So many dreams I’d like to forget
The moment I wake, I wanna sleep again
-Lover’s Anthem by Paper Route
Ever wake up to a harsh reality after an intense dream?
After experiencing James Cameron’s motion picture Avatar, my ability to articulate my feelings was shattered. Hours passed, and in an instant the shards of emotions came together. Watching the film reminded me of every vivid and virtually tangible dream I can remember, even ones from over twenty years ago. Throughout my life, I have a handful of dreams when at the time of slumber, seemed real to me, causing me to wake up in panic, excitement, sorrow, and even relief, and to this day, I can still remember the feeling, sight, and sound of these specific dream sequences.
The emotions elicited by these dreams were extreme. Some situations would be: casual and personal hang-outs and sessions with popular musicians and inspiring artists, the death of a loved one, an ex-girlfriend wanting to reconcile after a recent break-up in reality, meeting female celebrity crushes, having the ability to fly, or finally breaking through to someone who has been closed-offto me.
Waking up to a reality where none of this is true, I would angrily and bitterly react by striking my bed or pillow, and ask (God) out loud “WHY?” as in “Why would you allow this to happen? What’s the point of all of this; this emotional tease which ends in emotional conflict which I have to deal with in reality and conscious mind?!”
Tired of dealing with this alone, I sought someone to confide in as I expressed my distress. I learned this lesson which I now hold valuable:
Dreams are like unforeseen (or even tragic) events which may occur. They are beyond our control, and we rarely know exactly why they happen. However, we still have the ability to treat them like any other questionable circumstance in our lives, and just like any other uncontrollable situation, we need to wake up and realize what we can control, such as the ability to choose. How will you respond? We have a choice in the aftermath of almost any circumstance thrown at us. We can learn from dreams, we can let them haunt us, or we can think nothing of them, moving forward. Because in reality:
1) I did not have lunch with Michelle Branch and Avril Lavigne at the peak of their career.
2) My my father is still alive.
3) My ex-girlfriend at the time did not give me another chance.
4) I will probably never speak a word to any of my celebrity crushes.
5) I cannot fly.
6) I still need to work on the relationships with the people I care about no matter how long it takes for a breakthrough.
7) I am not a giant blue person from an indigenous tribe that can fly on giant prehistoric animals living in a glow-in-the-dark forrest.
Though old ghosts still haunt me, I have learned to appreciate what I do have in my life, where I currently am, and even more importantly, where I will be heading. So in a way, I am thankful for a movie like Avatar as it has allowed me to get a tighter grip on reality, which sometimes to me is…unreal.
Written January 8, 2010