“To sleep, perchance to dream”

I have always been a prolific dreamer. And in this case, I’m not referring to hopes for my future, although I’ve got an abundance of those as well. I’m talking about the kind you have while sleeping. I’ve always been a person who dreams very vivid dreams and I almost always remember them. I’ve always been fascinated with my dreams and the reasons behind what I dream and why I dream have always been of interest to me. I know there are a million thoughts and theories about why we dream and if those dreams mean anything.

My personal belief on the subject changes frequently. I’d like to believe they’re meaningful – but I guess I don’t really know. Sometimes my dreams are bizarre and unexplainable. But for the most part, I can look at things going on in my life and things I’ve been thinking a lot about lately and kind of figure out why particular things were in my dreams.

For instance, I’ve had one reoccurring dream for as long as I can remember. In the dream, I’m getting married. I’m walking down the aisle and a sea of blurry faces are watching me as I stride confidently towards my groom. His back is turned at first but then he turns around and his face is a blurred, black smudge. I can’t see who it is. The details change, sometimes I recognize guests. My dress and flowers will often be different. But the basic premise of the dream is always the same. To me, this dream is pretty cut and dry. I want to get married, I want my life to go in that direction – but I have no idea who I’ll marry, if anyone – so the mystery remains. Sometimes, this dream makes me profoundly sad. Other times, hopeful.

Not only are my dreams usually vivid, but they are almost always connected to strong emotion. I’ll wake up after a dream feeling sad, happy, scared, joyful, etc.. Whatever the main emotion of the dream. Sometimes I wake up smiling or laughing out loud. Sometimes I wake up actually crying. A few times I’ve woken up truly sobbing. It’s always so bizarre to be in such a heightened emotional state without any conscious effort.

Lately I’ve been dreaming a lot about death. I had a terrifying, sorrowful dream about the death of my mother (who is alive and well in real life) and woke up sobbing and crying. I was in such a funk when I woke up it took practically the entire day for me to shake the emotions.

Last night I dreamed of my own funeral. My best friend and her sister stood by my grave and sang a beautiful song and I kept thinking, “Man, I wish I was alive to hear this song, it’s so pretty!”

When you search dream meanings online, you get an abundance of different interpretations. One site says, “Dreams of experiencing your own death usually means that big changes are ahead for you. You are moving on to new beginnings and leaving the past behind.” That could be a load of bull. But I hope it’s true.

Maybe dreams are completely random and mean absolutely nothing. Or maybe not. Either way, they’re a big part of my life. Sometimes I hate them, sometimes I love them- but I always enjoy thinking about them.

What do you think? Do you think dreams have meaning? Or do you think they’re the random misfiring of neurons or other random brain phenomenon? I’d like to know.

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