Sunken into memory foam beneath my old pink quilt, my body casts off the present and my mind veers into alienated dreamlands. I’m extremely careless in this uncharted wilderness in and of itself, leaving me both shaken and wide-eyed after I jolt awake in the middle of the night from a terror. The mind’s complexity allows for a variety of subconscious adventures, but I question why the word “dream” also loops back to aspirations – that gnawing at my heart that leads me forward in my walk of life as if I was being dragged along by an invisible leash. I feel like I have no control; there is no forgiveness in the dream world. In the realm of mundane existence, I find myself catching glimpses of potential futures and wondering – why do I dream what I do?
The quality of my existence heavily relies on my ability to sift through thoughts. I generate reactions to different causes in different scenarios. My days go by as if I have something pulling me forward, those dreamscapes that want more for me than I could possibly give back to them. In the mornings when I wake up for class I either feel dragged by that force or I feel that I can keep up with it. The end result is that I’m going to class, but if I am working at the same rhythm of that force then I’m up early to do last minute studies or to eat breakfast. When that force drags me along my day, I’m rolling out of bed at the last minute and hurriedly throw on clothes even though I spent the morning curled up between soft cotton sheets. The scenarios that my thoughts automatically react to differ based on the force of my daily speculation. The haunting specters of my own dreamland, even though claiming any possession with “owning” of the dream world minimizes its power over me, affect my daily lifestyle. Thus begins my day-to-day speculation. Because we live in such an intricate environment, there are constant obstacles one is challenged by each day. If my visit to dreamland was unfavorable the night before, my view becomes convoluted, causing my personal obstacles to seem mountainous compared to another day when a similar obstacle was a molehill. The mind works in various ways with a sometimes drastically transparent sensitivity. Because of my introversion, I’m still occasionally startled to realize that I am so connected to the world outside of myself.
The merging of the realistic and the surreal happens to me daily, even when my mind has escaped dreamland and landed in the conscious world. The way the mind’s wanderings affect whatever unit of time measurement may arise is absolutely beautiful. Recalling Ellen Forney’s graphic autobiography Marbles, I realize how much power mental health has in either disrupting or encouraging dreams of the future. Forney analyzes her personal experience with bipolar disorder, using graphics to describe how the different levels of mania and depression cause outbursts of the tugging effects of the “force” that I earlier described. Sometimes she is in bed for months, sunken in deep depression, one of the most destructive diseases of the mind. Other moments in time, Forney’s mania takes over into a rollercoaster of images scrawled across the page. Reading this autobiography settled my tumbling thoughts of dreams and what-if’s. The world is an intense labyrinth that we don’t necessarily have to fight our way out of. Rather, I want to allow my dreams to tug me forward even if getting out of bed is the most dissatisfying option.