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What do you see when you close your eyes at night? Do you let your mind run wild with its imagination or is there only blackness? I find it strange when people tell me they do not dream because there is not a morning that goes by where I don’t wake up and wonder at what I just experienced. There is something oddly calming about dreams. Knowing that your subconscious creates stories and images that hardly make sense yet entertain you anyway. People across thousands of years have dreamed. I believe this is something ornate, something unknowable. 

Why do we dream? 

It is thought that dreaming is meant to process memory or, as Freud claimed, to represent unconscious desires and thoughts. Since nothing has been fully proven, the reason for dreaming remains to be interpreted. Dreams have been used a resource for looking deeper into yourself, a chance for reflection. [bf_image id="q7k1fy-8ur6hc-a0zj5j"]

A connection that I have made between real life and dreamscapes is that sometimes whatever has been occupying a tab in my mind finds its way into my dreams. For example, I lost a childhood friends nearing two years ago in a devastating manner. Right after she passed, she appeared in my dreams for a few nights. Nothing prophetic, but she simply acted as if she were still living. I think of her every so often and then she’ll happen to be present in a dream. Spirituality relating to the meaning of dreams interests me, but I think this is just my mind’s way of remembering her and letting me experience some time with her.

Another connection is stress dreams. These are not as comforting because they usually have to do with what has been plaguing me that week, whether it’s work or classes. I often wake up in the middle of the night to shake off the stress. You’d think sleeping is the chance to escape from daily struggles—but no! 

My mind is restless, and I find that is reflected in my dreams, which become so confusing at times. Sometimes I try to write down particularly crazy ones or ones that would make a good idea for a story. The Notes App on my phone is filled with random, unfinished entries that I wrote deliriously at 4 am in an effort to capture the plot of the dream. The idea for this article even came to me this morning after realizing how weird my dreams were.

Strange dreams aside, the normal-feeling ones that almost match real life tend to mess me up a little bit. Certain dreams can match reality so well, you expect to see the effect when you wake up. I once dreamed that I got a tattoo, and I woke up so disappointed that it wasn’t there because it felt so real. Have you ever dreamed a romantic encounter with someone in real life and you had no attraction to them originally, but you feel a little different in the morning? It makes you want to ask your brain, “What’s up with that?” 

[bf_image id="q2wim2-1wj21k-f7o8wg"] While I’m hesitant to believe that dreams tell the future, it’s always about intention. What you think about can be reflected when you close your eyes for the night. I believe there is symbolism within your dreams that you can interpret by taking a look at what you’re dealing with in your life. Dreams may not answers, but they can be a starting point to search within yourself. 

So, take the time tonight to settle yourself in bed. Light a candle, play some music, do your skincare routine. Get comfy under the blankets and shut your eyes. Are they closed? Good. Time to start dreaming.

Leah Mikulich

West Chester '21

Leah Mikulich is a senior at West Chester studying for her degree in English on the writings track with a French minor. As well as being an intern for Her Campus, she is the President of Daedalus Literary Magazine. When she's not finishing hours of schoolwork, she enjoys reading, baking for her friends, collecting too many journals, and writing short stories. Although working for a publishing company is one of her job goals, she'd also like to publish her own book one day.
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