Is This a Dream or Am I Actually Here?

You ever have one of these kind of nights? Where you think you are convince you are awake but you really aren't? They happen to me at least once every couple of months, more so since I got back from my mission. And they really fall into three categories, two of which are more frequent and prominent.

The weird thing about these dreams is that the more they happen, the more I argue and try to convince myself in the dream that I am really awake. Each time, I say to myself in the dream, "This isn't a dream this time, this is the real thing. You aren't asleep, you are actually here, living this, experiencing this. It's more than just believing it's real- I actually convince myself that this time, it's not a dream. I believe it so fully, too. It's very strange to be in this dream mindset, then to wake up and realize, once again, you were wrong and it was a dream. Sometime you're glad, sometimes not- not that you're sad or angry that it's not real, but you can't help but feel a little let down.

Most of the time, my "real" dreams send me back to Russia. Almost without fail, I'm back in one of the cities I served in, usually Novosibirsk, and I'm on another mission. Usually the church has seen fit to send me on a second mission to Siberia. In one dream I was at the airport, but usually I'm in the northern part of the city, in or around the branch meeting house and former location of the mision president's apartment, or in a shop in that vicinity.

It's also interesting how sometimes places feature in the dream, and they feel so real, but actually look nothing like the real place. I remember once, vividly, being at the Zaeltsovskaya Ploschad, the roundabout plaza where the president's apartment used to be. It felt real, looked real, but as I try to reflect, I think it actually looked nothing like it. Another time I was clearly at a plaza featuring Krasnoyarsk's finest theater, just up the road from the office building where we held church services. But the theater in Krasno is on the other side of the river, nowhere near the church building, and it looks nothing like my dream. Funny how that happens sometimes.

Though I often see people and faces which I knew well, like missionaries and members, occasionally someone shows up who shouldn't be there at all. I prominently remember seeing and interacting with Brother Bruce Barrett, a former bishop of mine who also happens to have taught my entomology course in college. I think he was some sort of church representative, like a mission president, but not a president.

Every time I feel like I'm on another mission; every time, I tell myself "It's not a dream this time, you are really, actually, 100%, honestly and truly back in Russia. And then I find my face in my pillow back here in Columbia.

My most recent real dream was about a tornado. These happen a lot as well, and stem, in my mind undoubtedly, from my desire to see a real tornado with my own eyes. Just the other night, I remember being in some sort of kitchen, and the tornado starts forming right outside the window. My mom, among others, was there, and she, with whom I share my desire to see a real twister, was straining to see it. It got really close, she was still looking, so I had to grab her by the shirt and pull her down so she wouldn't get hurt. The tornado hit our house full on, and it seemed like it would suck the roof right off, but it didn't; it passed, and everything was okay.

But again, I remember telling myself and convincing myself that it was real this time, that this wasn't another dream. It's such a strange feeling.

And then there are, of course, the dreams where you feel like you have to go to the bathroom really bad and it gets worse and worse, and then, thankfully, you wake up, only to find your bladder is about to pop, and you make it to the loo just in time. WHEW!

I don't think my dreams mean anything- in fact, I will be the first to tell you that they're too random to understand any meaning they might have. But it is interesting that some should manifest themselves so realistically that I actually tell myself it's actually happening.

So I wait for another few hours to see what realities my mind takes me to. In the meantime, pleasant dreams, everyone!P.S. Thank you to Calvin and Hobbes and Bill Watterson for assisting in the illustration of this entry.


Tamara said…
Ya, I'm not sure your dreams mean too much in the real world. Mine on the other hand do most of the time...well, they usually fortell something that is going to happen in my life. I dreamed last week that you'd break down in the good 'ol Corolla, and although that didn't happen...we could change the future and help to eliminate that dream from coming true. It's strange though.

This time I did read your whole blog, although it is pretty long for having no entry for a week or so...and we can tell! ha ha But I enjoyed the comic strips.
Julina said…
I have those back on my mission dreams, too - they're among the ones I'm most likely to remember when I wake up. And it's exactly like you said - the landmarks are there but in the wrong places, the familiar faces (or I'm convinced they're familiar while I'm in the dream), the total confidence about where I'm going & what I'm doing, and telling myself that this time it's really, really real... until the alarm goes off and I have to nudge Butler out of the way and it's another day in Indiana...

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