Lessons From My Subconscious

I’ve never been into the idea that dreams are prophetic, or that they mean something. There are a lot of things I chalk up to supernatural occurrence. But dreams? My take is a little more mundane –– nothing more than your subconscious processing itself. Maybe…maybe…I’d go so far as to say your dreams are your subconscious’ attempt to make sense of the world you lived in during the previous day…maybe. The only reason I’m willing to go that far is because my dreams, far too often, inform me of where I went wrong, what I’m lacking.

A recent dream involved the kind of person I actually fear: a person who’s passionate about violence. Not martial arts or guns, I’m passionate about one of those, but violence. As in, all they want is to be good at it and then test their skills, often on unsuspecting, often good-natured, “prey”.

In my dream, I went into a public restroom and overheard a conversation near the sink about martial arts training. So naturally, I was interested. One of the men was asking about an instructor I’ve had the pleasure of training with for several years. He’s a highly respected martial artist and I am (obviously on a subconscious level) very proud of my experiences with him. This instructor runs an exclusive dojo, and the man at the sink was having trouble getting invited to train there.

I went to wash my hands, as all people should before leaving a restroom, and this man bumped into me by accident. I thought to myself: what a perfect way to break the ice and talk to someone with shared passion. But that didn’t happen. No. This asshat pushed me and asked if I was “stupid or something.”

Normally, I would have just walked off (in real life, that’s exactly what I would have done, because I know violence and I know what can kick it off, and I want to avoid it at all cost). But in my dream world, I remember thinking: this guy is a martial artist. I should inform him of his mistake and he’ll correct himself. (Apparently, I’m subconsciously arrogant enough to think I can “teach” all martial artists a thing or two.)

So I told him, “y’know, I trained for almost a decade with the man you were talking about. A word from me would get you in the door. Think about that next time before talking shit. You never know who might have the key to what you’re looking for.” Then I walked off, feeling like I did my job of putting this punk in his place. (I did say how arrogant this all felt, right?)

Outside, I hear him call after me. I ignored him and kept walking. Then he ran up and pulled a gun on me. This obviously got my attention. He yelled a lot, trying to make me cower so he’ll feel more superior. I could see the smugness in his eyes.

I told him that I understood why he was having trouble getting into such a prestigious martial arts school. The highly respected instructor would never tarnish his reputation by training such a terrible person. Then, without any misdirection whatsoever, I tried to take his weapon with the most rudimentary gun disarm.

He easily pulled his hand back and retained the weapon. He kept it trained on me, its muzzle like a cosmic black hole that was about to swallow me whole.


I woke up at that point. I don’t remember him pulling the trigger, I don’t need to. My subconscious wasn’t telling me that I need to be shot in the street by a villain whose arrogance at least matches my own. My subconscious was reminding me to not do things without preparation.

Don’t run marathons if you’re not running miles.

Don’t write stories if you’re not reading stories.

And, never, under any circumstances, try to perform a gun disarm when you haven’t trained in almost a year.

My subconscious may have also been warning me about the potential of becoming an arrogant asshat…possibly.


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