I can't tell you the last time that I had the dead air radio dream, where I'm on the air and I can't get the next song cued up in time because I can't find the next CD, resulting in dead air. I put that one to bed I think after I went back to my college station in 2009 and did a few shifts. Also, CD's in radio aren't really a thing anymore. Heck, live on the air is barely a thing anymore. But I do have a recurring theme for another series of dreams: The moving into a dorm dream.
These come in a number of different flavors, but generally speaking I'm a resident assistant, and there are a bunch of people moving in. There's often a sub-theme about worrying about my stuff getting stolen, probably because a dude pillaged our room my freshman year and took a bunch of cash while we were in the shower (never left it open after that). The bigger theme though is about anxiety revolving around my leadership and authority in the situation. For the two years I was actually an RA, the truth is that I wasn't very good at it. I didn't have many shits to give about the general well-being of my fellow undergrads, and really I just wanted room and board paid for. It didn't help that I wasn't a very happy person those years, for a lot of reasons that were mostly immature. The weird irony is that I had a reputation for being a hard ass about quiet hours and busting people for alcohol. The reality is that it didn't happen very often, but I probably didn't handle it in a very good way.
In the many years since college, this dream started to happen when I started gaining more responsibilities in my jobs. You don't have to be a shrink to get this, certainly. Anxiety manifests itself in obvious ways. In earlier years, like a decade ago, the dreams were always in chaotic environments, with loud people, discoveries of destroyed furniture, my computer stolen, people being angry at me for whatever reason. I didn't wake up with good feelings.
This year, the dreams changed. I recall having one a couple of months ago, and the people and environment were generally stable. The anxiety shifted to things I had to do, like making staff meetings and missing late night rounds. Then last night, I had arguably the best version of this dream ever. In the dream, I remember checking a calendar on my phone (which had a monochrome screen, like an old school Palm Pilot), and it had all of the round schedules. I also met a resident moving in, who was actually a woman in her 20's, professional, not unlike some of the people I work with, and I was giving her advice about how best to arrange bunks in her room before her roommates arrived. In other words, I was confident in my organization and ability to lead. That's uncharted territory for me, and it's especially weird for a dream to result in something not borne of anxiety. I think the dream reflects a me that is more confident.
I'm fascinated by dreams. A lot of people, and even the metaphor "in your dreams," seem to imply that this brain function serves you with things you can't have in real life. That's never been the case for me. Dreams have almost always been the manifestation of my fears and anxiety. Somewhere in my mid-30's, sometimes dreams would be positive, and these days they're mostly, but not always positive, regardless of the subject. The completely bizarre combination of contexts from different people, places and times is hard to explain, but they're mostly positive dreams.