LI NA: I’m more than 40 years old now. I once had a dream, about 28 years ago. It was during the time that I was taking the entry exams for university. The dream had a happy ending, that’s why I still remember it quite well. I was in high school at the time. One day the chemistry teacher gave us some homework. One of the exercises was very difficult, I couldn’t find the answer. My classmates couldn’t, either. When I came home, I tried again but I still couldn’t work it out, so I went to sleep. Then I dreamt that I knew how to solve the exercise. In the dream I went through it step by step, and finally I reached the solution. I told myself to wake up while I could still remember it, so I got up and wrote the answer down. The next day I gave it to my teacher, and it was perfectly correct, every single step was correct! And I was the only one of the whole class who had found the answer. Later in my life, when I already had a job, the same thing happened to me again a few times. I was working in mechanical design and I had to deal with lots of numbers and calculations, so whenever there was something I didn’t understand, it would show up in my dreams. Of course, I didn’t always find the answer in the dream, but this kind of dream is one that I have very often.
My present job is to do with architecture, so I also need to use a lot of mathematics. And some fragment of those calculations always appears in my dreams. It’s probably because I’m always thinking about these work related things. My dreams don’t always help me solve problems, but I think they show that I take my job very seriously and that I always try to do my best. I don’t think I have those dreams because I feel too much pressure or because I feel that I can’t work things out. The dream from my schooldays, about the chemistry exercise, made me feel that my wishes can come true at a certain level. I wanted to go to university but I didn’t pass the entry exam. I think this dream in a way tells me what it is like to pass an exam. From that moment on, my work has always appeared in my dreams.
In my job, I do a lot of writing and counting, it’s not that stressful. I used to work in mechanical design, and now I’m working for an architecture firm. It’s a job that fits me, I don’t feel too much pressure. Sometimes, when I think a lot about my work, it shows up in my dreams. But I hardly ever dream about my daily life, such as my family, my feelings. Maybe that’s because I’m quite outgoing and sociable, I don’t feel depressed easily. I take my work very seriously. I was dismissed from my former job because of the economic reforms, but I found another job. If you’re not hard working, it’s very difficult to find another job when you’re dismissed. That’s why I’m so serious about my work.
I think my dreams reflect my attitude towards my job, they are not so much related to my daily life. Sometimes I feel pressure, even though I have a job. I was dismissed because of the economic reforms, not because I wasn’t working hard enough. It wasn’t that difficult for me to find another job. I had studied some economics at school and now I’m working for an architecture firm. The company trained me for the new job, they taught us some skills that we needed for this work. We also got the work permit, that was very important. Only the salary isn’t very high, so my financial situation isn’t totally satisfactory. But I still like my job. It’s not easy to find a new job when you’re dismissed. That’s why I work hard.