I had a dream last night. I guess that's a little unusual in and of itself - I rarely remember my dreams these days. What's even weirder, though, was what the dream was: an old-school anxiety dream, of the kind I haven't had for years and years.
In this dream I was back in high school. I was still the same age I am now, but for some reason I was taking classes there again. The dream started as I was finishing a class over in the academic part of the school. I was delayed getting out - had to talk with the teacher? needed to pick up my things? I don't remember why - and as a result the five minute passing period was almost done. I had to walk all the way over to the gym, and the bell rang while I was still in the deserted hallway.
A hall monitor (the adult kind) spotted me and called me over to the office. "I hope you're on your way to a wedding," he said, "because that's the only excuse for being in the hall during class." "As a matter of fact I am," I replied. I wasn't, but I knew that since I was in my 20s it was at least a feasible excuse. "I see. And what's your name?" he asked as he pulled out a ledger of all the weddings coming up. Thinking quickly, I said "Josh Rynne." I knew he'd been married, and hopefully he would be in the book. I broke into a sweat when I tried to remember his wife's name (Colleen), because I was sure that would be the next question, and then I woke up.
Again, this is so weird on so many levels. It has been over three years since the last time I needed to be worried about making it to a class on time, which was the source of anxiety in this dream. It has been over SEVEN years since I needed to be worried about "getting caught" during class. I'm not sure whether I should read anything into the marriage bit at the end, although I think it's funny that my subconscious may be thinking of marriage as an excuse for bad behavior.
All that said, this is the sort of thing that used to bother me a lot. I put a lot of emphasis on doing the right thing when I was in school, even for things that in retrospect seem petty. The only time I recall getting in trouble during junior high was in this exact situation, where I had to get from one side of the school to the other within the passing period, and I was late often enough to get a tardiness detention. My shame!
So, I have to wonder: are those old anxieties still present there and bubbling up, despite not having any triggers left in the real world? Or is there something that I subconsciously feel (anxious/guilty/harassed) about, and it is manifesting itself to me using old patterns I'm more familiar with? This may bear further consideration.