Okay, this happened a couple of years ago. However, I still think of it often, usually in the morning or in the middle of the night when I’m remembering a particular dream. For over 35 years I’ve had a recurring dream. It went like this:
I’m in high school. The building is huge. I’m late for math class. That’s bad, because I’m failing math. I run through hallways and up and down stairs, taking them two or three at a time. I can’t find the classroom! The clock is ticking and everyone else has settled into their rooms. I’m still running through the empty halls like a mad man. Where is that classroom? I peek into rooms, hoping to find the right one. Students are busy at work and don’t notice me. It occurs to me that I have been unable to find the room for quite some time – weeks now, and that my absences will likely cause me to fail the class. I will not be able to graduate.
Then I wake up.
This started in my late teens and continued into my 50’s. I HATED this dream! Where did it come from? The seed likely germinated from the fact that I was having one hell of a time passing Algebra. So much so, I’d get up early every morning and go for extra help before school started. It was a very stressful time, and frustrating. Algebra just was not clicking for me.
I did some reading on this kind of dream. Not being able to find your classroom is fairly common, it seems. Right up there with forgetting your locker combination (had that one, too, off and on). Most say that it’s simply the subconscious revisiting a time of high anxiety. One of the functions of our brain is to solve our problems; to seek solutions for what it perceives to be damaging to our mind and body. I heard somewhere that the phenomenon of seeing your life pass before your eyes when facing death is actually the mind rapidly searching for an experience that could come to your aid. I had a near-death experience many years ago and that really happens! Images fly through your head, sliding through, one after another; each one recognizable, but lasting only a millisecond. Even while asleep, our brain is on duty, sifting through solutions to problems.
So, it seems that math class did a number on my psyche. Then one night I slipped back into that dream. Running! Running! Running! Where is that room? Will the teacher even recognize me anymore? And then…
I FOUND IT!!!
I stepped into the class. Everyone was there already, taking a math test. The teacher sat casually on one desks and smiled. I apologized to her for missing so many classes. She said not to worry about.
“But I’ve been away so long,” I said. “I am going fail this class!”
“No,” she said. “Life experience counts toward your grade. You’ll be fine.”
I realized at that point I was my current age. My teacher, Miss Zorn was the age she was when I last saw her – mid-twenties. I was actually over 25 years older than her, but it didn’t seem that way. She was still my teacher. I was still her student. “Life experience counts toward your grade. You’ll be fine.” I will never forget those words – hell, they did come from my own brain. It’s a cliche to say that the “relief washed over me”, but there’s no better way to put it. Decades of seeking resolution came to an end.
Then I woke up. I was smiling and shaking my head in disbelief. I said aloud, “I found it!” That feeling of relief in my dream carried over into my waking world. It was true elation! I felt a real sense of accomplishment. I balled my fists and shook them victoriously in the air. “I FOUND it!” I repeated.
I wondered then if I’d visited that scenario for the last time. Wouldn’t it be interesting if a single resolution in a dream had the power to vanquish forever the problem that demanded that resolution?
The answer is yes. I have not had that dream since.