But I’ve never been to Kansas

I’ve been, happily, calling myself an “aspiring author” for a long time. Saying it is my way of reminding myself that I’m still working towards my goal without actually having been there. I know I’m also a writer. After all, I’m doing it right now. But the term “author” so often carries with it that feeling like you’ve actually accomplished something and only arrogant jerks try to use it without having done so. Even some published authors have never actually referred to themselves as authors in public, it would be a “douche” move.

So I call myself an aspiring author, which is akin to saying I’m a daydreamer with a keyboard. Sometimes, that thought haunts me.

“Oh god no,” you say about now, “not another writer complaining about how hard their life is!”

Nope, not complaining. I’m sure I could and no one would notice, but I’m instead going to discuss what form this “haunting” takes! What form is that you ask? Tornadoes!

I’ve always had very vivid dreams. I’m not sure if it’s a sign I have a good imagination or that I’m way too repressed when awake. Sometimes I don’t dream at all, a common thing when you only sleep 3 or 4 hours a night. But when I do dream, it’s always a trip that I don’t soon forget. But one element that occurs in my dreams the most is the sighting of tornadoes.

I’ve had one appear in my dreams in some form or another since I was around 9 or 10. Now I don’t know if I’m obsessed with them or if I’m just not as creative as I thought, but they’re always there. One thing that suggests I might actually have some creativity is that the tornadoes rarely take the same form twice. Sometimes they’re pink, sometimes they’re purple, sometimes they’re just sitting there and once one of them was chasing me without actually trying to catch up like some sort of animal playing with its food. But the point is, they’re rarely the same.

One thing that is growing more common lately, however, is that I start to see these things in my dreams whenever I think about jumping from “aspiring” to “published” author. I dream about one of the most destructive forces on Earth when I’m thinking about becoming an honest to goodness professional. This, I feel, must be a sign.

So I looked it up across a variety of sources, and here’s what I find: I’m either deathly afraid of becoming a professional, regret I haven’t done so already OR I’m eagerly anticipating everything getting shaken up and changed for me by means of external force. These are the three possibilities that show up on every website and article I can find involving symbols in dreams. Considering the human brain is never quite the same, it’s hard for them to be any more specific than that. But a logical mind and a little bit of research makes it pretty easy to see that, on some level, I’m scared of my future.

Of the three possible variations of “scared” I’m heavily leaning towards the shaking up. My previous tornado dream was rather harmless, watching one from miles away as it churned in slow motion and didn’t threaten anything at all. The fact that I actually found a way to make something like that peaceful and serene shows that I’m probably not as afraid of whatever it is as I thought I was.

But then there’s the *other* dream. Last night, I didn’t see one peacefully churning in the distance. No, I saw over a dozen, tightly packed, ripping through civilization. Now that one may be a matter of fear.

Thankfully, dreams, even bad ones, have a similar escape feature built in. You get to wake up, dust your ego off, and get back to work.

And hey, even if your brain brings up confusing images, at least it’s bringing up something.

Dig it.

I’m happy to say I’m no longer an “aspiring” author. I’d like you to check out the books I wrote. I put some freaky dreams into them.