever was supposed to be paying attention in the ship finally looks up and sees me totally distressed, apologizes, and they bring me back to the ship so I can calm down.

There’s not a lot to unpack here that isn’t already pretty clearly out there. This is what my anxiety and depression feel like most of the time.

I was pissed at myself when I woke up because the French Foreign Legion (with a distinct history of preserving colonialism) is not at all in line with my generally pacifist/diplomatic way of existing, and I mixed them up with the UN Blue Helmets (which yes, I understand, is still military) in my head.

Let me repeat that: I got mad at myself for subconsciously thinking of the wrong international military situation when I have no actual experience in or with the military. Everything’s fine.

Also, the French Foreign Legion doesn’t admit women.