My Life as a Dreamer

My husband tells me the way I dream is unusual, and I’m curious to know if that is true!

I’ve always been an adventurous dreamer. As a child, I’d dream of being in the school yard, off in some little corner by myself, practising my levitation skills. I’d slowly lean back, keeping my body straight and stiff, balancing my weight on my heels. Instead of falling backwards I’d suddenly find myself floating with my heels an inch off the ground! It required a lot of concentration, but with practise, it became easier.

As the years rolled by, I was able to float a little higher, and for longer, and by the time I reached my teens I could fly! Sometimes, my flying looks like Wonder Woman. When I fly like this, it feels almost as though I am a dolphin, streaming, winding, whipping and turning effortlessly, this way and that. Other times, it’s more a sense of being able to jump with weightlessness, launching in the air and leaping to great heights.

Most of the time, my flying gives me a feeling of freedom and joy, but there are phases I go through where the mood in the dream has a different flavour. I don’t much enjoy those dreams where I’m being pursued and for some reason I can’t get enough height to easily evade capture. And what can I do but laugh when I have ‘ego’ flying dreams? One of my favourites was the time I flew/jumped off the top of an escalator in a large shopping centre and was looking back to see who was admiring my wonderful feat. “Splat!” went my face and body into the glass windows, my ego sinking with me as I slid down the wall of glass.

A childhood dream I’ll never forget was the time I “woke up” after hearing some sounds outside my bedroom window. I went outside to see what was happening and found a tiny flying saucer on the grass, no larger than a large marble. I was invited into the flying saucer by the aliens. As I stepped into the saucer I shrank down to the right size and once inside I went on the ride of a lifetime, with the aliens teaching me how to fly their wonderful machine.

My husband tells me my dreams aren’t ‘normal’. When I wake up and tell him I dreamt I was a fish, or a man, or a child, he shakes his head in wonder. These days, I rarely ever dream that I am myself. Dreams about my family and friends, or houses and places I’ve lived in, are the exception rather than the norm.

Just the other night I dreamt I was a young man going through a regressive ‘acting out’ phase in his life. “I’m normally much more responsible than this,” I thought to myself as I careened through the town vandalising property. Then I was another young man, breaking into a property and trying to work out how to get out again without being seen. I can’t remember the third dream, but I was male again and the theme was similar.

Each dream seemed separate, but then I found myself looking down at three men who were sitting together and I realised they were the characters I had just ‘played’, from the three dreams. I almost had the sense they had been caught and were awaiting judgement or ‘rehabilitation’. They definitely didn’t know each other, but I knew each one of them. As the dreamer, I had experienced their story through their eyes, as well as ‘watching’ the story from a narrators point of view. Now I was studying them intensely, in an attempt to understand their individual motivations for ‘acting out’.

The older I get, the more my dreams are like stories. I might experience the story, or part of the story, from the main character’s perspective. Sometimes my point of view switches between characters, and sometimes I’m narrating the story. On the odd occasion, I am neither characters nor narrator, I’m just watching.

I have the impression, from my husbands reaction, and from hearing many dream stories from clients and friends, that this style of dreaming is unusual. I suspect it comes from being a lover of stories. I love watching movies, reading books and hearing stories from clients, friends and family. I can easily imagine what it might feel like to be someone else, and my dreaming mind obviously enjoys going on adventures where I am someone else, living an entirely different life. Perhaps other writers dream the same way I do. I can imagine actors might as well! Have you ever dreamed you were someone other than yourself, living a life that isn’t your own?