The manifestation of Fear in Dreams. Or nightmares.


I’ve always known that I have some kind of fear of failures, but I didn’t think it would haunt me in my dream. Despite my dislike of writing about dreams, I find myself compelled to write this one for memory’s sake. In most of the dreams that I could remember, I was always in school or academy – the kind of environment that’s only suitable for learning. Last night was different in a way that it deals specifically with assignments. For some reason, my dream self did not submit an assignment due in January and only realised about it when it was already October. I was not sure if I truly did not submit it, or it was just my fear taking over (in the dream, of course). There was arguing and begging and pleading with the lecturer in charge of that subject.

What woke me up was the lecturer’s words, “They are all looking to catch you off guard and fail you. You know you’re finished if you fail the next one.”

I never failed a single paper in life. Not ever. I guess this is what the last semester does to me. I’m not performing as good in two of my subjects now, so the fear of failure is taking over me. It’s funny to have myself flail and squeak and freak out, unlike my previous self who would study like mad by now.

I just can’t find it in me to study so diligently like when I was in secondary school, chasing after scores and grades. The enjoyment I could gain only from studying seems to be gone somewhere. I can’t feel it anymore. Now that I think about it, maybe it wasn’t what I should call ‘enjoyment’. It was not even ‘self-accomplishment’. It’s more like a ‘drive’ to please and fulfill the desires and meet the expectations of everyone around me. I failed to realise that all along, that was my fear of getting scorned by others, mainly my parents.  This particular fear is one that binds my dreamscape to school scenarios up until now.

It’s somewhat irritating, really. Hmph, and this entry is so pointless it hurts.

When Your Housemate Is Too Obnoxious

– Wellesley Student Apartments, Auckland (20.05.08) –

I had to go through an unpleasant shower of drizzle on the way to class this morning. The rain was not heavy, but New Zealand’s famous strong wind made it difficult. Umbrellas could only save half of your upper body, and that is if you’re lucky your umbrellas don’t get blown or damaged by the wind. In ESOL210, we got further into the ‘Results & Discussions’ section of research reports. Pretty interesting, I have to say, but I still like ESOL210’s language focus practices. Those practices make me feel that it’s absolutely true when people say, “You find new things everyday!”

Mira and I came back to our apartment right after our ESOL210 class. June was preparing her breakfast, though I don’t really want to know what she was really preparing. We went to our rooms, just barely saying ‘hi’ to her as a polite form of greeting. I was having my brunch (White rice with chicken vindaloo and chicken tikka masala. Yum!) when the management staff of Wellesley Student Apartments (where I’m staying) barged in, happily announcing “Room inspection!”

I didn’t mind this part. What I minded (and still mind) was the outcome. Our rooms were all okay, but we got a Red warning notice regarding the kitchen wall and the microwave. What pissed me off to a greater extent was June herself. She started saying about how we should get the microwave clean and the kitchen walls sparkly, or otherwise we’ll be fined. I was not in the mood because of the rain, and June just had to go and be her usual obnoxious self. Most of the time, I tolerated her presence and her constant egocentric chatter. This time around, however, all I wanted to do at that time was yell into her ears. What got me so pissed off?

  1. The microwave was half-broken. By this, I mean that we can use the microwave as convection oven and for grilling, but not the microwave function. How ironic that we have to call it microwave despite this faulty trait. We have not used it for God knows how long. The last time I used it was more than a month ago, and that was to bake cakes. Two weeks ago when everyone cleaned the apartment together, Mira and I were in charge of the kitchen. We scrubbed everything dry. My hands were all twitchy for two days after all the cleaning and scrubbing. Whatever that can be seen from inside the microwave (including orange streaks that look so much like corroded metal, and they probably are) is not removable. Try smoothing the surface with your hand. It’s all smooth, not a fickle of dust can be picked up. But June, being obnoxious, dared to ask us “Did you use the metal scrub or not?” and dared to make that unsatisfied look on her face.
  2. She was the one who used the microwave last. A few days ago, she messed the lounge up with her stuff and spent the whole night baking muffins. She was telling us about her sister’s birthday and how she was going to take pictures of her friends posing with the muffins and saying “Happy birthday, [insert her sister’s name here]!”. It was funny how she asked me if that’s a great idea, but then she answered on her own that “of course it’s a great idea!”. In other words, whatever happened to the microwave after our cleaning session was her fault. She was the only one who used. And she dared asking Mira and I to clean it again?
  3. Not only she’s obnoxious, but she’s also a hypocrite. She paste a note on how we should not leave our pots and pans in the kitchen, and that we should wipe the table and all. Did she do all that? I can recall many times where she would just leave her pots and pans, and her plates or tupperwares on the dining table or on the kitchen counter, or in the sink. And until now, she keeps dirtying the dining table with breadcrumbs. She leaves for her class without minding the mess on the table. Great, June. You’re such a pot who dares to call the kettle black.

She’s lucky she didn’t do her ritual of asking me (or any of us) “Which one looks better?” and “Which one matches with this one?”. If she did, I would have blown up and yelled straight to her face. Quoting my friend Hijrah’s blunt remark, “If you’re originally ugly, you’ll be ugly either way.” I would have yelled it to her face had I not know what self-control means. Another thing I can’t stand about June is her egocentric ways of dealing with people. If she wants to speak to any of us, she has the habit of rattling the doorknobs to try to barge into the room. When she finds the door to be locked, she would bang on the door incessantly. And very loudly.

There is a limit to kindness, and there certainly is a limit to tolerance. We’ll have to tolerate her for another six months. Oh, the horror. Let’s see how much longer I can keep my self-control in check.