Friday, April 10, 2015

driving dreams

As some of you know, I don't drive. I've had several false starts. I even passed my in-car test when I spent a summer in the Yukon in 1986 but didn't take the final step to have that license validated.*

In total, I have had a "learner's permit" three times, taken drivers' education courses twice (not finishing either time) and taken countless in-car driving lessons. There have been many people who have offered to drive with me so I could practice who have not wanted to repeat the experience.

Still, "get drivers' licence" has been carried forward on my "to-do" list for many years. I've never quite given up on the idea but I never seem to follow through. I think I have a phobia at this point.

A while ago, I had two dreams in the same night (before the latest round of MRIs and meeting with the neurosurgeon. My brain worries were present but not front and centre). Both were about driving and were so clear that I wrote them down when I awoke. If you know anything about driving dreams, I'd love to know what you think.

Dream 1:
I had borrowed a red van from a friend. It was parked in front of the neighbours' across the street . This is not a legal parking spot. I decided at the last minute that I shouldn't drive the van on my own and I went to get Tim (my spouse). When we got back, there was a big truck parked where the van had been surrounded by workers loading it up. The red van was nowhere to be seen.
I asked one of the men unloading the truck about the van and he told me they moved it one street over because it wasn't supposed to be parked there and they'd needed the spot. He told me, raising his eyebrows, that I had left the keys in the ignition and gave them to me.

Dream 2:

I was at a strip mall with Daniel (my 11 year old) and we got into a grey four door sedan, him on the driver's side and me on the other. We started going and I kept saying to Daniel, “Sit up!” “Press the brakes!” We drove through the parking lot without hitting anything or anyone and then through a 4 way intersection and up a side street filled with pedestrians. We even drove by a baby crawling along the side of the road, passing very close. The baby seemed oblivious. The street ended at the top of a hill and we coasted to a stop.
We got out and folded the car up and wheeled it like a wheelbarrow back down the street. I went to find Tim so he could drive us home. I was very relieved but also worried that someone had reported our license plate or caught us on camera.

I borrowed a book from the library about dreams. There was a whole chapter on cars that didn't really speak to me, except for the following "the movement of your car is a metaphor for the way you're trying to make progress in life and the extent to which you feel in control." There was nothing really helpful about kids (nothing about narrowly missing babies or having your kid drive the car) and nothing about a fear of driving.

A key thing about both dreams is that while they were anxiety provoking, both had positive outcomes. I got the van back in the first dream (even though I'd left keys in the ignition) and no babies were crushed under the wheels of my car in the second. It's clear that I'm feeling a lack of control but there must be something good going on between my ears if things ended as they did. It is interesting to me that, in both cases, I felt embarrassed and worried about getting into trouble.

What do you think? I'd love to know about any similar dreams folks have had and where you have turned to find answers.

*The driving tests in Ross River, where I was living, were at that time administered by the RCMP. They gave me a letter that said I'd passed but I was supposed to take it to White Horse to be validated and get an official licence. I never got around to it, perhaps because I didn't really believe that I deserved to have passed. Ross River had only one 4-way intersection, no traffic lights and no place where I could parallel park. Still, I managed to make a right turn into the left lane, facing what would have been on-coming traffic, had there been any.

I might have been a little intimidated by the armed police officer administering the test. I still can't believe he passed me.


Anonymous said...

Well, the next time you "drive" down this way, let me know! I'd love to meet for a tea or something :)

... happy travels...

-Virginia (furrypad)

laurie said...

:) Nice to hear from you, Virginia!