A recurring dream I’ve had for decades involves being in a building that has a lot of similar rooms — like a school, or a college dorm, or a hotel, or an apartment building — and needing to get from one place to another.
Sometimes the place I need to find is a bathroom.
Sometimes it’s a class I’m supposed to be attending.
Sometimes it’s just to return to my own room after attending some event.
Occasionally I’m trying to find my car in a huge parking lot.
But the gist of the dream is always the same. I’m having to take some convoluted path through hallways and doors that all look alike, often involving impossible feats of climbing over or through obstacles of various types, and I search and climb and search and walk, but frustratingly cannot find the place I’m supposed to be going to.
Until a few nights ago.
A few nights ago, for no apparent reason, in my dream I was late getting to a class I’d signed up for. I walked down a single hallway without complications, I found the room, went in, and sat down on the floor since all the desks were taken.
The teacher called on “Mary Thompson.” I happened to be sitting next to a younger girl with the same name.
The instructor decided to let me answer her question first. The question was, “When you were in high school, who did you dress up as on Dress Up for History Day?”
I laughed and said, “We didn’t have Dress up for History Day when I was in high school 40 years ago.”
The teacher seemed confused by that, but she quickly went on to the next student.
Then I woke up.
I used to put a lot of stock in my dreams, always assuming that they were telling me something about myself somehow. As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve decided that they don’t really mean much at all. It’s just the brain’s way of entertaining itself without external stimuli.
But this dream, how it was the same and yet so different from my typical recurring dream, has made me reconsider.
Do dreams know things?
Does this dream somehow mean that I’m no longer wandering lost through life and have found what I’m supposed to be doing? How could that be when I’m doing the same thing now that I’ve been doing for years, and I’ve had the “wandering lost through the building” dreams consistently for literally decades, including recently.
The only thing that changed was that in this most recent rendition of the dream, it ended differently. Does that mean there is something different about me now?
Maybe my subconscious just got tired of reruns and rewrote the script.