Your Life, Only Surrealer


You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up.

~from ‘The Matrix’

Life has been surreal as of late. I’ve been having dreams of mountain ranges in foreign lands a la Avatar. My family life as well as professional life have both settled down to a dull roar for once. My beloved Red Sox are in the pennant chase. Well, all right…perhaps it’s not that surreal.

I’m at that stage in life sometimes referred to as a Quarter-Life Crisis. Admittedly it’s a bit late; most of my stages, as is common for autistic people, have come later than usual. My teenage rebellions didn’t occur until my early twenties. I didn’t date seriously until sometime after that. And now that I’m officially a third of a century old, all these questions are appearing like so many tiny hummingbirds. Where do I belong? With whom, if anyone? If life has dealt me an unusual hand, what do I do with that? Why are all my friends already married? That sort of thing.

The truth is I’ve always been unconventional even in my thought processes. While a lot of single women my age, including a friend and a cousin, are settling down and readying themselves for a life of 2.5 kids, a McMansion, and a golden retriever, my thoughts wander down darker alleys. I ask myself why it wouldn’t be possible for me to join the Peace Corps for a year and help kids in another country. Why I couldn’t save enough money to learn to fly a helicopter. Why if Stephenie Meyer can write bestsellers, surely I can at least finish my manuscript.

And then there’s the surreal stuff. Never have I been what I’d call naive, but I’ve always been a seeker with an open mind. The Fox Mulder of my subconscious, my Id, screams that ‘The Truth Is Out There,’ but my more pragmatic Dana Scully Ego warns it not to get out of control. I suspect many thirty-somethings fight these internal battles. This was perfectly illustrated in the heart-wrenching opening montage of the film Up: a young, idealistic couple hopes and dreams for adventures far from hope, but life and, ultimately, death, get in the way first.

Let me stick to Up for a moment. If nothing else, the film is a visual representation of dreams turned into reality and the creation of logic from absurdity. It has been said many times the truth is stranger than fiction. So, I ask my readers, as well as myself: why can’t we make contact with an alien civilization? Is it not possible to create a working holodeck as seen in Star Trek?

The concept of dreams appeals to many visually-oriented people and Aspies like myself. Instead of sitting passively in front of a TV and letting someone else’s dreams fill my mind, my own dreams are surrealistic wonders that put anything James Cameron or Tim Burton could envision to shame. Alas, that’s a drawback for so many Aspies: we live in an internal world and only make token appearances in the Real World.

I personally believe the world could use more surrealism. Instead of asking ourselves why, maybe the better question is why not. I know for certain I believe in alien intelligences, unicorns, Sasquatch, the Loch Ness monster, and multiple dimensions. Throwing in “open minds” for good measure doesn’t seem so weird after all.

What surreal experiences or dreams have you had? Which of any of them do you wish you could experience in the Real World?

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on July 12, 2012.

11 Responses to “Your Life, Only Surrealer”

  1. I would like flying cars.
    And a jetpack.
    Those are both fun in dreams.

  2. My most surreal dream was many years ago, where I was chased by demon who then disguised himself as Ghandi and told me that I shouldn’t be worried about sharks, because they’re only there to distract me from the piranha.

    Not sure I want that one to come true…

  3. I’m another 30-something who has struggled to figure out why the hell I’m here and where I belong. And look where I ended up?

    Just keep following those dreams and you’ll find the right path 🙂

  4. I had one the night before last – weirdest ever. My dad was a Native American guy (younger than me who works at the grocery store in real life) and my mom was a random woman I had never met, but stopped by my (apt?) for a few minutes. I went downstairs and hopped on my Harley(!) and went to a bar! I swear I was a guy in my dream! That was so insane! Talk about surreal!
    I have always wanted to learn how to ride a motorcycle….
    You are on your own path!

  5. Absolutely, Heather! “Why not?” has gotten me a damn sight farther in life than “Why?” I’ve been asking ‘why not’ so long, I no longer separate my dream world from my real world. One is an extension of the other, with my dreams being an expression of tensions, questions, deep desires, fears, or the answers that come from something bigger than myself. Then I act on that information to create my reality as far as the things I am able to control.

  6. hey can you tell people about my blog gokuworld.wordpress.com

  7. Firstly: I never knew you had a secret desire to fly helicopters, Heather. I saved up enough to start working towards my Commercial Helicopter Pilots licence a few years ago, but then… life got in the way.
    Secondly: I became a writer in the first place because my imagination far outstripped anything I had read or seen on the big screen, and I think my better half would be the first to tell you that my thought processes are FAR from conventional, so I for one have a great respect for those like yourself.

    Speaking of fantastical dreams however… and as much as I hate to add to your growing list of married folk… I asked The Swedish Flowerpot to marry me a couple of weeks ago, so… that young lady who once lived 3000 miles away and only knew me through the internet is now going to be my wife. Though you might want to know, in case you feel like getting that bridesmaid dress out of the closet after all.

    Keep writing, Heather. I haven’t been in here very often recently, but I will try harder. It is always entertaining.

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