When Dreams Become A Reality

When I was a preteen, one of the ways I escaped the stress and confusion that resulted from the abuse my father inflicted on me was to sleep; and dream. I'd use the spare time I had during the day between chores, homework and caring for my siblings, to close my eyes and descend (or ascend) to a place that I felt I had control over what went on in my life. In my mind I'd hold visions of mansions with endless gardens of roses; wardrobes full of pretty dresses, and every My Little Pony toy I could think of, until I drifted off to sleep. I hoped that the pictures in my imagination would manifest during my slumber so I could live in an ideal world free of responsibilities, violence and the sexual pressures my father put on me. 

The only other time I used sleep in this way was when my daughter died. I internalized my emotions and spent most of my days sleeping while my children were in school. I tried to hold the image of my daughter in my head hoping I'd see her in my dreams. Today my dreams are still very vivid, but in a different way. I've done everything from coming up with story ideas for books, solving problems in my life, while I slept; literally. I even found the remote control for my television with the help of a dream, lol!, and my life's dream to raise awareness of child molestation and help other women and children are becoming a reality.

It wasn't until sometime last year I found a way to use my dreams in yet another way.
I'm a single parent, working, in school and running a business; but finances seem to always be a challenge. My children are all musically inclined and I would love to get them music lessons. But that takes money. We are limited in what we can do for fun as a family because all income goes to bills and education. We go to the movies during a.m. hours to take advantage of matinee prices. We've been in our house for three years now, but I just got cable. And going out to dinner is a luxury my budget won't allow at this time (it's a a good thing I can cook my butt off). Then one night I dreamt I got a scholarship. I wasn't even sure what a scholarship was, so I hit the internet and finally came across some that I qualified for. One of these opportunities meant to ease the financial burden of furthering one's education, was through a women's organization called Soroptimist International. When I Googled the organization further, I found they had a sub organization called Live Your Dreams dedicated to bettering the lives of women and children (can anyone say candidate?). Oh the irony! 
A picture Soroptimist International took of me

I signed up with the organization right away and applied for the scholarship. To make a long story short, after two essays, a few months, and some references from some very good friends, I won three different levels of what the organization calls the Woman's Opportunity Award! The funds couldn't have come at a better time, and along with other things for my education and family, I got my children music lessons!

When I'm up late at night studying for a test, I take short naps. While I sleep the information seems to process within my dreams, and while in class I can better recall what I read. When I have writer's block for a paper, I read the research then sleep for a while, and when I wake up my block is gone. One day during psychology class my professor asked us to test if our brains retained information better if we go to sleep after reading it. The class was split in the results, but for me it's always worked.

My dreams mean many things. I use to use them as a form of escape during my traumatic childhood. In many ways I'm inspired by the vivid scenarios in my head while I'm resting. I've went to places I've never been and met people I'll probably never know, all through my dreams. And as I continue to dream up ideas, manifest wishes and fulfill goals, I can tell you from first hand experience my life today increasingly become the thing that a little girl's dreams were made of. 

Food for thought:
According to studies done by the National Science Foundation, information can be better retained with reinforcing stimuli delivered during sleep. Click the link for the full article. 

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