Remember when you were about five or six and you had a terrible nightmare? You’d wake up abruptly, shaken up and crying, and call for Mummy or Daddy. Either they would come rushing to your room or you would run to theirs, crawl into their bed and snuggle up between them. Sometimes, I wish that were still possible.
At the age of 20 years old, I still have nightmares. I’m sure a person at any age will have nightmares. The themes change from childhood to adulthood though, at least for me. As a child, I would have nightmares about monsters chasing me, witches hunting me or “bad men” trying to take me away. Nowadays, nightmares can consist of failing a test and having your parents disown you (maybe that’s just me being the nerd I sometimes am), your family and closest friends forgetting who you are or knowing who you are and turning away from you, or even just embarrassing yourself in front of the whole school. It varies.
This morning, I woke up to one of these nightmares. It turned out to be more childish than adultish (yes, I just made that word up). I don’t remember the entire dream but, I know that basically I managed to be in some foreign, isolated town with my family. We had travelled there by bus to pick up groceries (weird, yeah?) and somehow couldn’t figure out how to get back. Eventually, two buses showed up so we decided to get on them. Somehow, don’t ask me how, I ended up on a different bus thinking it was the same one. Well, I saw them drive away and then noticed that I was on the wrong one. Smart of me, eh? Their bus turned down a random street and my bus kept going straight and… that’s where I woke up. Doesn’t seem so scary for a 20 year old. It’s just getting lost, right? At 20 years old, I could have easily found them again. Hell, I probably had a cellphone in my pocket.
Yet somehow, I woke up feeling panicked, anxious, scared. Ridiculously scared. I could clearly see that I was in my room and not on a random bus in a random town but, I was freaked out. If I could have woken up and ran to my parents room to see that they were, in fact, still there, maybe I wouldn’t have been so panicked. But at the age of 20, I’m moved out of the house, living in a basement with two wonderful roommates and being independent. There’s no running to Mummy or Daddy after a nightmare. There’s no cuddling up between them to feel safe again. There’s no hugs or kisses or “Everything will be alright, it was just a dream” anymore. It’s just me.
Days like today make me want my childhood back. As much as I love being independent, I also loved being five. Today I just want to be five again.