Last night I had a Doctor Who/Social Worker dream.
I’m a huge fan of Doctor Who. I love the charm. I love the cheesy adventures (some of them.) I like a lot of the music, and many of the companions, the complex storylines, the epic hero cycle, the history of the television show itself… Doctor Who, what’s not to love?
Occasionally I have Doctor Who dreams, and they’re some of my most favorite dreams to have. Last night I dreamt I was a school social worker and monsters were eating the children. Through a complex turn of events, the Doctor (David Tennant) and Shadow Doctor from the TARDIS Past (Christopher Eccleston, and no, this is not a real Doctor Who thing, my dreaming mind made it up because Eccleston is my favorite Doctor) came and with their sonic screwdrivers, they zapped some library book shelves, got some monster aliens, and saved the day and the children and I was a very happy social worker indeed.
But as the dream kept on going, I realized that my hand would turn blue every time it came close to Timelord technology, which could be found, surprisingly, in many places. And then the Doctor told me that it was because I had Timelord blood in me, too, which was why I aged so well and was so very clever. (ha!)
Upon waking, I stayed in bed with my warm blankets and pillows and cats and dog, reluctant to wake up and study and do flash cards and do my time sheets and go to my internship and think about discussion board questions and contemplate research questions and send my report for my prison visitation and all of these things. Wouldn’t I much rather stay in my warm bed and think about my adventures with the Good Doctor?
My social work adventures with the good Doctor? Where I have seemingly magical powers that help me be clever and defeat evil? Where I can save children and save the day and do all of those things I’d never, ever do in my own life? Because being a school social worker is hard, and honestly, I’m not very interested in that type of work. That’s like, social justice advocacy stuff, and I feel like I’m really not cut out for something intense and, well, hard, like being a school social worker.
But if I were a Timelord, would it be different? There’s an internet game that goes around where you pick what type of Timelord you’d be. The closest item of clothing to you right now would be your signature item (mine is an old gray grandpa sweater), the last person to text you is your companion (mine is a spam text asking to me by girlfriend), and your job is your name. I’m a student right now, and being called the Student as a Timelord sounds like it has quirky potential. But in a few years it will be a Social Worker.
The Social Worker.
Oh, here comes the Social Worker! She’s gonna manage all of our caseloads and advocate for client rights and say stuff like “how does that make you feel?” and “do you want to talk about it?” and “oh, that must be very hard for you” and “thank you for taking that risk. That was very brave.”
The Social Worker.
And so I’ve been thinking about that all morning. How in my dream, with the Doctor, I was very brave. I wasn’t just brave fighting off monsters, but being a school social worker is a brave job, too. And I realize that I’ve been talking about certain types of social work like it’s not “for me” because I’m not very brave, and so many jobs in social work need brave people.
The juvenile justice track at my school? Oh no. I’m not cut out for that. That’s for those other people, not me. Working in a drug rehabilitation center? That’s for those other people. I’m not cut out for that. I’m not strong enough to work in a prison, and I’m not talented enough to work with people with schizophrenia. All I want is my nice clean private practice with nice quiet people who have something like depression or anxiety. Depression and anxiety? Those are monsters I can defeat. Anything more than that, like, a borderline personality disorder, well, that’s a monster I might need the Doctor to help me with.
But in my dream, my hands turned blue when I came in contact with Timelord technology, and that was because I had a little bit of Timelord blood in me. And because of this, I was able to fight off monsters, too. I was able to work in something really really really hard like school social work. I could do it. In my dreams I could fight the big monsters.
So maybe, just maybe, I do have a little bit of Timelord blood in me. And while I hope my hands don’t start turning blue, I hope I am able to use that strength and cleverness, the wisdom of the Timelords. Maybe I’m stronger than I think I am, and maybe I can fight even the biggest, scariest monsters. I don't want to be a hero, but I want to do a good job. I want to be an effective, meaningful, useful, competent person in whatever I'm doing.
The Social Worker! (in her ugly gray sweater)