I don’t have a lot of nightmares. I never have, not by frequency anyway. But I have had a few notable ones.
I very clearly remember having one reoccurring nightmare when I was around 4 or 5. My dad would come into my room and start to put me to bed. And then he would grow multiple heads, which understandably scared the bezeezus out of little me.
The funny part of that dream looking back is that my multiple-headed father kept trying to put me to bed after he grew the multiple heads. It was like it wasn’t a big deal to him, and he didn’t understand why I was losing my mind. It’s funny in retrospect how oblivious this monstrous version of my dad was.
The next reoccurring nightmare had to do with school. This one didn’t happen until I started taking college classes. I would dream that I woke up and missed my class. It wasn’t a particularly intense dream, or even probably particularly unusual. I’m sure loads of school-obsessed kids like me had similar dreams.
My strangest nightmare, on the other hand, doesn’t make a lot of sense, and I feel like it’s a little more unique. See, every once in a while, I’ll dream that I’m in class. Usually, it’s either English or biology. In the dream, I just stop going to the class. I don’t drop the class. I just don’t go anymore. I stop doing the homework. The professor emails me and asks what’s wrong, but I ignore her.
Throughout the dream, this feeling of horrible dread follows me everywhere I go. It’s like I know that I’m going to fail the class, and that’s going to wreck my GPA, but I still can’t bring myself to go to the class or drop it.
This dream is strange for two reasons. The first is that I’m not that kind of person. I was a school junkie. I loved school right up through college. I was either on-time or early to every class, and I only missed classes if I was deathly ill. I turned in all of my assignments on time (I cut a few close, but that’s another story), with the exception of one. I missed one online quiz because of a mix-up with the calendar at the end of the year.
The other reason the dream is odd is because it only started after I graduated from college. Almost immediately after, in fact. The first time I can remember having the nightmare was in the few days between when I finished my last project and when I left after graduation. I’ve continued to have the same dream over and over again once every month or so since then.
I don’t know what causes this particular nightmare. I’ve thought that maybe it’s because I never took a biology or English 101 class at Liberty (I took them at a community college before I came), and my brain unconsciously thinks I should have. But then again, I never took a college math course at all (I CLEPed out), and it’s never a math class I’m ditching.
It’s certainly weird, but it’s nice to wake up, clear the fog from my brain, and realize I don’t have to worry about school anymore. That part of my life is over. Now I have to worry about finding writing gigs, running my photography business, working on selling my book, making enough money to pay off my student loans, buying food…
Wait, what was I talking about?