“I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?”-John LennonOn Wednesday night, I dreamed that I was engaged to Alec Baldwin. In the dream, we were the same age, and it seemed like maybe instead of being an actor he was a wealthy socialite. He proposed to me with an enormous sapphire and diamond ring, and later as I walked alone back to the penthouse suite at the hotel we were staying in, I thought about ordering a martini from room service. And I felt it. In my heart, pure joy. I knew in that moment that I was getting everything I'd ever wanted, my dreams were coming true, and my life was as near to perfect as it could get. I was so happy.
In the end, the content of the dream is inconsequential. I've never even had a daydream about Alec Baldwin or wished for a life without kids. But the feelings...
Nine years later, I dream of a boy I used to know, one of my true friends in life, and I feel the loss of him like he had died. Ten years later, I still dream about people I used to work with and wake up missing them so much it feels like my heart is breaking. I rarely have nightmares, but when I do they are so real they can leave me in tears for a whole day, or more.
Yesterday morning, I awoke with the feeling that I was going to have the life I'd always wanted, and then it was gone.
It stuck with me all day. In my head, it feels completely ridiculous. I love my friends, my family, my children. I don't wish this life away, and even if I did, realistically this crazy dream life is just that, CRAZY. But the feeling in my heart, or my gut, was so real that it stuck with me all day long, and gave me this weird nostalgic melancholy. Thursday evening I found myself in my car holding back tears as I drove my husband to the ER.
Not only do I not have the dream life, but in my real life I am driving my husband to the ER for a badly sprained foot that looked so bad when he took his sock off that for several minutes I was completely convinced it was broken. In my real life I hadn't had dinner, I was going to go over my points for the day, I gained weight last week and am having a really hard time not just eating everything I can see, I'm overweight and far from perfect or beautiful. I have two kids who had exhausted me, a 21 month old who was completely fussy and cried as I left him with my Mom to hop in the car.
I felt overwhelmed and sad and on top of it all incredibly silly for letting something so trivial and so far from reality influence my day at all. The past year has been really, really hard. Some days, it's overwhelming. It's true that right now, while parts of my life ARE what I've always wanted, other parts are far from it. It's something that I'm working on, and most days I have hope that this year will end on a higher note than the last - well, in a whole other octave really. I guess when I sleep and my inhibitions are gone and I don't have to be anything for anybody else, my mind purges the feelings.
Sometimes, I wish that I did not dream like this. When I have a good dream, I often think about it for hours after I'm awake, closing my eyes and letting the feelings was over me, holding on to the memories of it as they slowly slip away back into the ether from whence they came. When I have the rare bad dream, I want it to go so badly, but it sticks with me and makes me feel like I'm losing control of my own mind.
In the end, I can't control it. I've never been a lucid dreamer, and my mind needs to work out what it needs to work out. Maybe there are just feelings inside me that need to be felt, and I'm not in a place where I can feel them for what they are, so I feel them through the untruths of my dreams. I don't love this longing for something that I'm left with, but I try to accept that it just means that I'm processing the things that need to be processed and maybe that's the only answer I need.
"Dreams are symbolic in order that they cannot be understood; in order that the wish, which is the source of the dream, may remain unknown."- Carl JungHow do you dream?