It’s a cold, but also rather lovely morning. The sun is out today – and I’ve an appointment to go to, so I’ve started out early and dressed up warm. Everywhere I look the light is streaming between trees and houses and chasing away the crisp and beautiful frost from every surface.
As I walk today I’m not trying to beat any records – just trying to order my thoughts. I’m not listening to music – and instead just paying attention to the sounds of the world and people as they pass by.
There are a number of anniversaries drawing near. Some are positive and others… well, not so much – but as these come closer I’m beginning to think more and more about their significance, and where I was then versus where I am now.
This mood of reflection appears to be having an impact on my dreams though, which over the last week or so have been periodically very vivid indeed, and I’ve awoken some mornings full of adrenalin and (in the case of today) also with a strong fight or flight response.
This morning I found myself jolted myself awake in the middle of a dream where I was brawling with someone.
There aren’t many people in the world I don’t like – but this was a real (rather than imagined) figure from my past and I was genuinely enjoying thumping this person (repeatedly and gleefully) in the face.
I’ve only ever punched one person as an adult in a fight (and on that occasion some twenty plus years ago it was in self defence) but in my dream it felt good. There was a sense of triumph – like I was finally living out a fantasy.
I’ve looked this up online (I never Google dreams and I’ve already done it TWICE this week!) and it seems that it can mean many things, if you believe what you read – and I’m not 100% sure I do.
Mostly this seems to be symbolic of someone dealing with unresolved personal conflict or significant change.
‘Violent dreams are relatively common and may be a reflection of the confusion and conflict that the dreamer experiences in daily life. Interpreting dreams with violent themes suggest that the dreamer has unconscious negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, and anger. If you are not dealing with these feelings consciously, your dreams are compensating and bringing into awareness the need for honest reflection and emotional balance in daily life.’ (link)
I don’t think that I’m angry about anything – although deep down I do have a lot of unresolved anxiety and maybe even some fear about the future that didn’t exist a year ago.
Things that play on my mind these days are topics like finding a job, the gradual decline of my bank balance in the absence of regular pay cheques, who I’ll be when I’ve lost my weight (as well as whether or not I will manage to lose it after all) if I’ll ever have another relationship and a few other more personal things.
Suffice to say there is always something vaguely unresolved floating around in the back of my mind, and I could probably never be accused of being an uncomplicated person (although who could?). Even when I look calm on the surface there’s usually a lot of mental paddling going on under the water.
Lately I work these internal worries and conflicts out by writing them down. Usually this enables me to engage in the introspection I seem to crave recently but also usually has the side effect of resulting in a resolution of sorts too. I often end up understanding myself a just a little bit better after putting together a post – but for some reason at the moment I’m also dreaming stranger and wilder things.
I’m not sure why the anniversary of something is a big enough event that it changes a person’s thought processes. After all what does it really matter if it’s been a year or just two weeks since an event occurred? I didn’t feel this way a month ago, so what has changed in my mind when I start thinking about the significance of 365 days having passed by?
I was reading another blogger’s entry this morning about their negative feelings towards a significant birthday milestone in the near future. It started me thinking about why that particular day means so much to so many people compared to the day that preceded or followed it.
Time after all only exists as a concept that we use to explain the world around us and make sense of our lives – which makes it even odder that human beings obsess over dates. They don’t really mean anything at all.
You can be sure dogs and cats don’t do this and they get along just fine without that added (and self imposed) burden thank you very much.
In contrast for some crazy reason I’m locked into a lunar calendar mentality where the significance of my life’s milestones are almost exclusively related to the passage of a moon around the ball of rock I’m standing on. If I lived on Mars then I’d only feel this way every 686.98 days (based on it’s contrasting solar calendar) and even those days would be a longer 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35 seconds in duration.
So – when I intellectualise them, anniversaries become completely meaningless.
And yet they’re not – because I’m still thinking about them, and what they mean to my life.
Yesterday I asked my friend to take a photo of me, sitting in a similar place to where a photo (that I will always hate) was taken. Davey on the right was the 8XL man I was prior to giving up drinking and starting to lose weight. Davey on the left is for the first time wearing a 4XL shirt.
The start of the process that made that happen is one of the approaching milestones on my mind. It’s a complex moment in my life and is for another post when I have finally decided how I feel about it.
I’ve already shown this photo to my Slimming World group on our Facebook page – so In their case (if they’re reading) I apologise for the duplication.
Although I’m still not happy with the man on the left (he still looks fat) I’m not blind to the significance of my achievements so far. The man in blue is to me ‘only’ a half way point and as such (despite representing both pride and a lot of effort) he looks to me like someone who will have to do a lot more fighting to get to where he wants to be.
Maybe it’s unsurprising then that the man on the left is punching people in his dreams.
Maybe the meanings behind his subconscious thoughts are simpler than he thinks.
Maybe they are present because on a daily basis he is trying to find within him the fight to carry on with the task at hand and to love the person that he looks at in the mirror every day.
Some days (if I’m truthful internet) it’s my own face I want to punch – in retribution for all the things I’ve done to damage my body – and yet on other days I see a man that I want to hug for finally finding deep down (somewhere that was previously inaccessible) the will to change things for the better.
Thankfully a year ago I only saw the one I wanted to punch, so that’s progress!