The other night, upon waking up in a cold sweat in the dead of night, I came upon the realization that I just had the same dream for the eight billionth time.
It’s not easy to remember dreams. In fact, the only dreams I do remember are the ones that occur right before I wake up. Which would make up like maybe 2% of our dreams. Sometimes I even wake up like 30 minutes before my alarm, and then go back to sleep, and have an epic, adventurous apocalyptic dream that felt like it lasted hours. But it was only like 25 minutes. I guess that gives credence to Christopher Nolan’s thinking in Inception, where dream time moves about 10 times slower than reality.
But anyway, my point is, since we remember so little of our dreams each night — it adds significance to the fact that I do remember this one specific dream so vividly. It means I have this dream a lot.
So by now you are probably all curious as to what the dream is. I will tell you.
I’m on a beach with eight naked women, and we —
Just kidding. I WISH that was a recurring dream. But, of course, it’s only the upsetting dreams that recur, and not the good ones.
So the real dream is that I am back in school. Usually it is college, but sometimes it is high school. In the dream, I come to the realization that I have not been attending one of my specific classes. I realize that I have been purposely skipping this one class — whichever one it is — all yearlong. It’s just one class, and I have been fine with the others.
That leads to anxiety within the dream, because I know that there is a very good chance that I may fail that class. Sometimes in the dream, I find myself actually going to the class, and having to think of an excuse as to why I am never there, and why my grades are so bad.
And then I wake up, and I become relieved with the realization that I have not set foot inside of a classroom in over three years. And then I realize that I probably have to go to work soon, and I become upset again.
But anyway, it was not until earlier this year that I realized just how often I have this dream. I seriously feel like it is every night. So recently, I decided to think about why I was having this dream repeatedly, and I even searched the Internet to find some answers. And I think it all finally started making sense to me.
When I was in high school, I was a great student. I rarely missed classes — in fact, during my four years at Wellington C. Mepham High School, I think the number of total classes I missed during that time equates to single digits. Impressed?
But then I went to college. No one was there to supervise me if I didn’t wake up for a class. No one was there to reprimand me when I cut. Thus, I developed a habit of skipping classes. Often.
In fact, I would register for classes in the beginning of the semester, go for the first month, and then decide which classes I could succeed in without attending the lectures. And I never failed a class, but I did get a few C’s and even a D here and there. I got better as college progressed and brought my grades up to As and Bs, but I still skipped classes when I knew I could get away with it.
In fact, I took one specific class my first semester of senior year that I went to three times. I’m not even kidding. In fact, it may have been two. I skipped about 48 of the 50 lectures.
Three years later, I am older, I am wiser, I am smarter and more responsible — and the mere thought that I actually did something like that scares the living shit out of me. Looking back, I can not believe how irresponsible and clueless I used to be. If I ever went back to grad school, I would be an efficient student, I know it. I wouldn’t miss classes, I’d study and I’d actually make an effort to talk to teachers after lectures (During college, I didn’t attend a professor’s office hours a single time).
So that’s why I think I have this dream. I think it is a direct commentary on the fact that I am mature, and that I am responsible, and my subconscious makes me think about the stupid shit I did in the past — like skipping classes — and the anxiety that arises in the dream is the reaction that I would have right now. Because, trust me, I didn’t have any regrets at the time about skipping classes. But now I would.
And apparently it’s a common dream. A quick Google search tells me that other people have even blogged about it.
All in all, I think that the dream is good thing, even if it does make me temporarily panic. Again, it means that I am growing up. My drinking habits may have not gone away — in fact, they may have even increased, which is alarming — but I am much more intelligent and responsible. That’s definitely important in life. And I think this dream is trying to even signal my brain to just forget about the past. What’s done is done. School’s over, so move on bitch.
To be honest, though, what I regret more than skipping classes is my failure to utilize my time in college better. I could have actually taken classes that meant something to me, instead of taking classes that I thought would be an easy A. I could have taken classes — or perhaps even chose a different major — that may have put me on a better path to succeed.
But oh well. Like I said, it’s all a learning experience. That’s life.
Now hopefully tonight I avoid this dream, and instead have the one where I’m on a beach with the eight women…