dreams

Me and my second-grade crush

My second-grade crush has appeared in my dreams ever since I was seven. It’s not an

11822838_10152958934522477_5601474681411123702_n

The little girl who never really grew up.

everyday thing, of course. I have other things I need to frequently dream about as well: like walking into my high school and not remembering my locker combination, or wandering round and round my high school’s halls because I have absolutely no idea what classes I’m meant to attend. Those recurrent dreams cast themselves as ghoulish nightmares.

But my second-grade-crush dreams are always warm and fuzzy. I couldn’t tell you what happens in those dreams. I don’t remember. I’ll remember for a few minutes after I wake up, but then the dream gently wafts away, leaving a happy feeling inside of me. I couldn’t even tell you for certain how old my second-grade crush is in those dreams. I went to school with second-grade crush on and off until I was about 16. He was the cutest little boy in the second grade. But man oh man was he a dashing young fella at 16. I think I probably see 16-year-old second-grade-crush in those dreams.  (more…)

Advertisements

Bound to my high school scars

I’m a 48-year-old woman and I still get regular nightmares about having to study for high school or university exams. I’ve been scarred for life.

I can’t imagine that this is how things should be. I’ve heard from several friends that they have similar nightmares. I’m thinking it might be safe to assume that there are lots of people out there who also have these nightmares.

I’d like to blame our educational systems for this. There’s just too much emphasis on test results. In most countries in the world, your entire future depends on the results you get on exams you take when you’re nearing the age of 18. Most 18-year-olds have absolutely no idea what they want to do with the rest of their lives.

When I was 18, I wanted to get into something sciency. (more…)

Getting the Post-Marathon Blues…Pre-Marathon

I’ve long known I have a lousy personality. I’ve written as much many times. In five days I’ll be trying to Barcelona Marathon 2013run a marathon after months of training and all I can really think about is: and then what will I do?

While I was training, I read lots and lots of articles on running. One of the things that really stood out was the amount of material available on post-marathon blues. There I was, hating almost every single minute of my training: the boredom, the loneliness, the freezing cold, the rain, the snow, the mud, the puddles, the pain, the injuries…and there were people out there telling me that once it was all over I’d feel depressed. They were saying that all that training gives the runner a sense of purpose and a routine. Once it’s done, runners feel loss. It all sounded crazy to me. I couldn’t wait for it to all be over.

Yesterday I did my last training run and I already feel a horrible sense of loss. Training for this marathon took over my life for many months. My whole life revolved around my training schedule, my workouts with my personal trainer, and my visits to the physiotherapist. I ate to fuel myself up, iced and stretched to recover, swam to get rid of lactic acid, saunad to relax tight muscles. I put many other activities on the side burner because I needed my weekends for the long runs and non-activity days to rest.

And now it’s all done.

I’m freaking out about the marathon, of course. (more…)

Memories of an Adventure and the Gifts It Brings

It has been exactly two months since I returned from my cycling trip across Europe. I remember arriving into Tallinn, my final destination, as if it was yesterday. It was a very rainy day. My husband and I were exhausted. Colin had joined me for the last two weeks of the trip. We spent hours finding a place to stay for the night. I didn’t really have any special sense of accomplishment. Cycling 100 km per day had become a normal everyday thing for me. I just wanted food, a shower, and to get some sleep like I did every night for the past 61 days.

When I finally got home to the UK, my mother-in-law told me I must feel very proud. I didn’t really. I was just happy to be home.

It has taken two months, but it has finally started to settle in.

After the trip, I focused on settling back into my normal home routine. There were days when I struggled, but generally it was an easy and comfortable transition. Now that I am properly settled, my mind has sometimes wandered off, remembering all those days alone on the road. The one thing that really triggers the memories is when I consider getting on my bike for a short ride. I haven’t been on the bike since I got back. I’m finding the thought extremely intimidating. “Cars are dangerous,” I tell myself. “There are lots of hills in this area and you might skid and get hurt,” Little-Man-In-My-Head convinces me. I’ve always been like that. Those thoughts are not new to me. I eventually overcome them to start training for something new. But when I consider that those are my normal thoughts and that nevertheless I managed to cycle myself across the whole of the European continent…well…DAMN! (more…)

Cycling Lisbon to Tallinn: A Look Back and Thank Yous

Eyebrows done: check

The route I took to cycle across Europe from its southwestern to its northeastern point.

The route I took to cycle across Europe from its southwestern to its northeastern point.

Hair cut: check

Perfume on: check

New change of clothes: FINALLY

Clothes washed: check

Tent laid out to dry: check

Bikes still disassembled in their boxes and tidily placed in the garage: check

Camping gear placed in its special bag in garage: check

Watch Come Dine With Me, the Jeremy Kyle Show, and Big Brother (in other words, all the crap British TV there is to watch): check

My husband and I stepped onto a RyanAir plane in Estonia to head back to our home in the UK last Monday afternoon. We had just spent a very lazy and relaxing two days in Tallinn, much of it sleeping and some of it walking around the enchanting old town and the city port. The highlight for me was the food. Those Estonians really know how to eat! I had a most amazing omelette my first morning in Tallinn. Who says that about an omelette? But that one was special. It had huge chunks of red onion, tomato, and mushrooms in it. I hogged down the special Estonian black bread with almost every meal. I had duck breast one evening and lamb on another. It was a great opportunity for us to recover before heading home.

Since I returned to the UK, I’ve kept myself busy washing, tidying, resting, watching crap TV, and gathering GPS data from the trip. It’s been nice. I was worried that I would have a bit of a culture shock coming back. I had settled into a nice cycling routine while in mainland Europe. I was enjoying having something to be involved in that I was passionate about. But by the time the trip ended I was ready to come home. I have a few things coming up that will keep me occupied over the next few weeks, including the Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan. So I should be all right, at least for awhile.

During the trip, I was incapable of looking back at what I had done or looking forward at what still remained. I found that if I

Lisbon to Monaco

Lisbon to Monaco

tried, I was overwhelmed with the immensity of both. As a result, I found myself, with no physical or emotional effort on my part, living in the moment. While I was cycling, my focus was on keeping myself safe and getting through the next ten kilometers. When a day was finished, my focus was on getting a shower, eating, writing my daily blog diary, and getting some rest. The following morning, my focus was on understanding the route I would be taking for the next few hours.

On my last day of cycling in Estonia, I thought that the gates to all the memories of the past two months would come rushing at me the moment the trip ended in Tallinn. Instead, I somehow managed to keep those gates closed. I wasn’t ready to deal with the emotions that would come with the collective memory.

I’m still not ready. (more…)

Nadia’s Maniacal Plan to Conquer Europe by Bike

Tomorrow is the day I set off for Lisbon, Portugal. I might not get to see much of it, which is quite disappointing every time I

A Facebook follower was very generous in helping me design this for a tshirt after my husband and I cycled from London to Paris last year.

A Facebook follower was very generous in helping me design this for a tshirt after my husband and I cycled from London to Paris last year.

think of it.

I’m freaking out. I spent most of the second half of yesterday holding back tears. I’m so scared. And for the gazillionth time I asked myself, “Why I am doing this?”

On the train on my way back home from a short wedding anniversary trip to London, I posted the following on Facebook (feel free to follow me on FB but I will have to apologize for not accepting friend requests) as my mind went round and round and round:

Questions that will soon be answered:

1. Can I enjoy myself when completely on my own? As in COMPLETELY on my own.

2. Can I motivate myself when I’m ready to give up?

3. When faced with a problem I do not know how to solve, is my solution to just break down and cry? (Yes is the answer to this one)

4. Can I be the kind of tourist who does ABSOLUTELY no shopping (except for food) for quite a long time?

5. How long can my back last sleeping on the ground?

6. How long can I last without a shattafa?

7. How much pain can I REALLY handle?

8. How long can I go without soap and clean clothes?

9. How much do I REALLY enjoy nature?

10. How long can I go without getting my eyebrows done without looking like an ape?

I have a very contradictive personality. I’m superstitious. I don’t want to tell people about my plans in case it jinxes it. I fear their collective evil eye. Yet I am, at the same time, a compulsive sharer. I want to be able to write about my plans and my experiences. It helps me process through my thoughts much better than keeping them to myself in my head. And I will not lie: I also need the support and encouragement of my friends.

So I’m just going to get it out there and tell you about this trip I’ve been planning for the past few months. If anything bad happens before, during, or after the trip, I’ll lay it on YOU, the reader, for your evil eye. So before you read any further, cleanse your heart, purify your thoughts, and send me nothing but good vibes. (more…)

Dream Diary: Of Alien Pharaohs and Human Rebels

My dream last night:

A people, who are not of our kind, have arrived to invade Earth. Their origins are unknown to me, but they wear pharaonic garb so I shall refer to them as the Pharaohs. Among the humans, a small revolutionary movement has developed. Their work is made doubly difficult, for in addition to the Pharaohs, Earth is also occupied by undead. The undead eat any creature whose body emits heat. They live in underground tunnels, each inside its own cocoon, emerging from their cocoons at very regular intervals to sense around their general area for body heat. When they sense body heat, they leave the warmth of their cocoon to hunt the nearby creature and eat it. When they do not sense heat, they go back into their cocoon to hibernate until the next food-sensing time arrives; less than an hour away.

Among the human rebels was a female scientist. I partially watched this dream through her eyes. She discovered that the Pharaohs had widely distributed canisters that had the potential to destroy all. She knew that if she could find a way to remove the effect of these canisters that she could possibly spoil their evil plot to take over Earth. (more…)

Dream Diary: Ghostly Nightmares

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted something in my online dream diary. I ALWAYS dream (almost always they are nightmares) but I haven’t been remembering enough of my dreams to have something coherent to write.

Last night I dreamt something and I actually remember part of that dream because it was so odd. I woke up in the middle of the night, my heart beating rapidly, and when I recalled the dream I thought, “How odd.”

I was walking down a darkened corridor. Light was emanating from the last room on the left. I didn’t want to go into that room because I knew that’s where the dead man lay. But for some reason, a reason my awake self cannot remember, I had to. I timidly looked into the room from the corner of the door. A fancy, dark wood coffin lay on a table. The top half was open to reveal the dead man’s face. It was covered everywhere with long hair. It was the face of a wolfman. His arms protruded from holes in the sides of the coffin, his fingers tapping endlessly on the table.

I rushed out of the room. I was frightened. But as I walked back down the corridor I bumped into Henry the Ghost. Henry was a tall, skinny chap of middle age. He was cheerful and I was pleased to see him. “Where have you been all this time,” I asked him. We were old friends.

Dreams With Sea Creatures

I’ve had dreams of sea creatures the past two days.

Yesterday, a huge manta ray kept flying into my apartment through a window. It was an air-borne manta ray. The reason it flew into my apartment was that it was attracted to light and I had a light on. It would fly through the window and then cloak itself around the ceiling light fixture I had in the room. It would stay this way for as long as it wished and then it would fly back out. My husband and I watched this happen several times in awe. We then decided to try turning off the light to see what would happen. The manta ray still flew into our room. Apparently, it was so sunny outside that our room was flooded with light. The manta ray was still attracted to our home. Finally, we shut the window. The manta ray still flew towards us and stuck itself to our window on the outside while my husband placed his hands against the inside, pretending to feed it and watching its mouth make cool circular movements of trying to eat. It was all so awesome.

Today I dreamt that we had all gone to Alexandria to go fishing. (more…)

Dream: The Cow With the Pink Pearl Ring

I have quite interesting dreams. My dreaming subconscious comes up with story lines that my conscious could not imagine in a million years. These dreams can be so interesting (in my opinion, anyway) that they deserve to be written down. I’ve thought this for quite some time but I never really got around to doing it. Today I’ve decided to start an online dream diary. This blog is all about the inner workings of my mind. It doesn’t can’t any inner than these dreams of mine. So here we go.

This dream is the dream I had after praying the dawn prayer on Monday, June 4, 2012. In other words, it’s a  sacred dream.

The Cow With the Pink Pearl Ring

In a parallel universe in the year 2012, I owned a shop. It was an odd sort of shop, full of trinkets and odds and ends. The shop was so large and its contents so diverse that I,

The ring in my dream looked almost EXACTLY like this. I had no idea that there were pink pearls in real non-dream life. I’m going to take this as a sign that I need to point this out to my husband. I need a pink pearl ring to protect me.

the shop owner, did not know everything it contained. Among many other things, I remember seeing baby bottles and lots of candies. My shop was a fun sort of shop. (more…)