Since receiving my bad news at the start of the week, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the big things: What do I want? What are my ambitions? How realistic are they, how do I achieve them? It’s been a quietly constant process in the back of my mind — and, sometimes, the front of it — for the last few days. With this unexpected period of reflection has come an equally unexpected byproduct: vividly remembered dreams for what feels like the first time in months.
Part of this is undoubtedly due to the fact that I’ve been sleeping poorly since getting the news; the low-level stress has combined with what was already not the greatest sleep cycle to leave me surprisingly awake at 5am, like someone flipped a switch. (Don’t worry; come 9pm, I’ll be exhausted and brain dead as a result.) But there is, I’m sure, more to my sudden spate of dream recall than simply waking up at the right time. My brain, perhaps, is trying to tell me something.
Of course, what that something is, is not necessarily straightforward or even that interesting. If there’s been a common thread to the dreams in the last few nights, it’s been that I’ve been ill-prepared for things happening on work trips, which is far from a deep or significant insight given the context of my week. (Oh, for a piercing commentary from my subconscious that answers all the innermost questions!)
In these dreams, I’ve attended the first post-COVID comic conventions, only to discover that my laptop doesn’t work and I’ve failed to set up any interviews or meetings in advance; I’ve had in-depth conversations with the people who make Star Wars in which they revealed lots of secrets and things that I knew, in the moment, was “big news,” only to discover after the fact that none of it actually recorded — that level of quiet panic.
It’s almost certainly a response to what’s happening, and the general feeling of unpreparedness I have for what’s to come, and yet… there’s something oddly satisfying about actually properly remembering my dreams for the first time in awhile, even if they’re simply generic stress dreams. That’s a silver lining of some kind, right?