I had a dream. That is quite common, of course, but it is apparently less common to remember all or most of your dreams.
Multiple scientists have wondered why some people remember their dreams more than others; some studies believe it has to do with waking more often during sleep, saying, “People who frequently remember their dreams – “high recallers” – were twice as wakeful during the night as low recallers.” Others say it has to do with age and gender differences, and still others postulate that creative personalities who are more open and empathetic have a higher rate of dream remembrance. All of those ideas seem to be valid theories that have many agreeing variables, but scientists say there is still much to learn in the area of understanding dreams and why some people remember them more often.
In a study previously mentioned, those who remembered their dreams were referred to as ‘high recallers.’ If I were to participate in such a study, I would definitely be labeled as such, for I remember my dreams more often than not. Sometimes, it’s not a good thing. Sometimes I remember dreams that affect my reality—they stay with me throughout the day and throw everything off-kilter, permeating my thoughts until I experience near-constant déjà vu. Sometimes, they leave me shaken to my core with their vividness and specificity.
That is what happened with the dream I mentioned at the beginning.
It was a few nights ago, as normal a week-night as any. I got home in the evening, slipped into some pajamas, washed my face, and got in bed. Within just a few minutes, I was asleep, the soft tones of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast lulling me off as they have for almost three straight years now. Of course, I cannot say when, exactly, I lost consciousness, or when REM sleep began and the dream came to life, but I can tell you of the dream itself.
I dreamt of my life a year after I graduated college. That is the simplest way to explain the situation; even though I was never told this, I knew as one knows things within their dreams. Lots of strange, convoluted things happened along the way—a psychotic child who tried to burn down an entire city, snowfall during the summer, a woman in a black cloak who grabbed my hand and told me to run—but I will skim over those to instead get to the main point.
In the dream, despite having graduated a year before, I was still living in Jackson, and I was unhappy because of this. I had a job and a place to live and all that, but I wanted to travel, to fall in love, to experience life outside the norm. Since I hadn’t done that yet, I was not happy.
Then a man knocked on my door.
When I answered, I knew the man. I can’t remember him now, but his face was familiar, all except his eyes—they were bright blue and seemed to glow with an inner light. Behind him, I could see pot-holed streets canopied by heavy boughs of Magnolia trees and old oaks. I could feel the heat of Mississippi’s climate, the moisture clogging the air. I was there. The dream felt as real as any memory.
“Hello?” I asked, my gaze still on the strangely-familiar man.
He smiled at me. “All your dreams will come true on October 28th, 2028.”
And I woke up.
My waking was not like in the movies. I didn’t sit bolt-upright, breathing hard and sweating. I woke normally. My consciousness returned as my eyes slowly fluttered open, focusing on the rays of sunlight slanting in through the large window on the second floor of my apartment. I laid there for a moment, unsure if I was awake or not. The dream was too real.
Eleven years from now.
The date I was given in the dream solidified in my mind. I wrote it down the moment I got out of bed, unsure even as my pen swirled around the ‘O’ in October and the curve of the number two. What do I make of this? I have always wanted to believe in magic, in premonitions. Perhaps this was nothing, perhaps it was something, but I felt the need to keep that date clear in my head.
Many people have told me to forget about it because it was just a dream. A weird dream, yes, but a dream nonetheless. Others told me to hold onto that date, to write it down and never forget. Still others said it was weird how specific the date was, but say nothing else aside from that. One person, however, asked me something different.
“When you were told ‘all your dreams will come true on this day’,” she said, “How did you interpret it? What does that date mean in your mind?” In response to this question, I sat back for a moment and considered, realizing I hadn’t really thought through it like that.
To me, the date is a confirmation.
I don’t think every single one of my dreams will simultaneously and magically pan out on that day. Rather, I believe that is the day I will wake and be hit with the realization that all my dreams had already come true. That is what that day means to me—not a magic cure-all, but a simple day of understanding.
The realization that everything I worked for paid off in the end.