Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Getting Back to Dreams

When I was a child, I had a lot of recurring nightmares. One that I remember in particular involved me being trapped somewhere, locked away by a bad person. In the dream, my father would take an axe and chop down the door, rescuing me and giving me a small white flower. Well, actually, what he handed me was a weed now that I think about it. We had these weeds that were all over the place where I grew up. They produced these little tiny white flowers that looked sort of like tiny tulips. I always gathered them up and gave them to my mom, or displayed them in tiny cups in our kitchen like they were my prized roses. No one could have told me they were weeds at that time--they were just too beautiful. Anyway, there was more to this dream than I can remember now. It was intense, and I always woke up in a sweat. But, it ended the same every time, with him handing me the weed/flower. I'd love to know what this dream all meant, but unfortunately I don't remember enough of it now to have it analyzed.

At various times in my life, I have had the usual stress dreams, where you are late for a final for a course you have never attended. Or you can't find your final at all. I dappled in sleep walking during my teen years, waking up cross-legged in our living room, or sitting in front of a bowl of half-eaten oatmeal at 3 in the morning. These episodes always occurred when I was under a lot of stress.

But, I also had some wonderful dreams as I grew up. Dreams of flying high above the rooftops, my feet as my fuel, kicking as if I were swimming across our old dilapidated city swimming hole. The faster my feet would kick, the higher I could float. It would take me high above everyone and into the clouds where everything was peaceful and calm. And the feelings I had waking from this flying dream! Actually, it closely resembles the vibe I get after a really long and hard run--endorphins buzzing and this good tired feeling that can become quite addictive.

But, here’s what gives me pause today in thinking about dreams for this entry. I don’t know that I have them anymore. Well, technically, experts say you always have dreams. It is just a matter of whether or not you remember them. But, with that said, I haven’t remembered a dream in a very long time.

As my mind tries to wrap itself around what that could all mean, my the usual insecure voices echo in my mind.

“Maybe it means you’re not really happy.”
“Maybe it means something is missing, and you’re not living the life you should be living.”
“Maybe it means there is something really wrong with you."

Those negative thoughts, like a devil on one shoulder, are then matched by the logical thoughts, perched on the other shoulder in their angel garb.

“Maybe this just means you’re an exhausted mother of two who is facing a lot right now.”
“Maybe a lot of adults don’t remember their dreams due to the chaos that runs their lives.”
“Maybe it is your insomnia, you don’t get into that full sleep mode so you CAN’T dream.”

Whatever the case, it bothers me to think of this. As I struggle with trying to figure out how to change my life for better health and push myself to work on the small-but-nagging issues that hover over my marriage, this dream thing is just one more thing in a long list of must-fixes for me. But, there is a very real and fast-growing part of me that is tired of making that list.

I have been telling myself lately, “When I’m 40, I will say, ‘What the f#$k’ to all of it.” While this is still a few years away, I tell myself when I am 40 that I will be me, unapologetically and confidently. I will not worry what others think and will not make these unattainable lists and goals for myself. I will live my life at peace with myself completely, looking in the mirror and not sighing but smiling for a change. And, oh, when I am 40 I will dream those flying dreams and feel that euphoria as I wake to start a new day in my own skin--so glad to be alive and be me.

As for the rest of my late 30s, I just hope to keep my sanity with this kids and to start remembering some dreams again…flying or not. Because, everyone needs to dream, right?

The theme this week at Mama Says Om is Dreams. Go check out what others wrote about this or write something yourself!


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