I had a dream the other night where I was surrounded by people from my community, “the elders” you might say. A contingency approached quite abruptly to inform me that I was late on a payment that I was responsible for as executor of my grandmother’s estate. The payment had been $50, but now that it was late I had to pay $10,000!
Their faces were quite serious.
“Are you crazy?”
“No, you owe us $10,000 and you must pay it immediately!” was their stern reply and I felt them pressing closer as if they might arrest me if I didn’t produce the money right away.
“No!” I screamed back at them. “What, do you think I’m crazy or something? I’m not giving you anything! You can’t control me! You can’t make me do anything! That doesn’t even make sense! What makes you think you can just tell me to do something and I’ll do it? Who are you to tell me what I’m going to do anyway?” And on I went, raving at them, pushing back with all of my might as they tried to press me down.
They seemed confused by my resistance, and the faces of all those surrounding me registered shock–not at the men, but at me! The entire community that stood around watching looked at one another in surprise and I could hear them murmuring, “is this Alice’s grandaughter? Oh my! Alice? Yes! Oh, I just can’t believe it, not Alice’s grandaughter it couldn’t be…”. They were “amazed” that Alice’s grandaughter would “behave” this way!
When I awoke I was tired and could still feel a pressure on my chest, as if I am still being pressed down. There’s a knot in my throat. It’s a familiar feeling–this pressure… to meet ridiculous expectations, to attain to ridiculous standards and to be someone I’m not. Maybe it was just a dream.
maybe it wasn’t.