Whether it is long lost distant relatives I had no business reuniting with, casual friends I had no business making, professional or academic ventures I had no business getting myself involved in, I have always had a hard time quitting, just saying, “That’s it, I’m out, peace.”
I am getting better at it, having learned the hard way that endurance medals are only for athletes, which I am in no danger of becoming anytime ever.
Getting better at it does not mean the process is seamless, or that it gets any easier before/during/after the actual calling it quits. This messy process often spills over into my dream life. (You know, the life where decisions aren’t supposed to follow logic or be good for you.)
Recently, while I was in the process of making-unmaking-remaking a quitting decision, I had the following dream. If you can guess which of the above scenarios triggered this dream, there’s a medal in it for you.
I was in a play. A very complex script. Something like Shakespeare. My costume had me attached to another actor. We were about to go on. I realized I didn’t know my lines. Or, I should know my lines but I hadn’t revised them in a while. I became terrified that I would blank when the time came to speak. I still went on. The play started. I was in the costume attached to the other actor. I was sure I was going to blank. So I whispered to the actor I was attached to, “I’m sorry but I have to go off and peek at the script. I’m really sorry.” I shuffled off the stage. But I forgot we were attached so if I left, that actor would have to leave too. I only realized this as I started to shuffle off, but I kept going. I went offstage. I knew everyone else on stage was thinking “What the hell! What the hell is she doing?” My plan was to get back onstage once I had looked over the script. But offstage either I couldn’t find the script or I found the script and I kept flipping through the pages and I couldn’t find the place where my lines were. I feel it was the latter. No matter how much I flipped through it, I just couldn’t find the place where my lines were. There was also some kind of office space where people were in conflict about where their desks were, and I was doing a very good job of mediating between the different people at the same time. I decided I have to go back onstage. I was starting to put my costume on. I have no idea where the other actor is all this time. Once I got offstage, the other half just went poof! But once I started to put my costume back on, that other actor reappeared. I was saying, “I am so sorry. This has never happened to me before. I don’t know what happened to me. I used to never go onstage without reading the script from cover to cover every single night, no matter how long the run.” The other actor seemed to know this. One of the other actors came by and they were backing me up. “This used to be me, no matter where the run, I never go onstage without reading every single line of a script.” I was saying it in a rhythmic way. I don’t think anything bad happened because I left the stage. I think it was either nothing bad happened or I hadn’t found out yet what the consequences or repercussions were for everybody else that I left on the stage.