For about a year, I’ve woken up each morning in the middle of a very lucid dream. This happens so much so that I frequently think I’ve actually done whatever happened in the dream when, in reality, I was sleeping the entire time.
These dreams are never frightening or threatening. They usually just involve everyday occurrences, such as sitting in class or walking around outside. But it’s irritating when I think I’ve sent an important email or written a time-sensitive paper because when I wake up I’m truly convinced that these things have already taken place. Isn’t this just considered being delusional?
Sometimes when talking to friends or professors I refer to conversations that have never actually taken place, which is considerably awkward. But again, I don’t see too much of an issue if these dreams aren’t exactly bad.
Actually, interesting things can happen while I’m dreaming — something that never used to happen when I was younger. I can read a text perfectly as if an actual book is right in front of me, a phenomenon that tends to happen if I’m studying for an exam in a foreign language.
And if I wake up with a really creative idea, I’ve learned that it’s important to write it down as soon as possible, or else I forget within a few minutes.
For example, this morning I woke up at 6:30 a.m. really wanting to paint something. This was extremely random, as I haven’t painted anything since I was eight years old — a neighborhood scene from the Albanian countryside. It was for a school project where students picked whatever countries they wanted to learn about and then brought in art and food based on that place. I can still remember totally failing at making Albanian wedding cookies.
Anyhow, this morning I woke up abnormally early and could not fall back asleep for the last precious hour I had before heading to work in the freezing cold. And for the entire day, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of painting something, even though I really think this is an unproductive pastime unless you are a professional painter.
It’s strange how a thought or sensation you wake up with can affect you for the rest of the day. If I wake up upset or sad about something, I’m bound to be in that mood the entire day.
Or sometimes, conversely, I dream that I forgot to wear any clothes at all while I am en route to class even though we don’t go to school on a nudist colony, and I wake up thankful once I’ve realized that I’m still at home and have the opportunity to not be naked in public.
It doesn’t seem like the adage “follow your dreams” really works for me. If it did, I’d probably be a naked painter who sends a lot of emails.
Sydney L. Shea is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.