For many months — perhaps even a year — I have had the same dream. I am in a house, either our current home, or the house I grew up in, or some other familiar place. In the dream, I discover some type of secret “new room.” Perhaps it was a door in the basement that I open to reveal several new rooms. Or stairs lead to an attic discovery that is larger than I thought possible in the size of the space.
A recent variation was in the home of my grandparents in Milwaukee. In the dream, my grandparents were moving out of the home — as they did in real life, many years ago, to move to an assisted living facility. I was walking through the house with some relatives when I found a little room off to the side of the house. It was narrow, with large windows and a desk that stretched the entire length of the room. Looking out the window, I could see an endless stretch of rolling hills, which hardly mirrored real life, where the actual house was in a Milwaukee suburb, surrounded by other homes. But in my dream and finding that room, I suddenly wanted to keep the house and turn that space into my own.
I thought that perhaps my dreams of “finding new spaces in a house” were a result of the addition we recently put on our own home. It has been a project that we had discussed ever since we bought the house six years ago and finally completed this year. I mentioned this to my husband and he told me that he has had similar dreams of secret rooms in houses, but his are distant in frequency to his dreams of a zombie apocalypse, falling, and being late to class.
I turned to Google for an interpretation of what my dreams might mean and the following was the first result that popped up:
When you dream of finding a new room in your house, it is your subconscious telling you that there is an undiscovered (or new) part of yourself that you need to work on. Houses in dreams represent “the self” so finding a new room means that you are finding a new part of yourself, it’s a dream of self-discovery.
Personal self-discovery wasn’t what I was expecting.
But in a way, it made sense.
I spent a lot of time after my daughters died relentlessly focused on myself. Then I was focused on my pregnancy after loss. All of this took a toll on my marriage, so my husband and I have spent more than a year in marriage therapy trying to find ways to strengthen our relationship. He brought up recently that he still feels like we don’t spend enough time together.
After considering this, my response to him later was “We can find ways to spend more time together, but there has to be a balance so that I still have time for myself. I feel like I am losing that more and more.”
It is now a juggling act of balancing three living children, a marriage, the demands of the household, and still finding time for myself. Perhaps that is where the “self-discovery” aspect of this dream keeps trying to nudge me along. Find a way. Find a way to keep building myself and what is important to me, while still managing to fulfill the relationships that I have with other people in my life.
Originally published at http://grievingoutloud.com on November 3, 2019.