In order to appreciate this dream, you must admit that you have popped a zit. In order to describe it, I must admit to having popped a zit. If this grosses you out, stop reading now.
I dreamed that I woke up with a big-ass zit on my cheek. It was the kind of zit that one normally gets on their chin. Not a little whitehead, but one of those red, shiny, painful ones that looks like someone implanted a jelly bean under your skin while you slept. So in my dream, I did what we all do – had the thoughts of “holy hell, there is going to be no way to disguise this” and started thumbing through my mental card catalog of every article I’ve ever read since reading my first Teen magazine in 1985. Ideas like put ice on it to reduce the redness, cover with toothpaste to dry it out, apply a warm compress…all of this came to mind followed by the one thing that every expert always says, “DON’T SQUEEZE IT!” so what do I do? I decide to squeeze it.
Of course, it is on the first day when you know nothing is going to come out of it. It’s just going to hurt and get bigger. So after that, I went to sleep in my dream and when I woke up in my dream, it was day two. The zit was indeed bigger and looked pretty ripe. So I went through the whole process again. After some fiddling around with it, it hurt even worse, the skin around it had started to peel off and was going to obviously scab (which I knew I would try to conceal, but knew it would only make it look worse, but that wouldn’t stop me; I would try to conceal and powder it anyway), but it seemed like it was going to pop at any second. And you know what I mean. One of those zits that is hard and plump and when it finally pops, it’s like a snake spitting out a watermelon and it hurts like hell to the point that you stomp your foot and when your eyes finally stop watering you notice a big ball of nasty stuck to the bathroom mirror.
Well, in the dream I was just to that point when it happened. It was like slow motion, close up (make that extreme close up) of the zit and it was just about to blow and I just knew that something massive was about to happen and it started to ease closer and closer to the surface of my skin when WHAMMO! I gave the zit a final squeeze and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Miniature (unwrapped) came out of my face. So there you go. Over and over in my head for the last four days, I pop and re-pop a big-ass zit on my cheek and instead of oil and dirt and puss, out pops a Reese’s Cup.
Now what the hell does this mean? Feel free to interpret.
We tend to look at everyone around us and cut them slack for their deficiencies, but we look at ourselves with a hypercritical eye. And so begins the process of settling. We try to talk ourselves through our fears and come to the conclusion that these simple doubts are actually shortcomings. Our mild insecurities become flaws. We look in the mirror and cannot separate the knowledge of our heart from the image we view with our eyes. We see our total selves and it’s as if there is a thin film of loathing on the mirror. Yet we look at those around us, both known and unknown, and give these friends and strangers the benefit of the doubt. Before long, we have degraded ourselves to average and built up others to heights to which they do not measure. Days or weeks or months later, we wake up and wonder how we got to where we are. We have not been lead astray down this primrose path. We have walked confidently down our road of destruction; our own lantern of awareness lighting our journey. It has been often said that we must love ourselves before we can love others, but I don’t buy that. Far too often we beat ourselves up, all the while adoring the least among us. At some point, in order to find fulfillment, we must stop overestimating the heart, the intentions and the potential of others and realize, understand and embrace our own. We must stop considering our desires for the things we deserve as pipe-dreams on some unobtainable wish list. We must become conscious of our true value and treat ourselves as the amazingly unique people that we are, understand that one size does not fit all, grasp that all men were not created equal and cling to the truth that we do indeed deserve the best and then resign ourselves to the task of not settling for anything less. Anyone can get a date. Anyone can have a boyfriend. Hell, anyone can get married. But if we want a date, boyfriend or marriage that is going to be fulfilling on the highest level, then we must not settle for less than what we deserve. Just because a guy is better than some jerk you settled for in the past, doesn’t mean that you are not still settling. But it’s not just about boys. It’s about dreams and aspirations and goals. It’s about life. We must learn to recognize the red flags and proceed with trepidation, or in some cases, simply run away. But we must never confuse self-doubt, fear or previous failures as inadequacy. So what does this all mean? Well, for me, it means that I spend a good deal of time hugging a pillow on the couch while watching television. But the alternative is hiring a babysitter to watch my children while I go on meaningless dates with sub-par suitors just because they asked. But the greater piece to this is when I get ready for bed and see myself in the mirror as I wash my face, that I see beyond the physical imperfections and internal critiques and see myself as I truly am: an amazing woman that is worth more than she gives herself credit for, that deserves the very best in life and love and will one day, if she doesn’t sell herself short and settle, find fulfillment in such a way that she can scarcely remember ever being without it.
We were in a hurry at the local Kroger. I wanted to get home quickly before Glee started. Dozier wanted to go to the toy section.
Me: “Don’t talk back to me, Doe, I’m tired of it.”
Dozier: “The Constitution ensures that I have the inalienable right of free speech.”
Me: “You are correct; unless it encroaches on the freedom of others. And if Child Protective Services sends me to jail for kicking your butt in Kroger, your free speech will encroach on my freedom to sit on the sofa, watch Glee and eat this spinach dip.”