When my sister was in high school, her final assignment was to write a short poem about an alter ego. She wrote about a busy woman working for the New York Times who was classy, tall, and brilliant. These were all traits I realized my sister could find within herself. She can exude class, dripping in perfect pearls and I haven’t a doubt in my mind that she’s brilliant. Neither of us is very tall, but that’s besides the point.
Nearly 11 years later, the poem she wrote stays with me and the woman in my dreams.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a vivid imagination. I’d think up scenarios before drifting to sleep that would usually reappear as my dreams. These dreams were usually amalgamations of whatever television show or book I was consuming at the time, except they were starring a dazzling young woman with the world at her feet. And her story was always under my control.
The woman in my dreams is witty and clever. She always has the perfect biting remark with just a hint of self-awareness that lets her get away with the teasing. Those around her admire her knack for clarifying the muddiest of situations, all the while avoiding any air of superiority. She never stumbles over her words like I do, and she’s never unsure.
She’s kind and graceful, with the ability to make everyone feel comfortable and loved, even if she can’t stand them. The woman in my dreams commands power with such grace that her followers don’t know they’re being led. I could only wish for her influence.
The woman in my dreams is effortlessly beautiful. She can twist her hair into a bun without any of the bobby pins that I would need, and she’s always playfully messy. She’s slender in her oversized tee-shirts but doesn’t care for showing off her curves because tight fitting clothes would only interfere with whatever adventure she was on that day. She wears makeup because she enjoys the colour and art of it, not because she needs to enhance her beauty. She’s always confident because she’s always comfortable, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.
The woman in my dreams is a writer. She observes the world as she lives it and expresses herself in elegant words, in eloquent sentences. Her paragraphs are a microcosm in itself, with enlightening discoveries that inspire those who read them.
In my dreams, this woman always has a gorgeous man completely and devastatingly in love with her. They understand each other and connect in a way that causes everything to make sense. They have struggles that rip them apart from one another, but their magnetic attraction always draws them together. She’s just fine alone, but she’s even better when she’s with him. He challenges her in a way that brings them even closer. Even when I’m alone, the woman in my dream always has a man. And sometimes she has two.
Night after night I refined my story and created a rich persona for the woman of my dreams. I imagined her conversations and her experiences. While I admired her for her mystique and craftiness, I was never jealous of her. Because the woman in my dreams isn’t a stranger.
The woman in my dreams… Is me.