Once, I used to be in love with the concept of dreaming. Of being in an illusion, something that you could bend at your own whim; for others, something that you had to constantly be subjected to. Perhaps a bystander in the midst of all the action, or the main protagonist in the course of the crumbling, rushing figments of one’s mind. In a false reality, anything could happen; and sometimes — the magnificent part of it all is that we all had our chance in playing God, be it by making something impossible happen or making someone appear, through the intense vividness of such things we are led to believing that we have molded our own masterpieces, our own story and world. Who wouldn’t want to live in an escape forever; in a place wherein anything could happen?
Now, you would somehow consider me to be an anti-dreamer. Although it’s not like I actively protest against it and wish for my brain to completely shut them off, you could say that I’ve moved on from adoring the concept of dreams. We fall out of love for the same reasons that we fall in love; and the escapism, the breaching of reality that dreams had used to show me are now merely devices that prevent me from enjoying the most part of my morning. I used to spend moments recollecting and reflecting on what had happened, sometimes even attempting to go back into the dream and continue it by sleeping some more. The idea of them used to fascinate me, to the point where I actively wished for them to happen to me every night. Now, when I wake up I let my mind shudder off the thoughts of sleep, think about the rest of the day, check things, and then climb out of it, ready to abandon the dream in whole. There’s no dwelling, the moments of reflection are long gone and moreso are the yearnings to come back and rewind time to experience the false pleasure that had been experienced then.
There’s really no concrete reason on why I started to ‘fall out of love’ with the mindless reverie. I’d like to think that it’s mainly because I have moved on from that point, that hallucinations thought up by REM sleep are no longer that much more fascinating than the ideas and thoughts conjured by my imagination, put down into writing or words. That when I dreamed, they mostly consisted of nightmares — they quickly became a haze that I prayed to snap out of immediately, and as glad as I am to never have experienced sleep paralysis I always ache and hope that I never go through that own sort of hell. There came a point in childhood when I realized that my dreams weren’t doing any sort of thing other than take up more moments of the day. They used to be a sort of creativity, I would wake up in a sleepy smile with morning hair and a shaky yet determined body, exclaiming my profound amusement at the dream that I had never even thought of before. Now, dreams are constant reoccurrences, they offer no insight to my life, what I do, or who I am. Now, they are just nightmares, night terrors that I hope pass by quickly with the flash of a few minutes rather than the image being echoed into my mind constantly. I fell out of love because I knew that there was more joy, more complexity in the waking world that awakes me at every rising arm that shines shadows onto the wall, basking in the morning sun while the cold of the room begins to dissipate, mending and mixing with the heat of the outside. Nothing is as vivid as the world that surrounds us; it is real, sometimes foggy and hazy but there is nothing else that compares to the utter joy of living; once you find it.
Dreams aren’t all that bad, I am not terrorizing them or wishing for anyone to boycott them; if that’s even possible or an actual thing. They can be symbolic, sure, but there are countless things about them that make me find them more of a nuisance rather than a benefit.
The disorientation and disappointment when you wake up and find out that the figments you had conjured in your sleep are nothing more than that, they’re just figments. They raced around your mind, telling you stories that you may have even forgotten completely as soon as you dawned. It’s troubling for maybe a mere moment or two, and soon subsides once you realize that there is not a thing one could do about it; after all, it has surpassed, it is a moment in the past that is meaningless to look back on.
As a child, I started realizing that more often than not, my dreams were just constant nightmare after nightmare. There was a point wherein I actually started to fear sleeping because I didn’t want to see things anymore, I didn’t want to go through the visions that haunted me and made me feel uneasy, especially for when I woke up in the morning. I hoped so badly for the young child I was to just wake up when the sun was rising, when I did have to get out of bed. Waking up non-stop throughout the course of the night, the panic in the things that I had seen and the desperation to go back to sleep in fear of the insomnia that could overtake me; only to be brought back to the terrors that I had seen. There was much confusion in my small brain. I’d sit in front of the television screen, taking in the LED lights and the awful sound quality from speakers perhaps a year or two too old. The shows would tell me, with the bright-eyed characters that all looked somewhat like one another; that the dreams that come when you sleep are beautiful, that they’re these ‘happy’ and ‘fun’ things that we should find amusement and delight in. Was I supposed to find amusement and delight in the recurring dreams I had of isolation and death? What about the zombie apocalypse dream that wouldn’t ever stop until a few years later — as cool as those things were, they really didn’t help me or spark anything within, I woke up disheveled and unkempt from having moved too much in my sleep, finding no amusement or wish to return to those pictures.
Perhaps another reason why I now deem myself an anti-dreamer is because I never get or got to partake in the fun aspect of dreams. The part where you play god and start adding people in and manipulating the world around you, as if you could do anything. The only problem was that if you did it relentlessly and without proper consideration of your use of power; you would snap out of your dream and wake up, most often when something incredibly dramatic was about to happen. Imagine how useless the young me felt when I found out that even in a dream, I did not hold any power — there was simply no way for me to make a change, an impact in anything. This wasn’t the case all the time, however. There were extremely rare nights in which I was graced to conjure something, or someone; though not to the extent that others could. I remember, with my subpar memory — in one instant, making a hair tie appear when I needed it in a dream. With that knowledge in mind, I can safely say that I am the greatest; most benevolent god that has ever walked upon a dreamer, and I rightfully deserve more power. That’s not going to happen, though.
They are still sort of fun. Of course, when it comes to those strange times where you share your dreams with others, you laugh at how absurd the occurrences are. Whether it’s the impossible happening, such as you taking over the world with nonsensical logic behind your actions or something not quite impossible but extremely unlikely to happen. It is also, undeniably intriguing when someone mentions that you took an appearance in a dream of theirs. You begin to ask questions, such as what your role was and what you were doing — and of course, “did I die?” since such a happening is more of a possibility than an impossibility at any given moment in the figmented world that goes through your head. There’s laughter in how stupid and outrageous the things that occur in your head can be.
For reasons made clear, you can tell that I’m not exactly the most exciting person when it comes to the game of “what images can my brain conjure as I sleep, and which ones can fuck me up the most”, as well as the recollection aspect of it. There’s not much fun in just nervously laughing with the awkward tinge and proclaiming that all of your dreams end up in flaming, drizzling fires of death. Others, if not everyone shares the sentiment as well. It’s just kind of troubling when you have trouble relating to the cheery, bubbly dreams where everyone is happy and world peace is solved when as a child, you’re sure that you grew numb due to the things you saw every night, and how you eventually stopped telling people about them and waking up and moving to someone, tugging at their sleeves to help you rest. I eventually started to wake up, stare at the ceiling and just think about how bothersome it is to have to wait to fall back asleep after something snapped you out of your restful slumber. Nevermind all the times in the morning wherein I’d continue sleeping, maybe because it was a weekend and I was free to finally sleep in, and I’d snap back into reality a few moments later because I dreamt that I was falling.
Dreams are a nuisance, they don’t provide any benefit that I could see myself making use of. They’re just another detrimental aspect of my life that is sadly unavoidable, along with its consequences.
Why have I grown tired of the stupor’s visions when my mind used to find them fascinating, when it would go as far for me to pray that they would be ignited and occur along each moon’s night; and for me to remember what had happened when I woke up? I was so intrigued by the concept of dreams, and what potential they held in them that I even looked at forums regarding lucid dreaming and the like. I wanted so badly to determine the purpose and the meaning behind each thought of my brain. I wanted to unravel the complexity that was the dreams, each string of them uncrossing and freeing up; their strength wading as I began to fully understand their meaning, what they intend to speak — only for me to become disappointed when I realized that there’s really no meaning. It’s all interpretation, you come up with what it could mean in the scenario that’s taking place in your life; and when the younger me started to think of other situations, starting with my family and moving onto my friends; you could use all the objects and items as ways to speak something even just mildly deep and meaningful about their experiences. There was no really meaning, no magic behind dreams.
From the interpretation, I learned that whenever I was in bed, looking back on a nice dream that didn’t leave me dead, I would think of my own conclusion. Additionally, there would be countless seams of the dream that didn’t make sense at all. Quickly, in my brain, I would fix those occurrences and make them more logical, sometimes even more unfair to the circumstances that I, or in most cases wherein I was just a bystander — the protagonist, had to go through. This part was the reason why I fell in love with dreams, since it was like you were given a free story to work with and now you could mend it and change it, unravel its components and fix it into something that you want.
I fell in love with dreams because in my mind at that time; I had trouble coming up with my own ideas. Of course, as a child, my mind was lively with visions and pictures and abstract ideas and compounds that sometimes even me myself could not completely fathom. The only problem was stringing them together. In those moments wherein I looked back on my dream, sometimes trying to fall asleep again but failing as my imagination was running wild and my brain wasn’t in the mood to rest; I found myself only having the core of the original story given to me left, while my ideas and my own wishes and desires were added on. Not in the form of a dream, but with a young girl tucked safely into bed while the cool air dances around the room; as her mind collects the fragments and remnants of her dreams and tries to change them, patch them up and fix them to her own liking.
Dreams didn’t bring about their usefulness and my fascination in them through their own being, it took my heart and my imagination; my desire to transform and come up with my own ideas to make them the result that my heart beats for.
In the present age, as I’ve grown to be somewhat of an anti-dreamer due to all the unnecessary and the wasted time from them, I still garner no wish to smite them or be filled with hateful scorn for their being. Instead, there’s acknowledgement in my being for what they had taught me to do, and what they had taught me to be.
My imagination is more powerful than prancing images occurring in my sleepy haze, as I’ve grown I have blossomed more from the hatred, the fumes, the death and the injury that had occurred in my mind. Although it has molded me to become somewhat numb, especially in the formative years of my youth, there isn’t much that we can do about it now. Nevertheless, I have a form of redemption; a form of redemption that would bring salvation to all my past experiences. The triumph and the beauty of my own mind, coming up with the grandeur, attempting to capture the beauty not of the sleeping world and its false visions; but instead the waking world and all the reality that we are surrounded in, cleared with no haze — as if a clear pathway was marveled and polished all the way towards it.
I am more than the ‘symbolism’ that I’ve grown to fear; more than the death and the fumes, the explosions and the loss. Dreams are not tell-tale signs of my future, they are not going to cause me to live in fear simply because a symbol that means the world to me means the impending death, torture of my soul and my family for eighty-seven generations to another person.
The thoughts that I make in my sleep are nothing compared to the thoughts that I am allowed to forever keep and record in the daylight, as well as in my bustling brain hours before the sun rises.
I am an anti-dreamer, because I feel that those ‘dreams’, are nothing compared to the reality of the world around me. You may not feel the same, and I do feel as you did; after all, there’s something mesmerizing and lovely about the idea of a world that you could bend around your fingertips. There’s something inherently amusing about a world that you watch unfold; the inner workings of your mind explored. But the world that we live in, the challenging, frightful world in which only the creative survives; in which your heart may seek but your mind always finds, there’s something amazing about letting go of something false and reaching your hand out to a reality that you have never experienced before. It is beauty, utterly captivating, and something that you can’t just play god at. But it’s a world where my imagination flourishes, thrives, through writing this very article as a compound of my thoughts and beliefs to the actions that surround my day after writing this. It is challenging the nonsensical, lack of logic I see in the back of my mind with something further messed up, surreal and crazy within the daylight. It is conquering the idea that my mind only works wonders when at sleep. It is capsizing the notion that I am incapable; that my tired and weary exterior is nonfunctional under the basking sunlight, that I am an imagineer only when my eyes see black.
I fell out of love with dreams because I’ve fallen in love with the world that I am in.