I want to talk about dreams. To be clear, I do not mean aspirations, or goals we have for ourselves, like competing in a pie eating contest and puking up all over your opponents for barf-o-rama revenge, a la “Stand By Me”.
No, no. I’m talking about when you go to bed at night, and your brain transports you to strange locations, with zany situations. Like flying on a rainbow unicorn with David Hasselhof while you discuss the potential racist implications of a white person twerking.
If you’re lucky/unlucky enough to remember your dreams once you wake up, then this blog entry will be right up your alley.
I have always been able to remember my dreams. The first reoccurring dream that I can recall featured yours truly, and a medium sized elephant as we floated down a tropical river, on a large lily pad. That’s it. I suppose that’s all my brain could come up with at the ripe ol’ age of two.
As the years passed, I got better at dreaming. In my youth, and even extending to my late teens, I couldn’t wait to fall asleep, because I knew that a new and awesome dream was just waiting to entertain me. Can you believe I never quite made it as one one of the “cool kids”? Me neither.
But now I’m an “adult”, complete with mortgage, a husband that wants to discuss whether I think the shingles he chose for the roof are grey enough (fyi, I don’t give a fuck!), and a kid that plots my destruction on a regular basis. So the dreams have changed accordingly.
Gone are the days of fanciful, care free dreams. They died awhile ago. Now my dreams mainly consist of the same damn things: saving my kid from perilous situations, and getting rejected in new and exciting ways. These are the themes that plague my dreams. Every. Single. Night.
To be clear, I don’t mind saving my son from drowning in murky lakes, or spitting volcanoes. In fact, it feels great because I haven’t let him down once. So despite the fact that it’s always stressful, I’ve been getting better and better at it. It’s actually created a sense of confidence in me. After saving my son from all sorts of crazy situations, I feel like maybe, just maybe, I can handle this whole motherhood stuff. Which is a big revelation for me, since I wasn’t sure I could cut it. And it’s probably worth noting that these rescue dreams are a big contrast from when I first became a mom. The reoccurring dream then was a strange one: I dreamt that upon waking up, there was a very large, ominous looking stork, sitting at the edge of my bed, staring me down, questioning my abilities. No wonder I have a fear of birds…
Now let’s move on from rescuing my child, to the rejection dreams. These delightful gems come in a variety of forms. For a while, my best attempt at a sex dream would involve me trying to get busy with my husband. In real life, my husband would never reject me. He’s too desperate for that. But my dream husband is an evil, inconsiderate, horrible human being that treats me like shit. He ALWAYS rejects me. I wake up from those yelling obscenities at the real life version of my husband, and he apologizes for his dream behaviour, and life goes back to normal.
But I don’t just get rejected by my husband – no no! I get rejected by friends, co-workers, my mother, my father in law, and even the bit players in my dreams, like the grocery store clerk who wouldn’t let me into the store.
It’s equal opportunity rejection in my dream land. A free for all to tell me exactly how horrible you think I am. Like the comments section on the internet.
Freud theorized that dreams were where our sub-conscious urges were released. Sorry Freud, but I don’t completely agree with you on that. Granted, I think back when he was working, people were denying themselves of all sorts of urges. Particularly the women. I bet if I were around back then I’d have all sorts of nasty urges I’d play out in my dreams that Freud would just LOVE to dissect. But the days of hysteria are over, we’ve got the vote, and I am woman, hear me roar.
I also think sometimes dreams are just random and meaningless but because our brains are pretty kick ass, they can come up with a cool story every now and again (i.e. anything that involves flying).
But mainly, and I think this is true for most adults, that dreams are where we practice worst case scenarios so that we can handle this shit when we’re awake. It’s that primal, survival instinct in us all, and it’s helped us evolve, for better or worse, into the walking monkeys we are today.
Case in point, saving my child’s life. Last night was the most recent occurrence. I saw his head bob under the water, and quickly dove in with my eyes wide open, grabbed him confidently, and saved his life. I was ten million times better at it compared to the first time. And I got to practise without actually having to get my hair wet (which is a big hassle for me – I hate doing my hair).
But what about the rejection stuff? I was just getting to that! Two nights ago, in a dream in which I was rudely told to shut up by a group of senior executives at work, I finally stood up for myself. I told them exactly what I thought of their bullshit. And not only that, but just the other night, I screamed like a maniac at my father in law after he told me that I was annoying (“NO, YOU’RE THE ONE WHO’S ANNOYING OLD MAN!”) And like a good Canadian, once I was done yelling, I apologized profusely. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that I stood up for myself.
I am officially entering a new dream world. A dream world in which I don’t let the assholes in my dreams tell me what I am, and what they think of me. A world in which I tell them why they’re wrong, and why they have no business rejecting me. Because I don’t give a shit what they think. I say bring it on, like donkey kong!
Tonight I’m going to bed, not with fear of rejection, but instead a renewed sense of power. Instead of worrying about my dream husband rejecting my sexual advances, I’m going to get my dream samurai sword sharpened, and attack his negativity with a “Kill Bill” flourish, and chop his little dream head off. Chop, slice, splurt, splat!
Is it bed time yet? Hmm, close enough. Sweet dreams!