Saturday, September 25, 2010

Soccer Dreams

I don't know how much stock you put in dreams. The best explanation for dreams that I ever heard is that they show you what you need to see, to prepare you for the day ahead. This explanation has stuck with me for several years now, because for me, it makes a lot of sense. So, knowing that, I have to wonder what my dreams are preparing me for.

In the past week, I have had two dreams involving me playing soccer. In the first dream which I had roughly 6 days ago, I was at my parents house, playing a pickup game with John Locke from the tv show Lost, and some non-celebrities that I can't remember right now. I was playing center forward. The 'goal' was my old swing-set, which is roughly in the shape of a goal.

Someon on my team took a shot on the goal (it may even have been me) but it was blocked and kicked out near me. I stretched to stop the ball, but was only able to deflect it to my left mid, John Locke. He passed it back to me, and as the ball rolled towards me, instead of preparing for a strong right leg shot, I dinked it with my left foot. It either missed or was deflected again, this time to my left forward teammate. The left winger then passed the ball back to me, and again I used my left leg to dink another weak shot, which again was deflected back to the left striker. He passes it to me yet again, and I take another left-footed shot, but this one rolls in the goal. Win. And I wake up.

My second soccer dream I had this morning. I conflated soccer and NFL football, so that I was on the Pittsburgh Steelers and we were playing division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens. It appeared that we were playing 4 vs 4 teams, but I only noticed this aftwards. Anyways, it was nearing the end of the game, and we were down 3-2 when I entered the game. I was playing with a lot of enthusiasm, and I drove the ball up the field near the Ravens goal. I went to take a shot (this time a real one, with my right leg) but just as I am about to make contact with the ball, my foot digs into the ground. I don't think I even touch the ball.

So we keep playing, our team playing aggressively and keeping the ball near the Ravens goal. The ball goes in the air in front of the goalie box, and one of the Ravens players hits it with his hands. He's embarassed, but I get a free kick from the middle right of the top of the box. This is my shot to tie it up, all I have to do is hit a good shot. I run up to the ball to take my shot, but again as I am kicking my right foot digs into the ground just short of the ball. This time I tap the ball, but it's a horrible shot, and they defend it easily. They clear it and take it down to our side of the field.

Our defenders prevent them from scoring and clear it in the air, towards me. I head it down perfectly to a team mate to my right, who I hit in stride. My Ravens opponent even comments that it was a nice play. We drive it back towards the goal, where we try to score. From the left side of the field I kick the ball (I assume with my left foot) into the middle of the box, where there's a group of players from both teams. Someone knocks the ball into the goal, with what appeared to be a hand. The refs don't call a hand-ball. I wake up, thinking that if there was no call, we just scored to tie it up. But I don't feel great about it, since I'm pretty sure I saw a hand knock it in.

So what do these dreams mean?

The first one, I think is telling me to use my right foot to shoot, i.e. use my strong leg, or my natural strengths in general. Maybe. I did score with my left, but it would have been better and quicker with my right.

The second dream, I tried to use my right foot, but it kept getting stuck in the turf. Maybe I was trying to hard, with not enough finesse. Or maybe both the dreams are really telling me to use my left foot, or my weaker attributes in life. Then there's the end of the dream, where we scored on a sketchy play. Is that telling me that I can score even if it isn't perfect? Or that I should be wary of cheaters on my 'team?' Or is it just telling me that I have to get better with my right leg, my strengths, so that I can score the first time I try?

Who knows.

I'm not sure what they mean. I don't know if it even makes any sense trying to interpret dreams. Perhaps they are just there to slightly modify my consciousness, to cast a subconscious spotlight on...something. Like an artistic photograph without a caption, perhaps dreams should just stand as they are, casting their holistic impression. Sometimes I think interpreting dreams can even rob them of their power. But that doesn't stop me from trying.

Hell, maybe the dreams are just there to make me ask questions and write an essay.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Activate Self

I just got home from my first therapy session in two years. It was nice. I really like my doctor.

The take away message was that a lot of the things I blame myself for are not necessarily my fault. My parents subtly and unconsciously guided my behavior to be exactly what it is today. This is hard for me to type, because it sounds so strange to externalize my own problems. But in many ways, it's true.

For example, my parents made it very clear to me as I was growing up that I needed to achieve. I needed good grades. I needed to behave appropriately at school and elsewhere. Anything less was unacceptable.

And when I did fail to achieve my potential, my parents would cluck their tongues and say "What are we gonna do about that boy?" instead of actually helping me. They would find it made more sense, to them, to criticize rather than help me. At least that's my therapist's take, I'm not totally convinced. But it does make sense.

By sticking to my under-achieving ways, I am sticking to an old family dynamic wherein I am talented and gifted, but I kind of ramble along, doing things I don't really want to do, being unhappy and unfulfilled, and my parents looking at each other saying, "What are we gonna do with that boy?" while they refrain from looking at each other and saying, "What did we do to make him like this? What can we change about ourselves?"

He told me to watch Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, because it was one of his top 3 therapeutic movies, and illustrated a struggle similar to my own. Ted (Keanu Reeves) has a father who is the hard-nosed sheriff of the town. Ted is a goofball slacker. How can this rough and tough sheriff create such a goofball son? By subtly turning him into his (dad's) own worst fears about himself. So the dad is afraid of being a goofball, and then when he sees something in his own son, he begins to treat him as the goofball. Then, at the end Ted realizes that he can and should start to make his own way in life. This makes him sad. He's saying goodbye to the old him, the old dynamic, the old comfort zone. He's sad to see it go; it's hard to say goodbye to the old relationship with his father.

He also explained to me economics, politics, and education in about 5 minutes. Economics is on the back of the dollar bill, he said, and what's on the back of a dollar bill? A pyramid. So it's all a pyramid scam, which confirms my suspicions.

As for politics, he says to be a politician you have to lie, because democracy on such a large scale as in America is completely unrealistic, and will never work. He says humans are most comfortable living in tribes, we did it for hundreds of thousands of years. The hierarchies we create are great for bees and termites, but not as good for people. But since we live in a crazy culture, we continue to do the same thing, and expect a different result.

As for education, he says it works great. But not at what we might think. The real motives behind our education are to instill social hierarchies into our children. Even though we're all relatively the same level of intelligence, we can't all be millionaires. So we have to have a way to separate the kids so that a few will be rich, some will be middle, and some will be the garbage men. How do we do this? Solve for x. The kids who do it well will be on top, the kids who do it ok will be our white collar cubicle monkeys, and the kids who do it the worst will pick up our garbage.

Education also works well to keep kids out of the work force. There are only so many jobs to go around, and as our population grows, each person's slice of the pie shrinks, so that the more people we keep away from the pie, the more we get to have. Used to be, a 6th grade education was enough. Then a highschool diploma was mandatory. Now a college education is practically required, and soon a masters degree or higher will be necessary. The longer we keep our children as non-working consumers, the more money our companies can make. Also, since our schools teach our kids zero survival skills, these kids are forced by necessity to join the workforce immediately out of school, forcing them to take whatever crap job they can find. Which, of course, all ties back to economics and political hierarchy.

But anyhow, we got sidetracked for a minute, but it was fascinating to hear what he had to say about the issues I think about constantly.

I made an appointment to see him again next week. I hope to continue learning more. I want to talk more about my dad and stuff, and see where that goes. In the mean time, it's long past time to start looking for another job, or something. I just need to start with one thing. Because if I start thinking about more than one thing, I get overwhelmed and paralyzed.

One thing.

What do I want to do more than anything else in the world? Get a new job. So I'm going to do that first.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

So Goddamned Bored

I am apparently attempting to be the first person to die of boredom. And it is exactly as fun as it sounds.

But instead of altering my life to make it more fun, I'd rather alter my brain to make my life seem more fun. That's what recreational drugs are good for. They make you satisfied with doing nothing all goddamned day. Doing drugs is easier than doing real things, like having a life and such. Hobbies. Friends. All that shit.

I can't smoke weed for a month. I signed up for the LSAT in October, so I'm cleaning the cobwebs out of my mind for a bit as I study this final month. The funny thing is, I don't even know if I want to go to law school. But I have to keep my options open, I suppose.

As I emerge from my weed-haze, I realized a couple things. First, and I already knew this, I have some kind of oral fixation, because I really want a cigarette. I don't know if I buy all that Freud crap, but his descriptions of oral fixation fit me and my family dynamics.

The Oral receptive personality is preoccupied with eating/drinking and reduces tension through oral activity such as eating, drinking, smoking, biting nails. They are generally passive, needy and sensitive to rejection. They will easily 'swallow' other people's ideas.

The Oral aggressive personality is hostile and verbally abusive to others, using mouth-based aggression.

I go back and forth between being receptive and aggressive. I'm mainly receptive, but sometimes I turn it outwards. Either way I hate it.

The second thing I realize is that I don't have much of an outside life. Outside of smoking pot and watching TV, I don't do a lot, and almost nothing I do is social (past hanging out with my girlfriend). This is normal for me, but when I smoke weed I forget what a lame life I lead.

Fucking shit.

* * *

Alright, I called my therapist to make an appointment. Are you happy, universe? I admit I am crazy, and unable to deal with my issues effectively.

Ugh. I hate that I need therapy. I know I am broken and need help, but still. It isn't fair. whine whine whine. Makes me sick. But here I am.

I guess I kind of have to. I see people all the time, and I'm like Goddamn they need therapy. It's retarded that they're NOT in therapy, it would help them so much.

And now it's me. I'm retarded for not being in therapy. I could feel so much better. Possibly I could stop hating myself, but we'll see.

In my last post I was talking about my dad and his take on me getting therapy, but the whole thing got lost. What happened was the last time I was at home, we got to drinkin-and-a-talkin. He said that because I am smart and see people for what they really are, that I would never be truly happy. I brought up the possibility of therapy, but he ridiculed the idea, likening it to living life in la-la land. As if therapy would make me happy only because I would stop paying attention to reality.

Hey, maybe he's right. Maybe people are only happy because they aren't realistic. Well, in that case, I don't want to be realistic. But I don't think that's the case. I think happy people simply think positively, about what the best outcome could be for a given situation. Myself, I automatically think about the worst possible out come of a given situation. It's just how I roll, apparently. Maybe if I can just be less doom and gloom all the time I could be happy without resorting to the psychic equivalent of a lobotomy, which I don't think is possible anyways.

Or, I guess self medicating for years could be seen as a kind of lobotomy. But it isn't good enough anymore. I think I can do better than just numbing the pain. I hope to god I can do better.

la la la di da

I know this post is disorganized and mostly unreadable. So be it. Stream of consciousness, bitches! I actually took a break midway to call my therapist. I got his machine, so he'll have to call me back before I actually make an appointment. I never told him I smoked weed, so that'll be a fun first session.

For the past few months I am constantly thinking of things that I should talk to him about. You only have an hour (less than an hour really) to talk, so you gotta make that time count. I have a $35 co-pay, so I gotta get my money's worth. Hopefully he fixes me, cuz $35 is way less than I would spend on weed or beer for a given week. Also I'd like some goddamn peace and tranquility for once in my fucking life.

Happiness and confidence would be nice too. Self-actualization, here I come?