by Liz on 07.23

(by Katie Henry)


Lately, I’ve begun to notice that my dreams seem to have very forthright meanings. Bold, hard-edged.

I’ve always been the kind of person who dreams vivid dreams that I confuse with reality and easily remember the next day. In my dreams, I’m not simply floating, watching the story unfold. I’m an active character in the plot.

Some of my more recent dreams involve piles of money. Josh and Little J are both there, and we have some exciting plan (a different one in each dream) but we can’t afford to do it. Then, I stumble upon money! Just lying in the street, or handed to me by a stranger or hiding in a corner of the house! We gather it all together and only once we begin counting do I notice that each bill says “ZERO DOLLARS.” Hm.

Another common theme in my dreams is unpreparedness. It’s the the evening before a major holiday, the morning of my first day at a new job,┬áthe night of a big show or it’s right before my wedding and not only am I (naturally) naked, and unable to find anything nearby to wear, but I’m completely unprepared. Christmas presents aren’t bought, lines aren’t rehearsed, all of my books and papers are at home.

I also dream about stairs often. Stairs that are terrifying in some way, whether steep and difficult to climb, or spaced far apart with wide caverns between. I’m usually paralyzed by fear, sitting on one of the steps and trying to force myself to climb to the next but for some reason, my legs and arms are heavy and stiff and I feel clumsy, trying to make any movement.


If I were to get all hyper-analytical, I think I could easily see some symbolism in these dreams. Do you think dreams have meaning? I honestly just don’t believe that my subconscious is that smart.




The title of this post got both this song and this song both stuck in my head, intermittently. If the same happened to you, I apologize. But to make it up to you, allow me to redirect you to this song, via Naurnie.

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Your Comments | Add a Comment

kerry says:
Jul 23, 2012 8:06 am

Interesting. I had a very boozy conversation with my genius brother-in-law on Friday night about dreams. He very patiently tried to explain to me the different theories on what is actually happening – a good, quick synopsis of dream theories can be found here: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-literary-mind/200911/why-do-we-dream .

(I like to believe the comparison to computer de-fragmenting, myself. It sounds clean and worry-free)


Erin says:
Jul 23, 2012 8:37 am

I would maybe read into those dreams if I were you, probably more than I should. In high school and college, I had crazy, vivid dreams almost every night. My college roommate and I would dissect them in the morning, and I really came to believe that my subconscious was hinting at things to come. Later on, I realized the vividness probably had more to do with the pints of sorbet and cafeteria pizzas I was eating before bed than with the future.
I haven’t had such dreams in a very long time, until recently. And now I’ve had them almost every night. I go back and forth. Some seem more significant than others, so I pay attention to what I might be telling myself, but overall I believe less strongly that my subconscious is emailing me important messages. Maybe there’s something in the July air — aerosol dream particles? — that are bringing us these portentious dreams?


craftosaurus says:
Jul 23, 2012 10:57 am

I tend to think that dreams have significance, but that the likelihood of bring able to decipher them makes them not overly valuable to me when I’m awake. When I remember them, I usually take a minute to think about whether there’s anything I can take from it. I don’t remember my dreams often, and when I do remember them, the most common useful element is “oh, I dreamed vividly about crying again… what’s upsetting me that I haven’t acknowledged yet?”


jacqueline says:
Jul 23, 2012 2:30 pm

Sometimes I do believe dreams have meanings. Especially the ones that repeat frequently.

But I also think that sometimes they aren’t an indication of anything other than the fact that my subconscious has a really vivid imagination, ie. talking, homicidal bear driving a four wheeler.


Jessica says:
Jul 23, 2012 4:34 pm

I have pretty intense dreams too where I tend to feel like its real life and do normal, routine things like take showers, eat, go on trips etc. My dreams are typically affected by what I’m reading currently, watching on TV or upcoming events in my life. I really hope that most of them don’t come true because they are rarely something I want to actually happen, which I guess makes me happy to wake up to another day far away from that dreamland.


Sheryl says:
Jul 23, 2012 6:20 pm

Repeating dreams definitely have some sort of subconscious meaning, in my eyes at least. Figuring the meaning out is a whole nother matter. (Although, I’d venture to say by the money one that you’re currently stressed about money!)


Maggie says:
Jul 25, 2012 7:44 am

I almost always remember my dreams, often many from one night’s sleep. They’re realistic, vivid, but always with a bizarre twist — and I’m often aware while inside them that I am dreaming (but despite my efforts, I can’t seem to control what I dream about).

I don’t attach much significance to mine, perhaps because they are so reliably strange and vivid. Usually the symbols and events and people are easily traced back to something that’s been on my mind in the past few days/weeks/months (e.g. those inevitable wedding dreams). I’m not sure if my brain is processing stuff with a purpose or just randomly sifting through images and memories.


Pamela says:
Jul 25, 2012 2:04 pm

I definitely think that dreams have meaning. I personally tend to get hyper-analytical with my dreams, which becomes a problem whenever I have bad ones involving death, illness or what have you. In those cases I just choose not to claim it.

According to Freud, dreams are our subconscious way of trying to resolve conflict. It makes sense that the things that cause us stress end up in our dreams. Especially considering how internalized stress can have physiological effects, its no surprise that our stressors play out in our dreams.


Jo says:
Jul 25, 2012 2:53 pm

I don’t believe in symbolism. My brain usually tells me what’s up, or just makes no sense. If I go too dream-interpret-y I end up rocking in a ball in the closet under the shoe bins.


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