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Dream a little dream of me.

2009-12-14 - 4:16 p.m.

Why do themes recur in our dreams over and over again? When I dream about getting my hair cut I usually go out and do it because I figure that if itís been in my subconscious enough that it pops up in my slumber, I must want to do it. When I have to pee I often dream about endlessly searching for a bathroom Ė thereís no mystery behind that one. But what about things I donít really want to do or have?

Iím not sure when it started, but for a good while now Iíve dreamt almost weekly that Iím moving back to Waterloo to pursue my Ph.D. at the University of Waterloo. Do I want to get my Ph.D.? Nope. I mean, it would be cool to be called ďDoctorĒ, but itís not worth four years of my life to me, forget the fact that it would financially ruin us to go without my salary for that long. Iíve said to more than one person who asked if I wanted to do it when I finished my M.Sc. (which would have been the time to do it, really), that if I ever got a Ph.D. it would be as an honorary degree. And yet there I am, house hunting in Waterloo, looking for an advisor to study under, or orienting myself on campus once again.

Likewise, itís been a recurring theme, off and on, that the dream Shawna has elected to return to high school to do OAC (grade 13) calculus in her spare time, never mind that grade 13 doesnít even exist anymore. I totally know the reason for this though; I missed an 80 average by one stinking percentage point in my top six OAC courses (yep, 79.83%) and calculus in particular rankles because we had a teacher other than our regular one mark our exams and, like most of my classmates, my mark in that course plunged; in my case from an 84 going into the final exam to something in the 60s. Grr. The irony is that if Iíd known that I was going to miss the 80 average by only one mark I could have easily have called in a favour and had a teacher give me an extra percent; I taught part of his class for him when he fell seriously ill for about a month for peteís sake. But I digressÖ

Nor is it unusual for me to dream about a particular ex-boyfriend. Yes, we were very serious and yes, I almost married him, but do I want to still be with him? No. In fact, I strongly suspect that if we had gotten married Iíd be a divorced woman by now. It was with him that I learned the lesson that loving someone is not enough when youíre just incompatible on a basic level. Our 3 years together were filled with misery and angst and clinging together against it, without twigging to the fact that being together probably generated a good 80% of it (the other 20% could probably be blamed on the fact that we were both in university programs we didnít like but were determined to see through to the bitter end).

Iíll be honest here: I think this one is because of guilt. Iím not going into details but letís just say that things blew up spectacularly in the end and he got really hurt by me, and no matter the fact that we worked on getting past it and, in fact are still ďFacebook friendsĒ 10 years later, I cannot shake the fact that I am happily married to wonderful man with whom I have two beautiful kids, while the ex still hasnít settled down and started a family. This despite the fact that we both wanted kids over a decade ago. Did being with me make him ďgun-shyĒ? Did I break him?

So what about you? Are there any recurring themes to your dreams? If so, do you know where they come from? Are they things you want? Things you wish you could do over differently? What lurks in your subconscious until night falls?

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