Writing inspirations: dreams

As I mention in my author bio on Amazon, I had a dream when I was in elementary school that we'd have a new boy in our class named Justin. When the first day of school arrived and the teacher introduced Justin, who had recently moved to town, I was convinced that I had predicted the future.

When I look back with my rational adult view of the world, I know the dream likely came from normal preteen fantasies influenced heavily by common themes found in Disney Channel movies at the time. The popularity of the name Justin made it statistically likely that a new boy in school would have that name. Still, as important as reason and logic are to my worldview, there is a part of me that also believes that some things are simply beyond rational explanation.

Birthdays are an example of this. My husband and nephew share a birthday. My mother, first roommate after college, and a good friend from high school share a birthday. Now, my rational mind tells me this is just statistics - only 366 possible birthdays, with certain months being more popular than others, means this is bound to happen. But then, my dreamer side will remind me that I have a very uncommon holiday birthday, and I share it with my cousin's daughter and my husband's aunt's mother. My son also has an uncommon holiday birthday, just like the children of two other American friends who lived in the same area of France that I did. My dreamer side's curiosity is bolstered by my rational side chiming in with "well, there has to be a reason behind all of this...maybe that reason is something unreasonable."

I spent a summer in Paris during college, and while on a day trip to Versailles, I ran into a friend. I had known she was in Europe that summer, but I hadn't known she'd be in Paris, much less at Versailles, at the same ice cream stand as me at 3:16pm on a random Tuesday. This was before Facebook and other apps allowed you to constantly communicate your location, so it was a pretty cool coincidence. But then I ran into another friend, who I hadn't known would be in Paris, in front of Notre Dame. My dreamer side went crazy.

Maybe you're reading this and thinking, "No, those are just weird coincidences, they happen all the time, that's just life." And you're probably right. However, my rational side needs to explain things. And for some reason, it's perfectly happy with "unexplainable" as an explanation.

So when I have a dream of running down train tracks in Norway with friends from college, part of me knows why - a movie I saw, a text message I got before bed, and my son's recent obsession with trains. But another part of me is wondering what else it might mean, and if I should maybe start learning Norwegian just in case.