I Have A Dream. No, Really. A Lot Of Them All The Time

[Due to Bloggers "issues" yesterday, this did not get posted. Even though I was being a good blogger and posting before the end of the work day. BUT NOOOO! Blogger had to go and get all angry at nothing during my prime blogging hours. So let's pretend this got posted yesterday and I'll post something later for today's official post. Mmmmkay? Thanks.]

Last night, I dreamt that I was seven months pregnant. Since I'm not married and am waiting until I'm married to do any of the things required to get pregnant and even though it was a dream, I was confused as to how I had gotten in that situation. When I woke up, I thought maybe I'm just fat and trying to make excuses. I'm not sure why I'm telling you this, but I think you need to know these things. You’re welcome.

This leads me to tell you about my dreams. No. Not in that really boring way where I tell you all of the details of my dream that are only coherent and significant to me and you're sit there and say things like, "Yeah. Uh-huh. Sure. Of course. So weird. Cool. Yep. I get that" but what you're really thinking is, "Why in the world does she think I care about a furry monster who wasn't actually furry, but was kind of furry and also looked like her eighth grade gym teacher except that it was in the future and that guy is dead, so it's weird that he's in Jamaica on her vacation?"

No. Not like that. Instead, I thought I'd tell you about my dreaming habits IN GENERAL and then you tell me about your dreaming habits IN GENERAL and then we comment on the strangeness/commonness of each other's dreaming habits IN GENERAL and we end up having this interesting thing called a conversation. I know. It's cutting edge. It's risky and newfangled and uncertain. But I think we're up to the challenge. What say you? Yes? Good. I thought so.

So, “science" tells us that we all dream every night. It's part of the sleep cycle. If we didn't dream, we wouldn't form memories or get any rest and our heads would explode and we would die and other BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN. Or something. All I know is that lots of sciencey people say we all dream all the time. And before you say, "Well, I don't!" just stop. Because "science" also says that many of us don't remember our dreams when we wake up, but that doesn't mean we don't have them. And if you're wondering what's up with the quotes around science, I have no answer for you. Sorry.

Moving on. The point is this: we all dream, but we do not all remember our dreams. Since I subscribe to the Temerity Jane Philosophy of Averageness, I'm under no delusion that I'm some kind of Special Snowflake when it comes to dreams, but I also know that among the people I have talked to about dreams, I am slightly unusual. So I'm taking a larger sample, hoping for one of two results: 1) I am not alone! There are people in the world just like me; or 2) I really am a SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE! My money's on the first one, just in case you're wondering.

So here goes. My experience with dreams:
  • I remember most of my dreams. Almost every morning, I wake up with memories of my night-time imaginings. I usually have more than one and I can almost always tell you about each of them in detail if you ask (no one ever does...).
  • I often dream in linear storylines. I've used quite a few of them as jumping off points for the novels that I... never get around to actually writing... Ahem.
  • Sometimes, I am not the main character in my dreams. Occasionally, I'm not a character at all and they’re more like movies (I'm not sure what it says about me psychologically that I'm not the star of the movie even in my own mind, but I'm going to save that analysis for a different day...).
  • When I wake up in the middle of a dream, I can go back to sleep and finish it. Sometimes, I don't control this and fall back to sleep to continue nightmares, which is not so fun.
  • I can choose my dreams. I focus on what I want to dream about before I fall asleep and have moderate success with influencing those things into my dreams.
  • I can also control my dreams. Sometimes, one will end in an unsatisfying way. I will wake up slightly (still kind of half-asleep), realize I didn't like it, and decide to do it over again, but better.
Now it's your turn. Remember, people. We’re trying to have a conversation here. IT will be tricky. We’re charting new territory. And I need your help. Does any of this sound weird to you? Have you experience any of these things? More than just one? Tell me about your dreams. No, not your aspirations, your sleep dreams. Geez, keep up! Okay, fine. You can tell me about those other dreams, too. I’m not strict. Someone just TALK TO ME ALREADY!


  1. I match nearly all of your bullet points! Snowflakes unite! I nearly always remember multiple, liner-full-story dreams per night, of which I am not always the main character, and I have totally described some dreams I'm not in as movies. I can only control some dreams (not all, maybe 1/4th?), and falling back to sleep to finish a dream only works with about 50% of the dreams I want it to, otherwise I stay stuck awake or get a different dream. The only point in your list I don't seem to match at all is that I don't think I can choose my dreams. I mean, sometimes if I'm daydreaming about something particular as I fall asleep I will then dream about that, but I've never done it on purpose or noticed it happening all the time, so I'm guessing it doesn't happen to me too often or I'd have noticed. But all the rest? We match!

    I also dream vividly while falling asleep/right upon falling asleep and sometimes fall into something REM like during the day while awake, which doctors at Northwestern (big hospital here in Chicago) assure me is BATSHIT CRAZY and I'm mid-way through a bunch of testing for narcolepsy and other sleep/REM disorders. So, uh, I'm not sure if you really WANT to be "matching" me in sleep/dream styles, but there you have it.

  2. I, too, can finish my dreams when I wake up in the middle of them and go back to sleep. And I get EXTREMELY PISSED OFF when I am woken up in the middle of a dream that I am controlling. My hubby will attest to that. I am sure I've kicked him a multitude of times.

    In fact, I have had a recurring dream for like 10 years that I have changed the storyline a gajillion times. Jake Gyllenhal and I have had some gooooooood times

  3. I hardly ever remember my dreams, however there is one particular set of dreams that I wish I could forget, but can't. My best friend (who is a girl (I am a guy (parentheses inside parentheses, that just happened. ))), ends up appearing in my dreams periodically and we always end up doing "things" ahem. When I wake up I feel really awkward, and it's hard for me to look at her for a couple days afterward. Why I have these dreams, I do not know.

    Also on a side note, sometimes I dream that the honeycomb creature is coming after me with his army of spoons. It freaks me out every time, but luckily the forks are on my side.

  4. My dreams are often violent and include me running away in a good number of them. Such as the other day when I was running from a gunfight and got shot in the hand because some hillbilly said "I shoot with 50% accuracy." But in all actuality, I think since no one dies in my dreams, that I'm not demented, but rather just bored and seeking action in my dreams. What scares me is that my dreams sometimes carry over into real life where I dreamt of the ceiling fan falling off, and then I see a ceiling fan and I save the kid standing underneath it because I think s/he's going to die.

    I also made up plots and the background to "Final Destination" which I have never seen before, and I would imagine is incredibly different than what the real movies (lol) would be like.

    Dreams are always weird.

  5. I have dreams all night long, it seems. I usually wake up exhausted and I think it is because I am always in REM sleep and never make it to stage four. I too will wake up and continue a dream later on. I have also had dreams that I am writing a novel, and I wake up and think what a great plot my novel-within-a-dream was, and try to write it for real but it never works out. I also do the dream-within-a-dream (sometimes within-a-dream etc with multiple nestings) a lot. Finally, I have recurring dreams all. the. time. Some of the details may vary but they are usually pretty much the same. I'll have the same recurring dream for a few years and then move on to another one. They are almost always bad -- no super secret psychology here!

    Love this topic of conversation by the way. And I think you are wise to put quotes around "science".

  6. Oh and one more thing, I often KNOW I am dreaming while I am dreaming but I can do nothing about it.

  7. You might need to go back in my archives and read all about my half-awake night terrors. You might not want to be a snowflake with me...

    But the thing about choosing my dreams? I did it accidentally one night. Then I had a bout with nightmares and one night decided, "I'm not going to have that nightmare tonight. I'm going to dream about sweet cuddly babies that love me." And I did. It takes a bit of focus and effort, so I don't try it that often. Because going to sleep shouldn't take effort. I mostly use it to combat nightmares or stress dreams.

  8. So funny! I hate being woken up in the middle of a good dream. Because I can only go back and finish it if I can go back to sleep. Okay, duh... Sorry. But you understand, right? I can't fully wake up or it's all over.

    JAke Gyllenhal should come visit me for a change..

  9. I have those *ahem* dreams sometimes, too. But I read somewhere that they rarely mean what we think they mean. Or maybe you love her. Who knows? I'm not an expert... But the cereal dream? LOVE IT!

  10. I hate when I wake up and can't quite sort out what is dream and what is reality. That sticks with me for the whole day sometimes. And in case you're wondering, your version of Final Destination is probably better than the real one. Anything with "final" in the title should not have that many sequels.

  11. Sometimes, my dreams are exhausting, too! Especially if I've spent my day learning something new, because then I dream about whatever that was. When I was learning French, Spanish, and trigonometry at the same time, my dreams were never in English. I woke up confused and more tired than when I got into bed.

  12. I'm almost always aware that I am dreaming and view them with a significant amount of emotional distance (I still have scary/sad dreams, but for the most part, I'm aware that it's not real). Maybe that's why I have so much power over them?

  13. Ah yes, *ahem* dreams. I've also had dreams that I was pregnant. And being of the same breed (woof!) as you about getting into that situation, I was a little confused as to how I got there. But I can vividly remember trying to explain the situation to my mother. It involved some sort of argument about how all you had to do was THINK about *it* ... etc. (Psst, I don't think she bought it.)

    I don't think I ever have known I was dreaming while it was happening. But there are times when my dreams are so realistic (and let's be honest, about such insignificant events) that I have a hard time separating them from real life. Like 2 days ago I dreamt my mom said I could have the last ice cream sandwich in the freezer. So...duh, I was going to eat it! But I was stopped because, guess what! SHE NEVER SAID THAT! Argh. And before you ask, yes, I do trust my mother to answer me honestly, even about ice cream :)

    As far as remembering dreams when I wake up, it's off and on. My senior year of high school I often woke up more tired than when I went to bed, just because of the vivid dreams I would remember when I awoke. That summer I was a nanny for a passel of kids. I slept like a freaking log, didn't remember a dream all summer. So I guess it depends on what I'm doing when I'm awake. Recently I don't remember dreaming, and even though it's nice to wake up with a clear mind, I kind of miss my goofy/absurd/realistic/even-romantic dreams.

    Fun post! I liked this topic ;P

  14. i have never in my life been able to choose my dreams. lucky you!

  15. I wish I could dream lucidly. Though I too often have the watching-a-movie style of dreams, and sometimes I continue dreams (most often nightmares, but sometimes boring dreams about, like, buying toilet paper -- never the really good dreams where I'm making out with Ryan Reynolds or anything, sadly) despite waking up in the middle.

  16. Ican continue a dream after waking up too! (: