Dreaming

Apologies for the lateness of this post … an unexpected family visit took up my planned writing-time earlier in the day.  As far as I’m concerned, if I haven’t gone to bed yet, this post counts for Friday, regardless of what the clock says!

I woke up out of dreaming again this morning.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had regular nighttime dreams, or at least since I remember having them.  Either I didn’t wake up during them and so wasn’t aware, or something about my sleeping patterns had been warding them off.  In the last month, though, I’ve been dreaming a lot, and watching the changes in those dreams with interest as the days and nights pass.

During the first week after I left my job, I had a lot of very adventury dreams, populated with superheroes or secret agents, infiltrating buildings and running around doing superhero-ish stuff (sorry for the lack of detail, but those have mostly washed away now).  In a big departure from the norm, I know I was mostly one of them, one of the special people doing big, daring things.  For me that’s the stuff of daydreams more than night-dreaming, I’ve never tended to big cinematic adventure in my dreams, and I’ve certainly never been the star of such dreams if I had them.  What, me?  Save people and escape the bad guys and make big daring plans happen?  Surely not, I’m the insecure one, the hesitant one, the one who hangs back in the face of daring things.  Playing the heroine was a startling departure, and also, I have to say, a hugely fun one.  I enjoyed those dreams a lot.

The next series of dreams was muddled, as I got used to different reality and started to come to grips with the idea of needing to find something to do next, rather than just feeling the incredible relief of being done with an old, dead thing.  I don’t remember much at all of those dreams, except for a flash at the very end of one:  I was carefully walking into the mouth of a cave, very aware that I didn’t have a light and so could only go as far as the light from outside reached, but I wanted to see how far the light went.  As it was running out, I peered a little further, and discovered that farther down the cave turned into offices and computer desks, all in standby, as though shut down for the night and waiting for their operators to come back in the morning.  That one was quite shudder-worthy when I woke up.

This morning’s dream was thought-provoking, in an I-don’t-know-what-this-means-yet-but-I-feel-like-it’s-significant-somehow kind of way.  I was back at my college, I think that I was going back again for classes.  Having dreams where I am back at school are not uncommon for me, either my high school or college; usually they’re populated with a mishmash of people I knew then and people in my current life, and don’t often make sense, but I find them at least a little disturbing, even if nothing actually bad happens.  This time, I was back at college, and moving into the dorms, and discovered that I had to share a room with two other people rather than just one — and to this introverted soul who needs privacy to really relax, that was a heart-sinking moment.  Not only did I need to deal with two new roommates, they arrived before me, so I had the last pick of accommodations.   I seem to remember a “bed” that was more like a sofa, one that wasn’t long enough for me to fit in, and a really strange desk, and other odd things, as happen in dreams.  I remember feeling like it was setting up to be a challenging year.

But some of the surprises were positive ones.  My roommates seemed like genuinely good, considerate people; I remember suggesting to one of them that it would be better if we switched wardrobes, and she readily agreed, even though she’d already put all of her things away and would need to move everything.  She agreed that what I suggested made sense, even though it meant more work for her.  The room itself was enormous, more than 10 times bigger than any dorm room I’ve ever seen — in some ways more like a gigantic studio apartment.  So there was room for three, enough space to coexist, whether or not I really liked the idea.

Most interesting of all, near the very end of the dream, my friend Sarah arrived on scene.  I don’t remember talking to her directly, in fact I don’t even know if I saw her face, but I know that it was her, and she was in the company of people I was with, and that was comforting.  One of my real-life friends was present, not just figures from my past or people I don’t even know, and that helped a lot.  And then I woke up.

I have never spent much time analyzing dreams, and I don’t think that simple systems of symbology are very useful.  The space of human experience is too wide for that.  But I’m pondering the shifts and themes of my dreams over the last few weeks, wondering what they are connecting to in my mind and heart, whether they are reaching parts of myself that my conscious mind hasn’t opened yet.  I’m wondering over the shift from recalling places and times when I was insecure and unhappy, to making up completely new places and scenarios, in which I am dropped as a confident, capable agent, often working with other such agents in pursuit of big goals. I find some encouragement in seeing that, even in the midst of a challenging and unexpected situation, there are signs of hope and support.  I hope that my deeper brain really believes that, because sometimes my waking consciousness struggles to hold onto certainty.

I want to be an agent for significant, confident change, both in my own life and in the world around me.  I hope that my mind is not just wistfully wishful in its dreaming, but is really working out how to become what it needs to be, what I need to be, in order for that hopeful, confident future to become real.

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