I’m not sure when I started to realize this, but recently, I’ve had trouble dreaming. Not the sort of dreams that come from the subconscious, late night sugar, and REM sleep. I have those quite often (maybe I’ll share one with you guys some time). No, I’m talking about the sort of dreams that make up an Impossible List or a Bucket List (or an Ex-Quitter List!).
I mentioned this in my introduction, but I used to have fantastic dreams about who I was going to be, what I was going to do, and so on. But within the last few years, I started to realize that I have legitimate difficulty setting big goals for myself.
This wasn’t for lack of trying. Sometimes I would be sitting at home, bored, and try to think of something fun to do. Something unusual for me, something that might turn a few heads at the spectacle. More often than not, I would simply draw a blank. And that was just with the simple little things. You can only imagine the difficulty I would run into when I tried to create a Bucket List. Sure, the typical stuff came to mind: Go skydiving, drive on the autobahn, surf in Hawaii. Or whatever people dream of doing. But the problem was that those weren’t my dreams. They were other’s dreams.
This difficulty dreaming bothered me a lot (To be honest, it still does. That is part of my motivation for this blog, after all.). Why was it so hard to dream? My conclusion? Aliens. Oh wait… That was this guy. But seriously, I realized that a past of chronic, habitual quitting had trained my mind to stop dreaming. After all, why dream if I was only going to end up quitting? Wasn’t it easier (and less disappointing) to simply avoid setting goals that I would fail at? And so I slowly stopped dreaming.
Now, obviously these weren’t conscious thoughts. I like dreaming. Dreams make life more colorful and fun. They provide goals to aim for and satisfaction when one is accomplished. No, this descent into dreamlessness was a slow, subtle destruction of the imagination. It began when I quit the first thing, and continued as I quit more and more things. Like cooking a frog, I never noticed that the water around my dreams was slowly heating up. Then suddenly they were dead. Actually, it’s probably more like slowly freezing to death. Thank God that I woke up before my dreams fell asleep for the last time.
What about you? Do you have trouble dreaming?