Dream Interpreter: Meeting Jennifer Aniston in a UFO

The Journal’s dream interpreter analyzes a dream about identity and growth

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I’m Meryl Sleep, Queen’s resident dream interpreter. I analyze dreams in an effort to decode the symbols in each Queen’s student’s subconscious. Today’s dream involves allergic reactions, high school reunions, and possible aliens.

My dream took place in my high school atrium, where an alumni science fair was occurring—already a red flag because I dropped science in the tenth grade. Out of nowhere, my head began shrinking and a new one grew around it that looked like an exploding balloon having an allergic reaction. Once my hands went through the same process, my old vice-principal determined I had a virus. 

Everybody in the atrium hopped onto a UFO, formed a circle and took turns being scanned to see if they were the disease’s root. I stood next to Jennifer Aniston, who I don’t have any particular ties to other than casually enjoying Friends. After a while, they found the virus’ source and I was cured. I celebrated by going to the gym, where I ran into my grandmother and tried to explain the ordeal. 

My dreams are typically mundane, so I’m dying to know what any of this means. Please help!

Dear Dreamer,

From one dreamer to another, it’s unsettling when the content of your dreams strays from its normal course. However, the diversion provides a great opportunity for reflection about what’s happening inside your subconscious.

When analyzing dreams, it’s important to remember they are reflections of the dreamer’s emotional state and life experiences. The definitive meaning of a dream can only be known by the dreamer, since they have the full context of their lives to determine what’s being represented. 

While your dream may seem like a disorganized collection of images without a unifying theme, a few major symbols guide the narrative. For starters, representations of high school signify insecurity and vulnerability, suggesting there’s some uncertainty in particular areas of your life.

Next, you mention your current head shrunk and was replaced by a new one. Since the head is the source of your personality and way of thinking, the growth of a new head suggests a change in identity. The initial shrinking of your current head can be seen as the loss or suppression of your current identity, so that a new identity can prevail. 

A shift in identity can be positive or negative. In comparing the experience to an allergic reaction, it seems the change in your identity came as a surprise, and you may be viewing it negatively. Are you undergoing any major personal growth? Alternatively, do you feel that you are under-prioritizing your own identity for a different version of yourself? 

Additionally, your dream featured appearances from a few specific people. Dreaming of celebrities is typically a benign representation of your own aspirations. Do you desire to work in the film industry? If so, Jennifer Aniston is probably a manifestation of your career goals. 

The presence of both your former vice-principal and your grandmother suggests you have a desire for validation from respected authority figures in your life. As you make decisions concerning your future, do you feel the need to compare yourself to other people or consider the opinions of others?

The presence of both your former vice-principal and your grandmother suggests you have a desire for validation from respected authority figures in your life. 

Beyond the individual symbols, I noticed your dream tracks a complete journey, which begins when you contract a virus and concludes with your recovery. This could be demonstrating that you’ve recently experienced a difficulty, but you’ve successfully overcome the obstacle. 

It’s particularly interesting that the virus was thought to have come from one of your peers, as this suggests the presence of toxic people or negative influences in your life. Think about whether you’re experiencing any distrust in your current relationships.

The dream seems to symbolize that you’re entering a period of transition, where you’re trying to balance your personal ambitions with the desire to please friends and family. 

Sweet dreams!

—Meryl Sleep

Are you dying to know what your latest dream means? Email journal_lifestyle@queensu.ca with a 100-150 word description to find out.

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