... but really it was more of a nightmare.
It's a reoccuring dream, slightly varied but still inevitably there.
It starts with my mom waking me up. I'm an adult, at home, sharing a room with my likewise adult siblings. The house is dark because sheets are hung over the windows, and I've slept through my alarm.
The house is empty, my mother sad, the table is bare... and the fridge is empty. It's always empty. I scooped up Bunny and ran out the door, to a crowded highway, and I drive off always looking for work.
Because my idea of a really bad time is working at a theme park my subconscious always stages my job interviews there. Always. Tonight's nightmare was at a Disney-esque park, but over the years it's been a waterpark, a zoo, a park with rides, and one that was a giant food court with costumes. That one was really scary.
So, there I am with my baby in tow, looking for a job interview. I drive through a beautiful neighborhood with million dollar homes and green grass and I get stopped at a gate by armed guards. I lean out the window and tell them that I'm looking for the job interviews, and the guard tells me this is the gate only for invited guests.
I get back on the highway, drive in another way, and find the maze-like complex behind the theme park. I know I'm late, but I'm desperate. Everyone at home is counting on me. I really need this job... but I'm lost.
I spend most of the dream wandering in a building that looks like it was designed by MC Escher on a bad day searching for someone who is hiring. A well-meaning person tells me they were just like me in 1976 when they first arrive, but the person runs off before I can ask for help. I see a mother with three trying to sew, a college student pretending to dance; everyone is desperate, everyone is trying to get a job.
And I notice that everyone else has a packet of some kind. A sheaf of paper. Some people get a wink and a nod and disappear. Others seem to know where they are going, but are walking in circles.
The alarm woke me up before I found anyone to interview with and left me feeling frustrated, which is par for the course. I doubt the dream would have given me a happy ending.
You see, I don't need a dream journal for this. This is my reality. My brother lost his job last Thanksgiving. Along with his job went his chance to finish college. My mother lost her job in February, weekly interviews and numerous applications have all ended with someone younger and prettier getting the job. I don't live at home, but there's an expectation that I will keep my family from starvation.
The job market terrifies me. I know that if I needed to get a job today to keep my family from starvation, I probably couldn't. I've been a SAHM/WAHM for eight years. I have a bachelors in marine biology, which -let me tell you- is barely worth the paper it's printed on. You can't do anything with a bachelors in a hard science except go get a masters degree. Almost all the jobs for my field want experience in the field I don't have and can't get. I'm even less qualified to work retail because I've never had a job outside a newspaper or lab.
DH us the breadwinner. Right now his job is safe. But I worry, oh how I worry!
Writing is never a guaranteed paycheck. Every writer has days where they worry about wasting their time. It doesn't matter how much you love writing, at the end of the day, love doesn't pay the bills or feed the family.
What nightmares haunt you? Is it reality? Or just a monster?
P.S. If anyone has a job open for a medical lab technician with a microbiology background, Mum has 17 years of experience. Brother does IT work, his last job was running the online campus for a community college. Email me if you think you have a job opening for them. They can move. I'll help them pack.