“… I’d like my life back, please.”

That’s all she said. I stood there in my Tigger pajama pants, oversized “Here Moosey, Moosey” t-shirt, pink fuzzy slippers and requisite hair scrunchy blinking slowly. I must have just gaped one second too long, because she narrowed her gaze and stepping one step closer in her freshly pressed, desert-sand linen suit with the pencil skirt and white blouse, kitten-heel pumps (not even dusty, how did she manage that?), elegantly understated gold jewelry, casually but perfectly coiffed hair, with just a hint of Shalimar in the air, stared very intently at me and repeated, a little louder than needed, “I really appreciate all you’ve done, but I’d really like my life back.”

Suddenly, in the blink of an eye I was back in a one-bedroom rental, struggling to establish myself in the fatalistic world of contract analysts, and dating a string of never-married (for a reason) or twice-divorced (and still in love with, or planning the accidental death of, their ex-wives) 40 to 65-year-olds.

This sucks.

I really liked my life. I mean, I was married to a wonderful man who delighted me and made me laugh. We were living in a rent-free-furnished enormous apartment in Cairo, Egypt. I had the luxury of not-working, exploring a new city, reading as much as I could get my hands on, volunteering, learning a new language, playing with writing and photography and feeling like I was really living the life I’d always dreamed of.

… And you think that was real?

Well, yes, I do. I mean, it’s not like I coasted or sat on my laurels (wherever they are). I worked at this; I put a lot of thought and effort and energy and love into it.

… And you’ve been appropriately thanked for it. Your efforts were not in vain. They were appreciated. Now go.

But… I want it… it could’a been me… I can wear kitten heels if I have to.

(Anxiety dream brought to you by un-addressed issues and a wee too much pessimism lurking in the shadows after midnight.)