Nightly Mayhem

I have a pretty lively nightlife. And not of the kind usually referred to when someone says a sentence like that. No, I am a creature of habit, usually staying at home in the evening, entertaining myself with bugging the cat, watching a movie or reading and occasionally hanging out with friends. I just read that Quinn's latest post about stepping out of her comfort zone and felt an increased kinship with her, nodding in familiarity with her description of being most comfortable reading about adventure while remaining safely within her routine - I'd invite her out for coffee, but not only do we live on opposite sides of the continent, but it would also require leaving home. Some people may think me boring, I prefer to say that I know what makes me happy and although there are times where little bit of adventure is welcome, mostly, low-key works.

However, once I go to sleep, this changes dramatically. For as long as I can remember, my dreams have been highly adventurous, highly active and highly weird. Sometimes I’m myself, sometimes I'm other people - women, men, vampires, once even a dog - and always, there's enough happening to fill several action movies (maybe Hollywood should come to me to breathe some life into the rut they seem to be in). And then, there are my theme dreams. Not recurring dreams as such, but recurring themes and I've learned that when I start having those kinds of dreams, my subconscious is trying to tell me something. My Punching Jell-O dreams mean that I should stop trying to fix a particular situation, because no matter what I do, it won't get fixed. When I dream of tornadoes, I know that it's a sign that my life is out of control and I need to step back and reassess. I once dreamt of being able to breathe underwater, but never found out what that was about. And lately, in the past month or so, it's been murder and mayhem.

Almost every night, I have a suspenseful and/or bloody thriller going on. There was a murder mystery on the Galapagos Islands, being on the beach in Normandy on D-Day and you get the idea. They don't necessarily qualify as nightmares, although there has been one or two where I woke up, heart pounding, convinced that if I wasn't completely still, someone or something would get me, but usually, I just wake up going 'whoa', marveling at yet another manifestation of intrigue, espionage, murderous intent, intricate plots and the sheer variety that my brain comes up with. Because they are all different, not a repeat in the bunch.

Clearly, my subconscious is trying very loudly to tell me something and I have no idea what. I do know that I'm ready to dream about something else, because regardless of how exciting each individual dream is, I'm starting to get a little bored.

A friend suggested that it sounded like I was feeling very anxious, but I don't think any more so than usual. Admittedly, I am not always a calm person and I have an Olympic-sized ability to worry, but I'm pretty sure I'm actually feeling less anxious than normal. There are no mysteries in my life that I'm currently trying to work out and I don’t feel the urge to throttle other people more than a few times a week. So, normal.

But I think I might finally have begun to figure this out and it's all thanks to Jung. I was discussing the nightly sojourn into action movies with a friend and remembered in second-year university reading about personality theories, more specifically Jung who - and forgive any inaccuracies, it's been a while - posited that your dreams will try to balance out your life. In other words, if your life is out of balance, if you're missing a particular activity, feeling, etc., your dreams will try to make up for it. Was I missing intrigue?

I thought about it some and realized that in the past month, I've been watching less TV -the season is over and I'm overjoyed to get my life back - and, more importantly, reading less. It's been a busy month and I'm attempting to balance my life to include less focus on work and more focus on work and personal life, so I've been catching up with friends, getting derailed on the computer and barely reading. When I read, I tend to go for entertainment and often there's some element of mystery in the books I read, sometimes supernatural, sometimes fantasy, sometimes science fiction and maybe my brain is missing that?

Alright then. In the last couple of days, I've made more of an effort to find time to read and selected a thoroughly satisfying book with plenty of mayhem. And last night, I was trying to escape from a prison while being chased by some evil guy who wanted his baton back, but if I gave it up, I would never be able to prove my case, so I fled in a red pickup with him breathing down my neck and…

Back to the drawing board.


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