I’m a very interesting dreamer, I swear to God and I have a cool ability when I’m asleep to know that I’m dreaming and wake myself up if the dream isn’t going my way.
I have three recurring dreams and they are so typical I’m ashamed to admit it. Neil laughs when I tell him what they are – he thinks I’m making it up because they are the posterchildren for every dumb anxiety dream and other people have them too. I can’t stop having them. Why can’t my anxiety dreams be more interesting?
Last night I had ALL THREE dreams. ALL THREE! It’s insane. Usually I have one of these dreams a week and they shuffle themselves around like songs on an iPod.
I’m in college and I hear that it’s the end of the semester. I don’t remember ever going to one class or completing one assignment. It’s not so much about will I pass the final exam as will I get the assignments done, will I get the teachers to let me turn them in late, will I find out what time and where my classes are? I usually spend the dream running around the maze of the college, which looks more like a high school, trying to find the main office so I can have them print up my schedule for me. I’m usually really embarassed to have someone print me my schedule and it never gets that far. Sometimes in the dream I do remember a class I’m supposed to be in and I go and I’m super motivated about it and the assignments seem easy and once I leave the class I forget all over again where it is and what is due. Oh and I have no books. In last night’s version of this dream I lived in a big house and was organizing every closet in it and thinking that is way more important than finishing out the semester.
I wake up and I’m living in New York City again. I have a million roommates who are all very young and I live in a very, small room that I share with someone. One of my roommates I’ve never met but she seems to know me very well. I keep asking her who she is. I keep saying, “I used to live in L.A.” Usually one of my roommates will tell me that in the middle of the night I left L.A. and somehow it becomes clear that moving back to L.A. is irreversible. I am left with a pit in my stomach and a desperate sadness, I don’t want to live in NYC again. I don’t want to start over. I don’t want a million roommates. But I start to put on emotional blinders and come up with a plan to “make this all okay.” I never come up with a plan to try to get the hell out, just a plan to shut down and not feel anything and accept this fate and try to make the best of it.
I ‘come to’ and am in the dream and I’m usually holding hands or having dinner with a guy that I’ve never met. I sort of get nervous for a minute because it feels like I’m cheating on Neil. The guy is in mid-conversation and I feel like I’ve been dropped into the situation halfway through, from another planet or something. There is no “beginning” to this dream. He senses that I’m freaking out silently and when I tell him that I’m not sure why I’m here and that I’m already dating someone named Neil – he tells me I’m crazy and that he and I have been together for a long time and there is no Neil. I don’t know how I know this but it’s somehow clear in the dream that the guy is not lying or shady, it’s me who does not remember her life and feels weird. Usually for some reason in this particular dream I can always wake myself up from it and say, “Jen, you’re having that dream again.” And I thank myself and wake up.
These dreams have got to be about failure. Got to be. I just wish they’d change it up a little.