I have some interesting recurring themes in my dreams.
1. Disneyland – Many, many times, especially when I was younger, I had dreamed about going to Disneyland. However, while these dreams vary widely, two things are always true. First, Disneyland in my dreams never looks anything like the real-life Disneyland. (In one dream, it wasn’t even an amusement park, but a nightclub.) Second, I’ve never had a dream in which I went to Disneyland that was not a disturbing nightmare.
2. Malfunctioning elevators – Elevators seem to be symbolic of anxiety in many of my dreams. Most dreams I have that involve elevators will have said elevators malfunction in some way. They will stop between floors, not go all the way to the top floor of a building, refuse to stop at my floor, or somehow manage to stop at floors that don’t really exist. Frequently in such dreams, I will find myself needing to get from the bottom to the top of a large building or vice-versa, and subsequently find that the only way to do so is to scale the elevator shaft.
3. Driving – This particular dream feature stopped happening to me once I actually learned how to drive, but happened a lot in dreams when I was a kid. A situation would present itself in which I needed to drive somewhere. I don’t know how to drive, but since I must, I make an attempt. One of two things will happen: I will get behind the wheel and drive with a feeling of absolute terror, certain that something horrible will happen, but everything turns out fine. Or, I will get behind the wheel with complete confidence, and quickly after starting to drive become involved in a serious accident.
4. Graduation – Oddly enough, I didn’t have any nightmares about graduating from high school before I did in real life, but a few months after I had graduated, I had various dreams in which it was graduation day and something was going wrong that was hindering me from being able to graduate.
5. “Movie dreams” – One of my favorite aspects of the way I tend to dream is that I often have dreams that are very long, have a large cast of characters, and a fairly coherent plot. I call these “movie dreams” because in structure, they resemble a feature film. The really cool part? Almost all of these dreams have a soundtrack, and about a third of the time, the dream will actually end with a credits roll, and I won’t wake up until I see the MPAA logo.