I got my COVID-19 booster and so far the only side effects have been a sore arm and vivid nightmares about previous jobs I’ve held in my life.
I got the jab on Wednesday, and that night I tossed and turned until 4 am when I finally got out of bed, snarfed down some leftover cinnamon roll so I could gulp down a couple of advil, and proceeded to drop into a deep sleep where I was back working at *Swanky Ocean-Front Chump Club (*name changed to protect the innocent)—a job I held in the early aughts at a 5-star restaurant where I was told I needed to “make nice” to rich assholes who treated me like a dispensable robot peon and demanded immediate subservience for their grandiose levels of culinary entitlement.
Last night I slept somewhat soundly, yet weaved through a chaotic and stressful swim lesson dreamscape as I tried to instruct dozens of flailing kids intent on drowning under my watchful eye in a menacing pool of obstacles, waking drenched in sweat and anxiety.
I don’t know what this means, if anything.
It’s normal to have dreams, and it’s not the first time I’ve had nightmares where I’m back in old spots, saying to myself “How did I get back HERE? I thought I was done with this!”
(Also, it turns out that depression causes over-dreaming, and feelings of always being tired so cool cool neat cool cool.)
Or maybe it’s that this season, a year from the lowest low I have ever lowed, feels menacing and threatening somehow—like a pitfall waiting around a corner or a slow walk nearing the drop off a ledge. All I know is that something in me is unsettled and anxious and waiting.
A few months ago, I told my therapist I was prepared for this. “I’ve got projects, I know what to expect, I’ve got things to keep me busy,” I said, with a maniacal brightness, “I think I’ll be ok!”
“Well,” she started gently, “maybe it’s ok to know that it might NOT be ok, that it might be hard. Maybe it’s ok to be prepared for that possibility, too.”
As RUDE as her comment was (jk), I know she was right. It can be uncomfortable to revisit old places, to peer at the scars of rough old times for fear of them splitting at the edges. It seems somehow unfair to have to prepare yourself for new scars to come.
And yet somehow it’s also comforting to remember a difficult past, a rock-bottom or a bereft season. The memory of lows, in hindsight, somehow gives a gentle hope—because if you made it through that time, then you can make it through what’s to come, even if it’s hard.
Whatever bubbles or bombs of bad-times-past you’re running from, I invite you to take a breather. Give yourself a rest from treading water, and maybe just let yourself be buoyed for a while.
Remember the you of before—the one who did a good thing, the one who was valuable, the one who was loved, the one who had a tough time and still made it to the other side. That you is you now, and always will be.
THREE GOOD THINGS
I can’t imagine the personal fortitude and feeling of purpose it must take to engage with milk-toast money-pocket politicians during a Congressional hearing, but CA Representative Katie Porter did so, masterfully.
There are now whole reddit threads of employees telling off their wildly power-mad bosses, and this tongue-in-cheek one is as satisfying as chocolate.
I recently started La Casa de las Flores on Netflix para practicar mi español, and it’s honestly a pretty funny show about death and deception and family disfunction and amor. Put on those captions and disfrutalo!
I loved all of your messages last week! Please continue to send me a quick comment if you can, it makes my heart glad.