I left Asia because of a single dream. An incredibly deep and vivid dream about my mother. Until I dreamt that dream I didn’t know whether I should give Asia another year and then make my decision like most expats do. One year has a tendency to merge into another and then another. “This is my last year,” most people say. By the time you finally leave if ever, you could easily find yourself severely out of the loop.
The ‘Dream’ as I like to call it, was the leading impetus for my departure from Asia. I remembered every detail down to who was present and what they were drinking. The weight it carried was enormous and I couldn’t ignore it. It genuinely felt real.
Now, of course there were other reasons that contributed to my final decision to pack my bags and book my ticket. Situations pertaining to relationships with the opposite sex, emotional stability and not to mention monetary stability. However, as powerful as these other motivations were, the ‘Dream’ was the sole catalyst for why I left.
The alarm screams like it always does on weekday mornings. Last night I stayed up too late watching a movie and now my eyes were as big as lemons. My eyes were so swollen that I couldn’t make out the painting on the wall. “Is that a painting? When did that painting get there?” I mentally ask myself. Caught in between both stages of consciousness and unconsciousness, I reach around my pillow for my cell phone. It’s right where I left it last night. I press the button that says snooze and decide to sleep for another ten minutes.
Beep! Beep! Beep! I jump up and suck in as much oxygen as I can from the stale air around me. Like a bear waking up from a 6 month slumber, I let out a beastly moan and taste my putrid breath. “Jesus, 10 minutes went by already,” I say to myself as I yawn. In a dream state ten minutes of sleep feels like thirty seconds. In the real world ten minutes at work feels like a life sentence at a labor camp
I take another deep breath and press the ‘OK’ button. “It’s time to get up, Ade,” I tell myself.
Oneirology, or the study of dreams says that we dream about 5 times per night. That’s about 1,825 dreams per year. Freud believes that dream content is a product of wish fulfillment. Meaning that when we don’t remember certain aspects of a dream, it’s our brain’s way of blocking out wishes or longings that we’re not emotionally equipped to handle. Wow, pretty deep stuff, Freud. Freud goes on to say that lack of dream recall signals repression as a form of self-preservation. Simply put, our brains don’t want us to remember certain content because it’s too traumatic.
Within 5 minutes of waking 50% of dream recollection is forgotten. Within 10 minutes, 90% is lost. That morning I woke up, turned my alarm off and quickly called my mother.
She had to hear this.