March 13, 2004

dream credentials

I had an interesting dream last night. I donít remember much anymore, unfortunately, but I know I was in a large group of people Ė women, I think. And I was telling them something with a voice of authority because this particular something was a thing I knew a lot about. They liked what I had to say and it spawned a long conversation. Then I said I had to go.

Hereís the interesting part: as I was saying goodbye, the main woman, the groupís leader or main speaker or something, said ďHow do you know this? What are your credentials?Ē

I replied: ďI donít have any. I lived it and thatís plenty.Ē Then I walked out.

I remember this moment vividly, almost as if it happened in my waking life. I was gloating and shaking at the same time. Proud that I knew my value, that I meant my words. Also astonished at myself.

It doesnít take a dream analyst to interpret this one.

For many years, I had real credentials. I attended a prestigious university where I didnít entirely goof off, then I worked as an assistant editor on highly respected TV shows and well known schlocky horror movies. It wasnít my work on display but it was a list and people could nod and say ďOh yes,Ē and it felt safe.

After that, I had what Iíd call fake credentials. I was trying to make it as a screenwriter and I always had something in the works. I could talk about options and promises and agents and hope. After a while, I could talk about competition placements and even a tiny bit of income. (Miniscule, trust me. My bank balance didnít even notice.) It was all air but it still sounded like something even though it wasn't. And that mattered to me, that it sounded like value.

And then? Well, I donít have any credentials at all now. I parent and I write. Someday Iíll be published, maybe even sooner than someday. And that will be important for the validation and the chance to get my words out there, but in the end it is not the main event. Itís the corollary to the main event. Which is living it. I know that now.

Posted by Tamar at March 13, 2004 10:26 PM

No no no, what you were REALLY doing last night was explaining to me where I could get cardboard cogs and gears. Seriously. (see my dream entry)

Posted by: toni at March 13, 2004 11:27 PM

Or maybe you and I will go off and get that Ph.D. in creative writing at USC together, and finally be students in the same place......

Posted by: Chris at March 14, 2004 07:48 AM

Toni, heh, maybe I was, at that. Or explaining it to a whole room full of people? Either that, or I had a busy night, running between your dream and my own.

Chris, I'd love it if you ended up at USC, but believe you me, I have no desire to go back to school. Not even a little. And I think the point of my dream is that I don't need a credential like that. I just need to be me.

Posted by: Tamar at March 14, 2004 09:43 PM