I have a rule about dreams, which is: do not discuss them. No one cares what nonsensical thing you dreamed. (The corollary to this rule is: do not use them in a short story. Just don’t.) Of course, I violate this rule all the time, but only with my husband, and only if I dreamed something really weird. But I have to write about this, because I don’t understand why I am having a particular recurring dream. Maybe someone reading this will understand me better than I understand myself (it could happen!)
In these dreams I am younger than I am now, and unmarried. But I want to get married. I want to find someone, fall in love with him, and spend the rest of my life with him. I am always, in the dream, desperately worried that this will not happen and I will end up dying alone and no one will notice. Usually there is some guy (either fictitious or someone from my past) who is a possibility, but there is always some obstacle preventing us from getting together. I always wake up without having “caught” the guy, and for a few seconds I feel completely bummed, until I realize that there is a man lying next to me with whom I have already fallen in love, married, and had babies with. An enormous sense of relief follows. Then I wake Justin up and inform him that he is not allowed to divorce me or die, so that I will never have to date again. (Just kidding, I would never wake him up to tell him that, but he knows how I feel about this.)
Why in heaven’s name would I be so agitated in a dream about finding a love I already have? I don’t think I have conveyed the depth of the anxiety I feel during these dreams. They certainly aren’t pleasant fantasies that explore the idea of “what might have happened if I hadn’t met Justin, would I have ended up with that guy?” No--in fact, I’m not even that interested in the “dream guy” for himself; it’s more like he’s a security blanket for me to say “I’m married.” Is that what I secretly think of marriage? I don’t think so—of course there’s the added benefit of never having to find a date for any event, but marriage is so much more than that for me. I do love spending time with my husband—he’s my best friend, and sometimes we still can’t stop talking after we turn the lights out even though we know we need to get some sleep—but I value my time alone, too. Still, I guess there’s a big difference between being alone and being alone.
And I guess on some level I’m afraid of being alone.
See, I didn’t mean to get all serious with this idea. It was supposed to be more of a “look how crazy my brain is” post. And to prove I can write a post that's not about my kids. Who knew I would end up blubbering about my “abandonment issues” or whatever.
Sorry about that.
In the end, I guess what matters is that I wake up happy to be in my life instead of the one my brain has conjured up while I sleep. I’m happy with the man I chose. I’m happy he’s the one who tells me, “I’m here. You’re not alone.”