Sunday, September 25, 2011

Recurring dreams

First, my apologies to anyone who might have been looking at the blog on Thursday. I was switching to a new template, so the place probably looked a mess. Everything’s all spruced back up again, with some new features (social networking links) and easier navigation. And in happy news, I’ve gotten a few more reviews for Destined. One is by SexxyBlogger and the other two are over at GoodReads. (GoodReads reviews are weird sometimes: it’s not always easy to find them amidst all the “added to to-read shelf” notations. I’m not quite sure how their default sorting works.) The new ones are all 4 stars, which sometimes I think is better than 5, since people tend to take 4-star reviews more seriously. So I’m pretty pleased with them.

Now on to the blog post. One of the themes in Destined is recurring dreams. At the start of the book (I don’t feel like this is a spoiler, since this chapter is available in the excerpt online and in all the free samples), Apolline is thinking about a recurring dream she’s had all her life, where she is on a ship that’s in some sort of distress. Due to her lifelong obsession with the Titanic, she assumes that’s the identity of the ship, and the reason for her dream. Of course, we find out later it’s much more than that. ;)

As for me, I haven’t had a true, recurring dream since I was a kid. The last one I remember having was when I was in grade school. In it I was a teenager, with a bunch of teen friends in an empty movie theater (truly empty: no seats, just a big, dark room and a tall screen), being chased around by cartoon ghosts. It was pretty strange, especially since it’s the only time I can remember dreaming about myself as older than my current age. But after that, the closest I come to a recurring dream is recurring themes. When I first moved back home from Miami, I would dream all the time about my teeth shattering and falling out. I later looked it up in a dream dictionary and found the generally-accepted symbolism was concern about finances. It made sense: I’d just quit a full-time, salaried job and moved back home to take a part-time job while I figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up. (10+ years later, I’m still trying to figure that out, though I’m enjoying “author” so far.) I had school loans and credit card debt, and very little income to pay for it. After my grandparents passed away, and I was able to use some of the inheritance to pay off my debts, the dreams stopped. Thank goodness, because those teeth dreams really freaked me out.

Photo taken by meI have a lot of travel-themed dreams as well. In almost all of them, I’m in Paris. I’m not sure why: I’ve been there twice, and while it is my favorite destination so far, there are so many other places in the world I’d like to see. Maybe it’s the familiarity? Whatever the reason, I’m always in Paris, either just arriving and stuck in some airport store or shopping mall because I realized I forgot to pack something important like underwear. Or pens. I shop for pens in dreams a lot. I have no idea what that’s all about, but my dreams tend to be of the weird, what-the-hell-did-I-eat-last-night? variety. In the other version of the travel dream, it’s the end of the vacation, we’re packing up to go home, or checking out of the hotel, and I suddenly realize I didn’t see anything I wanted to while we were there, and I spend the dream panicking about how I’m going to see it all in the short time I have left. A lot of times one of the things I forget to do is climb the Eiffel Tower, so I race over there to get in line. Another time I dreamt I was stuck at the top and couldn’t get down. When I first started having the Paris dreams, they came almost weekly, and I was always traveling with the same person: a friend from high school. I dreamt it on a pretty regular basis, until we finally decided to go there together in reality. After that, she doesn’t pop up in my Paris dreams much anymore, and I don’t have them nearly as often.

Another common theme for me has always been school. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a big nerd? I actually liked school: I was an honor student, went to college, did the whole big education thing. Even contemplated grad or law school until I decided I didn’t want that much debt hanging over my head. When I was younger (in my 20s), I dreamed mostly about being back at high school, though often times, the school interior would actually be that of my old middle school. In the dreams it was usually the end of the year/semester, and time for exams, and I would suddenly realize there was a class I’d forgotten to attend, and had no clue what would be on the test. Or, I would suddenly forget my class schedule and spend most of the dream trying to remember where I put it and/or trying to get the administration office to give me a copy. (Or trying to find the admin office.) Other high school dreams would center around my locker. Either I wouldn’t be able to remember where it was at all, of I’d find it and forget the combination. The locker dreams were the most common.

Now that I’m in my 30s, I don’t seem to have the high school dreams as much. Now, I have college dreams. In those, I usually find it’s the start of the year and I’ve just moved into my dorm room. My roommate is sometimes my real college roommate from back when I was at the University of Miami, or it’s my childhood best friend or one of my close high school friends. Occasionally it’s a complete stranger, or I have no roommate at all. These dreams are almost always set entirely in the dorm or dorm room—I don’t think I ever dream about being in class (and I’ve never had that naked-in-school dream most people do). A lot of times, classes haven’t started yet, but rather it’s that time before the semester starts where everyone’s settling in and getting ready: setting up their rooms, buying textbooks, figuring out their class schedules. I sometimes have the “can’t remember/find my schedule” dream like in the high school dreams, but most of the time my back-to-college dreams find me either realizing I left important things back at home (my computer is a common one, as is a TV. I need my TV!), or trying to figure out which textbooks I need or which classes I have to go to or, in some cases, trying to find my way around my dorm building. There have been a few times where the dorm in my dream is humongous, like a massive shopping mall, and I get lost trying to find my floor.

Last night, I had the college dream again, which is what brought on this post. This time, I was sharing my dorm room with … actually, I don’t remember now. I think it was my actual college roomie, but I can’t be sure. I have a very hard time remembering dreams once I’m awake. If I don’t wake naturally from a dream, I forget it within seconds of getting up, and even if I wake slowly, I have to actively think about the details for a while to keep them in my head. Today, being Sunday, I was able to wake without an alarm, so that’s probably why the dream has stayed with me somewhat. Anyway, in the dream I was fretting over textbooks, trying to find my schedule so I would know which ones to buy. For some reason I’d waited too long to move in to the dorm, and it was already the first day of classes, and since I still didn’t know what classes I was taking, or have the books needed, I was skipping them. Not something I did much in real life (again, I was a nerd), but I skip classes in dreams a lot. The only other thing I remember is that I was trying to see if I could buy the books for my Kindle. If only Kindles had been around when I really was in college. It would have saved me so many sore shoulders!

So those are my recurring dreams. I notice that the most common theme throughout all my recurring dreams seems to be of me forgetting things. I’m sure that says something about me, but I always forget to look it up. ;) Anyone else have interesting recurring dreams?


  1. Sad to hear you don't dream about me anymore...

  2. @sharon517 Not in the Paris dreams, but sometimes you're my roommate in the college ones. :)

  3. This is so freaky I have the same dreams. The teeth, the forgetting schedule, etc