Ever wake up from a dream that makes you reconsider your sanity? At the time you experienced it, the dream was so vivid and real that you woke up and it took a few moments to realize it was just a dream.
Sleep is supposed to be a time to rest in between climbing the mountains of life – not a place of terror, psychedelia or some fucked up version of Alice in Wonderland. The worst is when you dream about being at work, which I used to get a lot of when I worked 10-14 hours shifts at a country club, so it felt like I never left the place.
In high school, I remember I woke up from a dream furious because in that dream, my mom let my aunt borrow my car. At this point in my life, I was one of the few in my neighborhood who had a car, so I was our taxi to school. I was yelling at my mom (even though they bought it for me, I was such an ungrateful shithead) and she started laughing. Puzzled, I wondered why. She told me to look outside and assured me I was dreaming.
Lately, I’ve been having some pretty strange dreams. Some are recurring and have popped up for many years. Ever get that dream where you’re taking a test and don’t know any of the answers? In my dream, it’s a German test. People all around me are finishing the test and I can’t even get one answer completed. Never mind the fact that I hadn’t taken German since undergrad five years ago. Maybe there’s a message in there, “Hey go use your German degree.” Honestly, the most use I have gotten for this is through team trivia, teaching my friends German swearwords or getting out of actually having to share a “fun fact” about me during icebreakers.
Other times, I have dreams about being late to work or wearing no clothes. I have no idea why I have these dreams; I am a very punctual person to the point where I get anxiety over being late. As for the clothing portion, I have crapped my pants before, but I’m not sure where that comes into play. In these dreams, no one seems to notice that I am using computer paper or a folder to cover my naked self like sort of an Emperor’s New Clothes kind of thing.
One I get pretty frequently is reaching on top of my head and pulling out hair. As I get older, I see many of my friends’ hairlines recede at a pretty rapid pace. As someone with a decent head of hair, this scares me. I wake up and have to run my hands through my hair to assure that no, it isn’t my hair that’s all over my pillow, it’s my 75 lb. lab/pit Tank that decided during the night to curl around my head. Between this one and the one where my teeth fall out, I’m pretty terrified of why my brain thinks like this.
All of these strange dreams make me question myself on a daily basis. After speaking to others, at least I can assure myself that I’m not entirely crazy, but maybe there’s a cause for concern. Luckily for me, I don’t get the pregnancy scare dreams like some of my female writers, but I do remember in college when a condom broke and I lost like 15 lbs. due to my nerves and played Kenny Chesney’s “There Goes My Life” on repeat for a week.
Maybe Freud might say something about these kind of dreams. Maybe my anxiety about stupid things manifests itself in dreams. Maybe I had too many beers before bed. My psychology knowledge sits at the Psych 101 level, so I never really got into the analysis of dreams. I guess if you read into anything too much, it has some sort of meaning.
I spend a lot of time pondering life. Ever notice right when you’re lying down to go to sleep you remember every cringeworthy thing, mistake or failure you’ve ever had? The times we are supposed to relax and settle down often bring the most anxiety. I guess there’s some meaning to this after all..
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