My dream had layers of meta. In the dream, I was reading a book - and this was incidental to the dream; it was one of those terribly realistic dreams where it just feels like your everyday life, and in my everyday life, I read books. So. In the book, the protagonist was an office worker. And that was purelty incidental to the book itself, but it got me thinking, in the dream, and I started to write this LJ entry in the dream, or something like it:
I miss working in an office. Specifically, I miss the sort of work I did two jobs ago, back in Florida.
It's been a year since I had a Day Job. I don't miss Coca-Cola U. I hated that. But I still miss the hell out of the property management company I worked at in Florida. Why? Well, the camaraderie was great, of course - had great friends there. But I miss the structure. I'm one of those people who needs structure. The job at Coca-Cola U was ill-defined from the start. The job at the property management company was hella structured. Come in, type everything there is to be typed, distribute things what need signing, collect things what are signed, photocopy everything, distribute copies, mail originals, then help the crew in the production room with whatever mass mailing they were doing. If I was onsite at a property - do that, then drive back to the office and do the aforementioned.
Within that structure, there was room for play. While I was typing, I'd listen to Great Big Sea and gossip with Tony, the oldest of the managers - the one who gave me his wife's pearls when he passed away. While I was copying and folding and mailing, I'd rapid-fire banter with Ryan and tsarinanic, play Six Degrees, whatever. Yes, I had unpleasant people to deal with, but I also had a supervisor who wanted me to call her "Aunt [name]", and I spent a big chunk of the day with good friends...
...but also? In a situation where I was respected - which is one of the things I I missed, working at Coca-Cola U - and capable.
That is a big-ass thing. Capable. You could put me in any position in that company and I'd kick ass, and they knew it, even the upper-management weasels. And I was one of the people they depended on, because they damn well knew that I could do anything, and do it faster and better than just about anyone else. (tsarinanic = on an equal level, and often by my side on projects.) Got a new property, and need the office organized, new employee trained, board of directors oriented, residents placated? Send me. Losing a property, and need ten years' worth of files packed, logged, and tidily presented - by tomorrow morning? Yep. Me. Filing at warp speed, making sure important mailings got done, taking minutes at meetings. Me.
I used to be able to do this shit.
It occurred to me, in my dream, that I have a whole group of friends now who never knew me when I could do this stuff, when I could grab a project and prioritize and multitask, when I could get shit done. It's frustrating. I used to be Superwoman, dammit. I swear. Then I started having seizures, then there was Brain Damage, then they gave me heavy drugs, then I got fibromyalgia. And now I nap for four hours.
*sigh* So yeah. In my dream LJ entry, I was bemoaning the lack of structure in my life. I think that if I had structure, I'd be better at getting shit done. But I don't know how to impose structure on my life. It's always something that's been imposed externally. I don't know how to do it myself.
(Other things in the dream, in others layer of it:
* I was younger, still living in my parent's house, pre-Elayna, and my sister was having a birthday party - she got pissed at me because I wouldn't let her keep her presents in my closet, but I'd only said no because my closet was overfull. Very clear parent's-house memories. But the tree in front of my window wasn't hibiscus. It was a clover bush.
* Also in my parent's house - surprise makeout with hot male dream friend!
* Sitting around a table with family. My aunt, the one who had a nervous breakdown, invited me to breakfast the next day. I said yes, but fortunately didn't actually *have* said breakfast.
* At another gathering, watching a bad movie - this is one of those things where first I was *experiencing* the plot of the movie, then I became aware that I was watching the movie. It involved a planned assassination of the Pope. And some spy stuff, and some occult stuff.
* Alternate-universe dream - a cleaning woman seeing a goddess she wasn't supposed to see, and realizing that the goddess was really very small and immaterial. The goddess cursed her as she passed through the door on her way home, and she became ugly - she sagged, drooped, wrinkled. But when she got home, her husband pulled her into bed with him (it was just barely morning),and the goddess's curse melted away, replaced by what the woman' husband thought of her, then what she thought of herself... zaftig rather than gross, smiling rather than a permanent frown.)