‘A dreamer is one who can find his way by moonlight’ ~ Oscar Wilde.
Sometimes the setting changes or the people around me but the theme is recurrent. Exams. Even though I have left my academics behind for now I still find them creeping into my dreams. The general premise is an imminent exam, whether that day or standing and shaking outside the exam hall. What is so unnerving about these exams is that I’m totally unprepared, I haven’t studied for them and I know that I won’t be able to do my best in them when they’ve just been thrust upon me. I’ll feel terrified, a sinking feeling in my stomach and sick because in my dream these exams are really important and failing is an unthinkable.
I dream most vividly when I have woken up and then fall back into a deep sleep, like this morning. I was having a French A-Level exam (I never even took French A-Level!) and I was scrambling through the notes in my rucksack to get some last minute study time in. All I could find was notes on bioluminescence. I can feel an internal panic coming on as I acknowledge that I don’t even take French but I’m still going to have to sit this exam. My high school friend Kat appears out of nowhere to tell me, ‘You’ll be fine’, in the real world I was writing her a letter to congratulate her on her wedding yesterday which I think explains seeing her face. What happens next – well when I sit down in the exam room my mind will go blank, I won’t be able to answer a single question and time will speed up, the minute hand on the clock will race along and before I can do anything it’s over. Then I wake up, and take a minute to realise it’s not real and sigh in relief.
Meaning? Well I’m not sure if this is delving into my fear of failure, maybe something else deep in my unconscious. Maybe feeling unprepared or not having things mapped out is something that scares me more than I think. I have always found exams stressful and dreaded those times of year. The expectation to do well. The feeling that study time is running out and I’ve nowhere near learned everything as there is simply too much to go over. Feeling a bit out of control of the situation no matter how well I planned out my time. This scenario crops up in my dreams every so often and I’m hoping as I let go of one stage of my life, so the dreams will fade away too.
Normally my dreams border on the silly to the weird. The strangest dream I had, which I’ve kept with me today is one I had when I was still in primary school. I dreamt I was trapped inside the Captain Planet computer game.
The only things I actually remember – having to overcome platform game-style obstacles, seeing the girl with the heart ring and worried about getting a Game Over. Oh and it was all in 2D to add to the weirdness factor. Maybe my imagination was in overdrive or I had a crazy gaming session that night.
The only pleasant dream in remembrance is awakening in a colonial style home, with amazing stonework and columns. Walking out onto the balcony and gazing upon an Italian mediterranean landscape and seeing the striated green and yellow landscape, a swaying wheat field beyond a grand fountain. The sea winking at me in the distance with one of those diamond cut gleams. Cue running through fields and walking through the fountain with the white airy goddess dress dragging across the surface. Becoming heavy with water. It was a feeling of being free and anything being possible. It was so real at that moment and probably why it has stayed with me to this day. And by writing it here I have immortalised it in print, never forgotten.