I’m writing to you to ask for an explanation on a few things. You see, ever since I was young on to my undergraduate psych classes, I have heard conflicting information when it comes to your functionality. The only one that can reveal your true nature is you. I’d really love it if you could tell me the extent and purpose for your existence, the depth of your accuracy, and your relevance to reality.
According to Freud, you are a manifestation of the true desires of my subconscious. All the trepidations and conflicts that simmer in my brain come alive when it is in its resting state. The thing is, Freud, with his twisted complexes and theories, links almost all imagery to phalli, penetration, or the womb. I’m not about to assume that we all want to be ambushed into a game of musical chairs with veiny male genitalia just because our consciousness is on hiatus. Other theories about you claim that you are essential to development; while more say that you are completely insignificant, being just a series of randomly strung together memories or thoughts like a video montage done for an 80’s teen movie.
There are so many questions. For example, if I am in a lucid state of slumber and I die, could it be so vivid and believable that my brain would quit? Speaking of lucid, how do I know I’m not in one of those Matrix pods hooked up to a stalk in a field of humans being juiced for the machines? In behavioral neuro, we were told that the best way to tell if something was actually happening was to see if information was fluid. In other words, if you looked at your watch and it said it was 5p.m., check it again. If it changed, then you’re not in the real world. Of course, I don’t remember being in complete control when I’m unconscious except for the voluntary ability to scream or fall off my bed.
And that’s another thing: why are my memories of you so selective? Is it like emotional memory versus memory about emotions? An emotional memory is stronger than a memory about an emotion. For instance, you remember giving birth to your child but you don’t remember how it feels giving birth – because if you did, we wouldn’t have a population problem. If Freud is right and my mind is revealing all that I am denying myself, which is valuable info when you’re a lost puppy in your twenties, why do you slip away so quickly before I can even take notes? Don’t you want me to realize that I should direct a music video with Alejandro Sanz playing his Spanish guitar on a pink elephant? The greatest question for me though is this: why don’t you make any sense if you know me so well? If my brain is your creator, why do you feed me baloney sandwiches when you know it makes me nauseous ever since that Thanksgiving when I had one and hurled because I refused to eat turkey breast and gravy? What good is it to make me watch my mother tap-dance on my laptop? Maybe you are just a form of torture or a way of teaching me to be grateful that a black trench-coated figure isn’t standing in my closet waiting for a moment to smell my hair.
However, I am not just referring to the version of you in my head which is a combination of surreal and impossible. There is the abstract yet tangible version that has made you into a synonym for goals, aspirations, and “American Idols.” The you that I create intentionally without the ability to blame it on the Id. These are the wants I know I want, not the ones you tell me I need when I’m asleep. This is when we switch teams and, even though they are a part of you, you get confused about the extent and purpose for their existence, the depth of their accuracy, and their relevance to reality. Since I’m expecting an explanation from you about your half, I’ll give you one for mine.
The extent of their existence is always under construction until said dream has been accomplished. This is related to their purpose for existence: they exist as a form of personal drive so that I will have an endpoint to reach for, a destination in sight, an Emerald city at the end of my yellow bricked road. The depth of their accuracy is dependent on my sanity at the time of their inception. You are not allowed to judge me on this one because I think all the dreams that I conceive are more probable in nature in comparison to your half-baked thought bubbles laced with LSD. They are quite relevant to reality for I am grounded in my ambitions. Don’t laugh at me for wanting to travel to New York City to become a successful designer who eats breakfast on the steps of the Met every morning. I know my life is not an episode of Gossip Girl and you know that a large portion of my motivation for going to NYC is just to find out if Gray’s Papaya is truly the shit. I know I may reach for the stars with some things but no one ever said being an eager beaver was a negative trait in a world where Paulo Coelho was wrong: when you want something, all the universe does not conspire in helping you to achieve it. If I’m dreaming of it, then I have to get off my ass and go get it.
It’s all quite simple. Your turn.
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