I’ve never had any of the ‘classic’ dreams that people like to talk about–teeth falling out, flying, naked in a classroom. (All of that at once? Eesh.) I don’t know why, I just haven’t. In most of the dreams I remember I’m searching for something very important. It was explained to me in the dream what the thing is and why it’s so vital, but post-dream I couldn’t tell you a damn thing about this thing.
This week I finally had a dream somewhat akin to those classic dreams. Specifically the unprepared for class variety.
I went to college at a liberal arts school, and no matter what you studied, you had to end with a capstone project. I was concentrating in fiction, so my assignment was 60 pages of prose, preferably a single narrative. I spent about two years thinking about and working on my capstone, to the point that when I turned it in (on time) I felt bereft.
In the dream, I got an email about said capstone. It was coming due soon. I had turned in my proposal, but GASP my proposal was INCOMPLETE. The part where I was supposed to outline my story was, quite literally, just a template that said things like “And then SOMETHING happens to POV MC.”
“Crapmonkies!” I said to myself in-dream. “I must fix this before they realize my proposal is not a proposal at all, but absolute junk!” (Only I didn’t actually say that, or if I did I don’t remember it.) And I kept scrolling over this not-an-outline, despairing more and more with each scroll of ever managing to do just that. Then I woke up.
My anxiety dreams are rarely so specific. Even when I was in school I hardly ever dreamed about school. Like I said, I’m usually hunting for something. To instead be tasked with a creative project in a small space of time is very new. I think that’s why it went on so long, it completely fooled me. No, I did not remember that I wrote that long-long-short/novella eight years ago, thank you very much. It took me a while to realize that.
This was not a fun dream.
There’s a lot of anxiety-inducers in my life right now, so an anxiety dream is not out of the blue. The nature of this one is. The thing I am least stressed about is my writing, because I have no external deadlines. I’m fine dropping my self-imposed goals because omgwtfbbq my life right now. Somehow my brain took the least worrying thing and turned it into the all-consuming dream thing. Maybe because that’s ‘safer’ than the other options?
Brain is telling me loud and clear: Finish the thing. Which thing?