It was one of those “NO WAY” moments. I was talking to a person about dreams the other day and we started discussing the recurring variety. As this person spoke, my eyes widened as a dream very, very similar to one I have often was described.
Let me back up. I have two recurring dreams that both produce anxiety. The first one is pretty lame because it centers on high school football (yawn…get over yourself, Brent). When I played, I put a lot of stress on myself. In this recurring dream, I find myself in practices and at games totally unprepared. I am out of shape and overmatched. I dread taking the field because I know I am out of my league and I lack the talent and desire to be successful. In the dream I am the age I am currently, making things even more confusing (oldest high school football player ever!).
The other recurring dream, which I share with my friend, also takes place in a high school (sometimes college) setting. In the dream it dawns on me that I have neglected to attend a class all semester. It is the day of the final exam and I need to take the test. With guilt and anxiety weighing me down, I frantically pace around the school trying to find my classroom. Each time I have the dream the layout of the school is different but the feeling of hopelessness is the same.
Despite overwhelmed with negative feelings in the dream, there is always a faint sense of hope that I can somehow pull off a miracle and pass the test. Although passing a final when you didn’t go to class all semester still wouldn’t do you much good, it is a tiny piece of consolation in an otherwise gloomy dream.
Of course the ultimate consolation is when I wake up and realize I was dreaming. It Is one of the best feelings ever. I wake up in a panic but then it all fades away as I realize I don’t have football practice and I don’t have any academic obligations.
Before chatting with my friend about the dream we share, I never put it in context. I never really questioned why I was having the dream and at what times I was having it. Thankfully, the person I was speaking with offered some suggestions, at least in their particular case. Next time I have the dream I should be mindful of whether I am experiencing stress or battling deadlines at the time. For people with Type A personalities (like me), there is nothing worse than being late, missing the mark, or not doing what is required. When the dream plays out, it might parallel a situation in my actual life where I have a lot going on.
Do you ever have recurring dreams? Better yet, do you ever have the ones I experience? Whether or not, I hope you sleep well tonight! Don’t Blink.