Sometimes I wake up from a dream and have to reassess reality. Some emotions follow me out of slumber like an odd aftertaste. In those cases, waking up can be somewhat disorienting. I must discern reality from reverie.
Perhaps it was a particularly realistic dream, and I have to figure out if I have or have not actually done something. Especially if I’ve really been procrastinating, realizing I haven’t truly accomplished a task can be rather disappointing.
Other times I dream about someone who’s passed away. Then my waking mind must catch up to the fact that they’re dead. These are the dreams that affect me the most. They stir up sadness and longing and love. They feel like memories for a few moments, but their substance is short-lived. Even as I try to remember I forget them.
Less and less my dreams involve school, but it’s usually stressful when they do. These dreams tend to take place towards the end of a semester. Somehow I’ve forgotten to do the assigned reading for a class. It’s always a giant tome I won’t have time to read before the final exam. Or sometimes I discover I’m registered for a course I’ve never attended and it’s too late to have my transcript amended. These fear of failure dreams are rather toothless as nightmares go—and for that I’m grateful. Given how much I can worry when I’m awake, I’m glad my dreams rarely venture into terrifying territory.
Sometimes I will wake up with a foggy feeling—there even as it begins to disappear as I stop dreaming. Perhaps I was in danger and so I wake up uneasy. If I was having an argument I might rise on the verge of angry. I don’t like when emotions follow me out of my dreams and beyond my bed. It can be unsettling to greet the day with feelings already engaged instead of an emotional blank slate.