Holiday dreaming

Happy Monday! I’ve been in Australia a week today and feeling very much on holidays now, so forgive me this next month if I’m not posting here three times a week as usual. I will try to stay checked in but this next couple of weeks, at least, will be quite busy. Tomorrow I head to Melbourne for a couple of days and I’ll meet Mike there around noon on Friday. We’ll head straight down south for the wedding of good friends, Tristan and Amber (last night I dreamed this wedding took place on a plane, with a pay-as-you-go buffet). After their wedding Mike and I are jaunting off to Tasmania for a few days to take a “just us” holiday, and then we fly back up here for the week before Christmas. We fly back to Laos on the 27th of December and life and blogging will then resume normal rhythm. That’s the theory, anyway.

So while we’re on the topic of dreams, do any of you have recurring dreams that you puzzle over? I’m a very vivid dreamer, often having what Mike calls “crackpipe dreams” – vibrant dreams that make no logical sense – but my recurring dreams are much more prosaic.

I have two types of recurring dreams. One type is set in an airport – I’m running through the airport because I’m late for my plane, or the plane is delayed, or I’m on the wrong flight, or I’m stuck on a plane and we’ve already been in the air for 55 hours, or I’m trapped in a plane at the bottom of the ocean looking desperately for my passport before I try to swim for the surface because I can’t leave my passport behind… that sort of thing.

The other type of recurring dream I have just as frequently, maybe more, and it’s much less self-explanatory. In this dream I’m almost always my own age, with two masters degrees, and a decade of work experience, etc, but I suddenly find myself back in high school. Something had gone wrong way back then and I missed an essential graduation requirement somewhere along the way. So now, in my thirties, I have to go back and do this thing (usually repeat an entire year, with special emphasis on calculus and French classes) so that I can validate my high school graduation. If I don’t go back to high school it’ll invalidate everything I’ve accomplished since then. So weird, and so freaky, because these high school dreams are usually the “this is absolutely completely totally happening to me” and I wake up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding and I am always so relieved to realize that I am really not facing another year of calculus classes and teenage posturing that it almost makes having the dream worth it.

What about you? Any recurring dreams that make you shake your head and wonder where this stuff is coming from?

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16 responses to “Holiday dreaming

  1. My recurring dream has many different settings, but the basic premise is always the same: It’s my wedding day, and then I end up running off and jilting my would-be groom. (The groom changes – sometimes it’s someone I know from real life, and other times he remains a faceless, nameless character.) Once I jilted the guy because they forgot to decorate the church with lilies. Another time, I simply told him I didn’t want to get married and we went to the beach instead. Generally, everyone around me is shocked and horrified by the events, but I always feel like a great weight is lifted off of me and I’m free again.

    My friends have many theories about what these dreams mean, of course. 😛

    • Yes, I can imagine your friends have a field day with those ones. Too funny! Have you ever actually followed through with the ceremony and dreamed that you DID get married? How did you feel in that dream??

      • So far, I remain contentedly single in real life and in my dreams. I think I’d be shocked if I had a wedding dream where I did get married. And I fully expect to have a barrage of these sorts of dreams right before I actually do get married.

        • Now I’m trying to remember what I was dreaming about before I got married. I can’t remember specific wedding-related dreams but I’m sure I had them. There are probably some written down in my journal somewhere.

  2. Ohh…. dreams. Love it. My recurring dreams usually have bears in them. I’m somewhere, usually in Alaska, and there is a bear outside or inside whatever building I am in. The last time I had the dream I was in a warehouse with a polar bear, a black bear, and a brown bear. At some point in the dream I realized it was a dream and that I was going to escape. Come to think of it, I haven’t had bear dreams since.

    • That realization that you’re in a dream and that you can control it is called lucid dreaming, I think. Some people get so good at it that they talk about using their dreams as a sort of private night-time “choose your own adventure” where they make all sorts of fantastical things happen.

  3. I have the same airport dream as you, only I’m always running through the terminals looking for a restroom, but they’re all filthy and out in the open, and my flight’s about to leave without me!

    Plus I’ve always had reoccuring dreams of playing on the beach, then a tsunami comes and washes everyone else away. When I was little I dreamt I was a wolf running through pine forests and would wake up exhausted, but I haven’t had that one in a long time now.

    I like reading about other people’s dreams! good topic. 🙂

    • It’s so interesting, isn’t it! Ah, airport bathrooms… bathrooms haven’t factored into my airport dreams but I wonder if they’ll start too now after my misadventures in Bangkok last week.

  4. My recurring dreams are always war related with planes and bombs and guns and shooting, etc. Always quite exhausting, but somehow I always seem to survive unscathed.

  5. I have an exciting, vivid dream life. It usually makes me excited to go to sleep but, like Nic, many of my recurring dreams are war related. I am getting bombed, shot at or chased – I wake up in full flight or fight mode.

    My most common dreams are about people I interact with in daily life. I love it when my parents, close friends and family members appear. I have even had some dreams, insignificant and seemingly innocuous ones, that have come true. The expereince of having people say exactly the same things they said in my dream in exactly the same circumstances is unnerving at best. Have you ever had this happen, Lisa?

    • Sometimes I get deja vu related to dreams when things happening in real life will remind me of things that I dreamed about, but I can’t think of any specific times right now when I’ve had that sense of “oh my word, I dreamed this exactly this way and now it’s happening!”

  6. I have had the “go back to high school” dream many times, with my current self having to go back. For awhile there, I was having to deal with getting babysitters/daycare to care for my children during classes. I haven’t had that dream in awhile!

    As a child, I had a terrifying dream about being the driver of a run-away vehicle. I haven’t had that dream since I learned how to drive.

    I have a dream in which I am walking through (different buildings) with my husband. The lights go out and we know it is foul play; he puts his arm around me. Then, at some point, I realize it is no longer my husband and the ‘bad guy’ has taken him out and is now holding me. I usually get so scared at that point, I wake up.

    I don’t dream pleasant things, or at least I don’t remember them. Does anyone have good dreams??

    • Yeah, I’m with you. The dreams that I remember are usually not good ones. It’s much more commen than I’ll wake up from a dream and think it was a weird or scary dream than I wake up thinking “wow, that was an awesome dream” though it does happen very occaisionally. I used to occaisionally have a dream that I’d killed someone – often a member of my family – accidentally. That was a horrible dream but I haven’t had that one in a while. I do also have dreams regularly now where I’m running or fleeing from something (or, trying to, but not actually being able to run fast or call for help) and I wake up feeling as if I’ve run a marathon.

  7. My dreams are frequent and mostly just weird. I’ve had dreams that seem to be sequels or prequels to each other in some sort of related way and I’ve also had the same dream that is identical night after night. There is one that sticks in my crawl above all others, however. In my dream I am walking down a long, pitch black hallway – or at least it seems a hallway. To my left is absolute nothingness, a cosmic black hole that doesn’t end and that I cannot bring myself to venture into. To my right (brace yourselves) is an endless row of washing machines and clothes dryers. Yes, those ordinary household items that most people feel grateful to own on most occasions. Only in this dream, these “ordinary” machines are snapping their lids and flapping their front-loading doors at me, the dryers succeeding in sucking me in for a few tumbles and spitting me back out only to be sucked in by another one down the line. The path that I am walking is like the flimsy and narrow plank that sailors were made to walk to their death in the vast darkness of the open sea. Ahead of me is a beam of light worthy of a star on Broadway, illuminating (brace yourselves, again)a colossal pile of garbage that is not unlike the animated leaf piles in a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon. A perpetually churning pile of garbage with another toothless, faceless mouth waiting to swallow me up. When I turn to look behind me in desperate, clawing hope of escape, all that is there is the nothingness lined with those mouthy machines. With no other choice but forward I wring my hands as I continue to walk the plank, ever closer to the garbage pile. Upon the edge of the garbage pile I am immediately sucked into it and tossed about like a rubber ball in a brick hallway. Back and forth, deeper and deeper I find myself until I find I am no longer able to catch my breath. It is at this time that I am somehow able to pull myself out of this suffocating oblivion of a nightmare. Sitting bolt upright in bed I suck in gulps of precious cold air between whimpers of fear as I look frantically around my room for confirmation that I am indeed awake. Enter one of my parents, looking somewhere between worried and agitated that my restless dream-filled sleep woke them up. Upon asking what’s wrong I start mumbling about trash piles and rabid washing machines. Now, I’m not sure what was going through their heads when I tried explaining this dream to them. I only know that after the third or fourth time of trying to explain it I quit in eye-rolling embarrassment. I’m sure they would have interpreted it as my messy room with piles of clothing all over creeping into my sleep and smothering me. Ergo, time to clean up!! No, I didn’t want to hear that particular interpretation, thanks very much.
    Fortunately, as I got older, I was able to wake myself up before I got sucked into the garbage pile and, in later years, thankfully I was relieved of having the dream altogether. Although I fully expect to have it tonight now that I’ve immortalized it on electronic paper.

    • Did you have it that night? I hope not – it doesn’t sound like a super fun dream to have at all! Hope you’re having a good week before Christmas – free of awful dreams full of machines.

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