The hormones presumably have caused me to have some very bizarre dreams lately. Be they mundane or bizarre (aliens anyone?), I keep finding myself in dreams that I become so emotionally involved in that even after waking up two or three times in the middle of them, I go right back into them after falling asleep.
Last week, one of these dreams happened to be about a math test. Now those who were around me in any form of schooling know that the subject of Math has always caused me a great deal of anxiety. One way or another, it was ingrained in me that when it came to math some could and some couldn’t, and I obviously was one of the ‘couldn’t’ crowd (I could go on a diatribe about how that idea is erroneous and terrible and about how I think the teaching of math is sacred and if I were actually ever going to teach again, I would want to teach math so that my classes would know there is really no such things as ‘coulds’ and ‘couldn’ts,’ but that would take me even farther off course than this parenthetical did).
Yes, I dreamed about a math test. I dreamed about completing the test. I dreamed about feeling cautiously optimistic about the test. I dreamed about having the test handed back. I dreamed about seeing a ‘D’ at the top of the test. And I dreamed about trying to work with the teacher who gave the test to grasp the concepts and shoot for a higher grade . The teacher, by the way, was extremely unhelpful. It was all very typically school-type Val. Anxiety about studies. Panic about tests. Complete and utter despair over a grade I didn’t like.
I was so involved in this particular dream, that when I woke up sometime in the early morning hours and Husband happened to as well, I was mid-sob. Husband asked if I was ok, and promptly went back to sleep. I didn’t answer anyway. I was too upset.
So I spent some time pondering the whys of this dream. Surely it had some great insight about myself. Surely it contained some great nugget of wisdom that I should carry around with me. Surely I could learn something from the fact that despite the fact I know first hand that there are worse things in life than ‘D’s’ on math tests, this dream still caused me a sense of sheer terror. But, I’m not sure what these lessons and insights may be.
However, later in the weekend when I was going through my FirstClass orientation for online classes at Asbury I felt the same sort of panic beginning in my chest. I felt the same sort of anxiety. I felt a distinct question, “What in the hell do I think I’m doing going to Seminary?!”
I don’t know the answer to that.
Another thing I don’t know is when to start…. I am officially supposed to enroll for the January term. I see no possible way to have enough money by then to begin to start then. If I start then, I would likely take off the Spring term as finals week would happen to come just shortly after I welcomed a tiny new family member into our lives.
I got ballsy enough to email my advisor and ask some questions, and it looks like I have some options, but all of the options look scary. All of these possibilities look scary.
And I have to wonder… Can I do this? Can we pay the bills if I do this? Can I be a Mom to not one, but two little ones and do this? Can I navigate through the world of an online classroom? Can I block out enough time away from my family to fly back for intensives? Is this doable?
Not only that–but, do I have what it takes to wade in over-my-head into theology? Have I got enough smarts, or gumption, or whatever it may take to tackle learning Greek and Hebrew? And is it overshooting entirely to think that I am in any capacity cut-out for professional ministry of any sort?
Or did I bite off more than I can chew?
These are questions I don’t have answers for. These are questions no one can answer for me. They are questions that I’m just going to have to figure out as I go along.
I just wish I could get that terrible, anxious feeling that I’m about to bomb a big Math Test out of my system.