(I have heard that conversations about dreams are one of the most boring things you can talk about. Be warned; I’m going to be testing that idea in this post! 🙂 )
The world in my dreams is much bigger than the real world. I mean that in a literal sense. I often dream about places that are familiar to me, but they are almost always larger and more complex than the places were in real life. That’s one of the few things I think the movie Inception portrayed accurately about dreaming (at least until they decided to skip the maze concept in favor of an action scene– that was too bad).
Houses go on and on, with room after room opening into one another. My high school building has twice as many floors as in real life, and there are hallways you can only get to by going through a classroom. My church has back stairways leading to endless dimmed passages. My rural college becomes a city college, where instead of walking to class I am driving through traffic over hills and through tunnels. Everywhere I go, I am finding new places I didn’t know about– professors’ offices in the basement of the library, underground shopping malls that are miles across, museums holding everything imaginable. The journey from home to grad school takes me over huge mountain passes (even Texas has somehow become Alaska). Sometimes I dream that I have to drive my way through a tangle of overpasses and underpasses or even jump over a river using an incomplete bridge.
Even things like familiar television shows and video games take on an enlarged, alien appearance in my dreams. I always recognize them, but after I wake up I realize I was imaging things that never existed– Star Trek didn’t cover a span of 100,000 years (as much as it may seem to some people!) and there was no Super Mario game with a thousand levels.
These dreams aren’t unpleasant– often I enjoy exploring these places. As in real life, I don’t usually interact much with other people in these dreams; I either just wander or try to make my way to some appointment. It’s too bad I can’t remember them very well, because they would make pretty neat settings for stories.
If I had to guess about why I dream this way so much, it probably has something to do with the feeling that the real world is always just a bit more complicated than I can understand, requiring a bit more of me than I feel like I can keep up with. Maybe my overcautious mind magnifies my circumstances, and I get to see that in my dreams. Or maybe getting to explore a larger world while I’m asleep makes the real world seem like not as daunting a place.