What do dreams mean?
By: By Lisa Smartt
First, I was sailing on a block of ice in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, while wearing an ill-fitted bathing suit. The next moment, I was in my kitchen discovering everything I owned had been turned a bright shade of pink. The paper plates were pink. The toaster was pink. There was pink coffee flowing through our pink coffee maker. Even the beautiful hardwood floor had been turned into Pepto-Bismol. I know. Creepy. Ever wonder what your dreams really mean? Believe it or not, most of the time I have a pretty good idea.
Let’s start with the Arctic Ocean scenario, shall we? This can be summed up in one word: exposure. Was I afraid of being exposed? New speaking opportunities were coming my way. Would I “survive” the new opportunities or would the opportunities “expose” the real me? The fact that I was wearing a bathing suit in the dream was a two-fold fear. First of all, it wouldn’t be warm enough to protect me from the cold. This could mean a fear of imminent death. However, the second scenario was probably what I feared much more. What if I were miraculously rescued? That means I would make my national television debut ... while wearing a bathing suit. An ill-fitted bathing suit. A fat girl nightmare. My dream of appearing on the “Today” show would be fulfilled alright, but not exactly as I had planned. I don’t even want to know what Matt Lauer’s comments would be while watching the footage of my dramatic rescue from the ice block. “And now, let’s check in with our Arctic correspondent. Yes, there appears to be a large pasty-white woman in her mid-40s from Dresden, Tenn., wearing an ill-fitted bathing suit. And yes, she’s still clinging to that ice block in the Arctic Ocean. Do you think that helicopter’s rope ladder is ... well, strong enough?” Move over, Brittany. A housewife from Dresden would be the top story of the day.
As to the solid pink kitchen scenario, I think I have that figured out as well. I live in a “man house.” Our home is in the woods and I’ve always felt the need to decorate in a “cabin-like” forest green and tan style. I had recently commented to my husband, “You guys have no idea what it’s like to try to maintain my feminine identity in this testosterone-laden environment.” Now, in the world of my dreams, my entire home had been turned into a big pink nightmare. It was as though a Pepto-Bismol bottle had exploded on everything I held dear. The message came through loud and clear. I didn’t really want to live in a “girl” house. I didn’t want pink and bows and lace. And pink coffee? That’s the subconscious mind’s way of saying, “Be careful what you wish for.”
Dreams have a unique way of “laying bare” our thoughts, insecurities and fears. Perhaps we would be wise to try to remember our dreams. But we would be even wiser to work through some of our fears and insecurities. And while we’re at it, maybe we should focus on being content with our current blessings rather than constantly peering around the corner in search of something “more.” I know that’s the life lesson I took from my most recent set of bizarre dreams. Of course, I also made a firm and resolute commitment to never travel to the Arctic Ocean.
Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. Mrs. Smartt is the wife of Philip Smartt, the University of Tennessee at Martin parks and recreation and forestry professor, and is mother to two boys, Stephen and Jonathan. She is a freelance writer and speaker. She can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger on 10.10.07