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Dreamer worries about losing her head at work

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Today’s dreamer has taken big steps toward putting her dream into the context of her waking life events. We can readily see how her dream offers insights into her new job and the office politics she fears.

Dear Carolyn,

I had a dream about navigating customs at a Turkish airport. A manager from my real-life office, a woman of Middle Eastern ancestry, helped me through customs in my dream world. There was a bathroom at the airport with make-up bottles that women had thrown away because they knew they could not take liquid make-up through customs. There was a maze-like hallway in the dream with switchbacks and dead ends. The bathroom was at the end of one of these turnaround points.

In real life, this particular woman from the dream seems to be one of the up and comers, one of the insiders in my new office situation where a surprising number of seemingly good individuals (in my judgment) have been re-assigned, demoted, or have resigned recently. Could it be that things are not always what they seem on the surface, whether it is a woman painted with make-up or a people engaged in office politics? Will it help to stop wearing make up to work? Or, could it be that make-up is a metaphor for wearing a game face or not wearing make-up could be a metaphor for being my authentic self? Just curious. In real life, I realize there will always be office politics, but it always makes me shiver a bit when the axe falls and heads roll. Now I know how Anne Boleyn must have felt. Please don't use my real name in your column. I would hate to lose my head by someone else's hand! I have enough trouble keeping it on my shoulders.

Signed,

The Queen’s Sister

Dear Sister,

You have many good leads to follow in your dream and your insights are right on track.

You mention that you are in a new job and the manager who guides you in your dream is helping you “navigate customs.” Consider it a play on words. Rather than the literal meaning of passing through airport customs, you have to learn the norms and conventions – the customs – of your new workplace. Happily, you have a guide or role model who is an “up and comer, an office insider” who knows the pitfalls of the terrain. Follow her example.

You don’t have to stop wearing your make-up to work! Rather, your dream suggests that you should be yourself, and you can do that with your make-up on as usual. True, we all have game faces, or work faces that differ from our casual faces. We adjust our manners and mannerisms to the various situations in which we operate during the course of a day.

Be yourself, work diligently and you will fare well in your new environment – so long as you don’t dally with the King!

Sweet Dreams to You!

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