Just a dream.

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Oof. I had an awful dream last night. My subconscious' way of telling me to flush some of these thoughts out of my head.

Escher StairsI never remember the exotic, phantasmagorical dreams — if I have them at all — or the good ones, for that matter. If those happen. I so rarely wake up thinking, "Gosh, that was nice," which leads me to believe my brain has only one setting when I go to sleep: freak out.

It's one of those big switches the mad scientist throws in those old movies, with freak out in all capital letters. A mad scientist lives in my head. This is great.

 

In my dream, I was home in Kansas City. For what, I don't know. When, I don't know. What I remember was being in my all-white bathroom, primping for the day and packing up my things to come back to Chicago. I got sidetracked, and suddenly I was late. My flight was in 45 minutes, and I was still at home.

The running began.

And screaming.

 

I was screaming at my mom to drive faster; she was lost in her own city, taking wrong turns and getting distracted, pulling to the side of the road to finish a conversation or admire something in the distance.

When we finally made it to the airport, she and my sister wanted to get a coffee, which meant walking up a staircase befitting an M.C. Escher print. I took a shortcut into the terminal and wound up at the wrong end, frantically searching for ticketing to get my boarding pass. There was a line of children in front of me. I screamed at them, too. When I got to the agent, I realized I didn't have any photo ID.

I had to take the Escheresque stairs after all, screaming again at my coffee-toting family to give me my license down the cavernous corridor full of people and crowded gates.

The worst part: I woke up before I got any closure. Did I make my flight? Did I arrive in Chicago and find the yet-revealed man of my dreams with a bouquet of peonies waiting at baggage claim? Did I miss the flight but have time to grab a coffee with my mom and sister? Did I find one of those children and pummel them to a pint-size pulp, landing myself in jail and leaving my poor cat motherless?

I'll never know.

 

I'm not one for obsessive dream analysis, but clearly this was a manifestation of my fears that I'll be permanently overwhelmed in this new life I've created, stuck in a limbo of complete badassery and extended-sorority-moment cluelessness. I'm there now, and it's exhausting.

There's never enough time. Things will slip through the cracks. Do. But for the most part, for now, I'm mostly on the badass side of things.

I'm juggling a full-time job and freelance work. I'm powering through impossibly difficult workout classes three times a week. In my two weeks on the job, I haven't killed my cat by sheer negligence. I've even managed to maintain some semblance of a social life.

And I'm still smiling.

Now, if I could just manage to skip the nightmares in those tiny interstices of rest, I'll have it made.

When I fly home to Kansas City next Thursday, I will have my photo ID. I will get to Midway on time; I will wait patiently on line and make friendly conversation with gate agents and TSA personnel. I will take deep breaths and relax my shoulders, knowing I have four days of relaxation, friends and family ahead of me.

And when I get back to work on Monday — my last day as a 27-year-old — I'll kick it back into high gear.

 

Today: ID? Check. Triple-grande skinny vanilla latte? Check. Workout clothes? Check.

When I get to the office, I will make a to-do list to beat all to-do lists. And I will take as few stairs as possible.