First, I was required to fly an F-16 fighter jet. Flying the F-16 was just the beginning. I was told, not taught, how to do it, and then did it, no problem. Flying it was like walking with my arms extended to me. I delighted in it. Then the troubles began. I was immediately given a mission. It was at night, with bad weather. I rushed to leave, but oh, no, I forgot my oxygen mask and helmet. Couldn’t find them. Someone else, with derision, gave me another. There were a few other small problems but I put them aside and completed the mission.
After landing, I had a black backpack full of money. Well, other things were in there, but I had many stacks of bundled bills, too. I realized that I had to keep an eye on it. Others were present and trying to steal it. I kept catching them at it, so I didn’t lose any money.
Next, I was selected to teach others. We were being taught to teach something that required twelve steps. After we were given cursory instructions in a classroom, we were given a part to teach. My part of it was ‘supply chain logistics’. A class of new adult students were herded in. The class was about fifty. Someone else began teaching their module. The students were disruptive and the new instructor didn’t take control or even introduce himself. He did a poor job, which our teacher pointed out. I was chosen to go next. I began and realized that I didn’t have my notes or my laptop with my slides. No worries, I’d wing it. Two students, a tall male and female, got into an argument. They stood and walked around, shouting. I went to them and told them firmly to sit down. They did, and I resumed teaching. We were forced to move to the left side of the room because someone else needed the other side. People began going in and out of the classroom. I continued trying to teach. The students started interrupting; I restored order among the group and kept going. Half of the students left. The teacher left, and the other instructors left, but I kept going on, talking to them about the importance of communications, including feedback. As I taught them, I became more comfortable and confident, even though the interruptions grew and confusion swirled around the class. Other groups were meeting in the room, forcing me and my students to circle our desks. Weirdly, I wasn’t in the center of the desks, but walking around the outside, talking to the students. They kept trying to play stump the teacher but I wasn’t having it.
That’s when the dream ended. Funny, but in writing this, it seems very short, but it was lengthy and detailed dream, full of interactions with students and outsiders, and details that I used as examples, like types of aircraft, or making a shopping list and sending someone else to the store. A vey involved dream.
My wife and I were young people, in our early twenties, staying in a hotel in Korea. We had separate rooms; I don’t know why. It was a busy place, with chaotic rules that I couldn’t grasp. I was also constantly trying to change my underwear. Whenever I’d get somewhere private where I thought that I could, others would barge in on me, lighting up the high exasperation warning light.
My wife and I finally met in a crowded hallway outside of my room. We made plans to go see the sights and such but I first wanted a hair cut. I went down to the barber. One woman took money from me and gave me a chit. Another took the chit and gave me a second chit. A third took that chit and ushered me into a queue. I decided to wash my hair while waiting, thinking that would make it easier to cut. When it was my turn, they rinsed off my hair and sent me on my way. I asked my wife what she thought of it, and she replied that it was worse that before. I saw my hair in a mirror; it was long, thick, wavy, and black. I needed to have it cut but my wife was impatient to go on.
We heard people talking about going to Singapore. The way they talked, Singapore was an immediate neighbor. I was surprised; in my opinion, Singapore isn’t close to Korea and would take some hours of flying to reach it. I decided that my geography knowledge was wrong.
Acting listless and irritated, my wife kept wandering off and doing silly things, like snatching papers from other people to read, then throwing the papers aside. People were getting vexed with her, and so was I. We went outside to get a break from the crowds. Going outside, we ended up on a cliff path.
A gorgeous, lightly clouded sky was overhead. The path cut through thick green bushes that were waist high. She ran ahead when my back was turned. When I saw what she’d done, I ran after her. As I was catching her, she went off on another path, like she didn’t want me to catch her. Saying, “Screw it,” I kept running. Let her try to catch me. After running another forty yards, I stopped and looked back. I didn’t see her. I waited for a few minutes to see if she would show. When she didn’t, I shrugged.
It was time for her to start looking for me. Turning, I walked on.
The dream ended.
She got that death grip on the wheel
she’s not letting go
not slowing down
no, not taking it slow
doesn’t matter where she’s going
long as she gets there fast
doesn’t care about the journey
that’s for others to make it last
she’s pouring through gaps
riding hard and leaving free
swerving around obstacles with abandon
like buildings, pedestrians, and trees
Don’t know where she’s going
that’s for others to find out
she’s moving ahead
forging past fear and doubt
we all glimpse her
wanting to see
who’s that girl with that death grip
we’re all wishing that it could be me
Another writing slash self-examination of myself post. It’s all about me, you know…
Writing often is about the author, whether it’s the process or subject, the writer is deep into it. I’m too damn introspective for my own good, and I’m a fragile beast.
I’m struggling with April Showers 1921. Much of the struggle is my fault; some is due to life events.
Life events kept me from writing several times. Vacation. Vacation is a good thing, right? Not for this writer, as it meant not writing. Felt like someone was scraping the enamel off my teeth.
Other life events, a birthday party, memorial service, surgery and health issues, interfered with my writing habits. Those, though, could be overcome. I felt confident of that.
Harder to overcome was my doubts about what I was writing and the story that I was relating. “Overthinking” is the world. Overthinking let in the doubt monster. The doubt monster fed my writer angst. Next up was a full blown case of imposter syndrome worries.
I walked and fretted, ate and fretted, awakened and fretted…fretting accompanied everything. I was engaging in one of the worst and most common problems afflicting writers, trying to write for others instead of myself. It took me until this morning to realize it. A young woman’s tatoo finally awakened.
She’s a barista at my fave coffee shop. On her left wrist was a tattoo, “Be brave.”
I’ve known her for four years. She graduated from high school a year early. She was sixteen. She then took a year off to travel Thailand and southeast Asia. She said tattoo was a reminder.
After speaking with her, I went on a walking break. I admired her and her tattoo. I’d never tattooed anything on myself, but I employed a mantra: “No fear, no doubt, no worries.” I’d developed it when I was young to help me overcome those things. Others were always saying that they saw things in me and nominating me for stuff or asking me if I wanted to try something.
What kind of cad would say no to such sugary words? Not me. Between genes, birth order, and socialization, I’m just a boy who can’t say no. I want others to like me too much. I don’t want to disappoint them. I fear disappointing them.
That’s where and when the mantra was born. People would tell me, “You got this. You can do it.” Nodding, I’d agree without speaking, and then tell myself, “No fear, no doubt, no worries.” I frequently added, “Focus.” Results were often excellent, usually surprising all of us.
Remembering that, I turned back to the times when I employed that mantra and achieved good results, and decided, time to drag that mantra out again.
No fear, no doubt, no worries.
Time to continue writing and editing like crazy, at least one more time.