The Journey of my Dream Journal

A few weeks ago, I made the impulsive choice to begin a dream journal. Dreams have always fascinated me, but the tangled web of symbolism, meaning, and motivation for them frightens me. I have always remembered most of my dreams, but I have to admit that most are dark and disturbing. Since I arrived at Denison, my dreams have gotten worse. Surprisingly, I haven’t woken up in a panic from any college related nightmares, but my mind’s detailed stories have gotten extremely convoluted and confusing. So… I decided that the only way to get to the bottom of these dreams would be to keep a dream journal. 

I have heard that recording dreams causes a person to remember more details when they wake up in the mornings… so I was extremely curious to test this theory. The first morning, I woke up in a daze and reached for a notebook. I scribbled down the date and any details I could remember from the dream. Even if I could only grab a few words from my memory, I still recorded them. My first entry consisted of “only girls with lipstick on”... “boyfriend cheated but it was a prank”... “pink and red”... Although these ideas confuse me today, I remember being fully aware of what I was writing because it made sense to me at the time. After this first morning, I felt a bit discouraged, but I decided to try again after my nap later in the day. I received similar results, just a few short descriptions: “a room without furniture”... “blank walls around a big room”... “stranger in the corner”... again, these phrases are not overly descriptive or detailed, but they spark my memory. I can picture the room in my mind, but that is all I can remember. 

After a few consistent days of recording my dreams, I came to the realization that I remember much more of the dreams that I have during my naps. My descriptions became much more detailed and in depth; I began to write complete sentences and full paragraphs about pool parties with black water, lost dogs, dirty hotels, deadly iPhone viruses, and much more… I am now completely intrigued with the abilities of my mind and the possible meanings behind these dreams. The theory must be true, or it just happens to apply to me as well because once I developed this system, I started to remember complete storylines and scenarios. Everytime I wake up to record the details that I can pull from my memory, I glance up to review my previous entries. When I began this routine, they did not make much sense to me, but after a few weeks of descriptions, I can put myself back into the dream simply by reading my notes and closing my eyes. Most days, I wake up with enough information to write something down, even if I only doze off for a few minutes in between my morning classes. I try to do this every time, but some days I still wake up without any memory of a dream. This process has proved to be consistent and successful, but I do not have notes for every single day. I haven’t delved into the analysis or interpretations of my dreams yet; I have just been focused on keeping up with my journal. However, once I reach a month of entries, I plan to research the possible meanings behind them. I want to use these dreams to learn more about myself and my worries. I am excited to continue this personal journey of my subconscious.