I have recurring dreams. Four, actually, and two of them pertain to West Point. I've had some of them so often, or variations of them, that I sometimes recognize that I'm dreaming and sometimes wake up suddenly.
Here are the dreams:
- It's shortly before graduation at West Point, and I realize I haven't attended a class all semester and thus will fail. It's almost always an English class, which is weird because I didn't even take English as a senior. I understand that so far this isn't an uncommon dream, but here's where it takes its Alma Mater turn: in the dream I wonder how I'm going to graduate, what lies I'll have to tell so I don't fail, but at West Point we don't lie, so I get very stressed--and I usually wake up with my heart pounding.
- I try to yell at or to someone, but no sound comes out of my mouth.
- There are "neighborhood" people who hate me and like to mess with me. In my dream I know who these people are, but they're no one I know in real life. They might break into my house and steal some of my stuff--I know they somehow have a key to my house. Or they steal my car and return it a few days later, just to let me know they can.
- I'm a plebe again at West Point. I don't know how to set up my uniform, what classes I'm supposed to attend, things like that. Sometimes I realize that I've already graduated and cannot figure out what I'm doing back there as a plebe; sometimes I realize that I'm a 50+ year old man who graduated 30+ years before, and then try to understand why I'm back there as a plebe.
I thought about that dream today, and tonight I thought it would be interesting to see what the dream interpreters say it means. They all say the same thing: I feel like no one is listening to me, or I feel ignored, or I don't have control over my life. I once shared the "breaking in my house and stealing my car" dream with a friend, who said that one means that I don't feel like I have control over my life.
Hmm, two dreams telling me the same thing.
What's odd is that, at least consciously, I don't feel like my life is out of my control. Sure, there are things I don't like, but certainly no more so than anyone else in America. I mean, my parents are getting older, and all that entails, but I don't feel like that's bothering me any more that it justifiably should. I have another family member going through an extremely rough patch in life that I can't do much to alleviate, but I don't feel like that's any more of a drain on me that it justifiably should be.
So why do I, more often than I should, feel like my life is out of my control, if you believe the dream interpreters? No idea.