Dawg is doing a new thing this week, just as he’s falling asleep at night. He’s kind of either on or off, and when he crashes around 9:30 or so he does an abrupt startle, and makes a sound like a squeaky-toy. I only know it’s not an actual squeaky-toy because it happened when he fell asleep on my lap the other day: the startle and the squeaky-toy noise, and then he folded himself up into the tiniest little ball in my cross-legged lap and burrowed down as far as he could go, till he was completely wrapped up. Then he fell asleep for good. I just wanted to bundle him up and give him giant treats and let him chew on my shoes, because I never want him to be scared, even if he’s just dreaming.
Last night he did it three times in a row. He was already in his crate with the lights out, and it scared the heck out of me. I did the nervous parent thing and snuck in to check on him all three times and make sure he was still breathing.
I think he’s doing that thing we all do: you’re warm and safe and drifting into a deep sleep, when suddenly you’re dreaming that you’re falling, and your whole body reacts involuntarily to keep your dream self upright, and you wake yourself up. When I was little, Dad told me it was called a “myoclonic jerk.” He had a name for everything.
This is not another dog post, not exactly. I’ve been thinking all day that it’s exactly how I feel right now: on the verge of falling, flailing a little, righting myself, waking up dazed. I’m on the verge of a big professional change, but not the way I wanted it or expected it. Working for a sole-proprietor business is a risky place to be, if something happens to the sole-proprietor. Nobody’s said it yet, not to me, but we’re closing, and sooner rather than later.
I’m fighting with what I want (the open road) versus what I need (to finish seven more months of intern hours) versus what I should do (take the first architecture job I can find) versus what I might do (hold out for an urban design job) versus what I dream about doing (figure out how to make a living as a writer) versus what would be fun to do (I can bake the hell out of anything you ask me to) versus what I may have to do (temp or substitute teach while I job search) versus what I wish I could do (sing honky tonk songs and be paid to travel around the world and tell stories about it).
I don’t currently have a lap in which I can curl, which would actually be quite a help right this minute. Leash Entanglement Training is going pretty well, but Dawg has not yet ensnared any Handsome Cowboys, Handsome Carpenters, Handsome Filmmakers, Handsome Geek Chic Artsy Types; in fact, has not ensnared anyone but me, so I’m on my own for this round of major transition. Yeah yeah yeah. Dawg loves me, family loves me, friends love me, but when I have that panicked falling feeling at 3 a.m. in my own bed, it’s just me. I hate that panicked feeling at 3 a.m. Nobody should be allowed to think anything at 3 a.m.
And yet: I sincerely, wholeheartedly, fervently believe of everyone else in my particular situation, most particularly all the people I love when they face uncertain times: good things are ahead, the scariest changes are often the ones we need most, things work out as they should, getting the rug pulled out from under us often leads us to a much, much better place. Eventually.
Leap, and the net will appear. You remind me, and I’ll remind you.