Cinderella assures us that “A dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep.” This phrase has been sung and said, printed on inspirational posters, and embroidered on t-shirts. Generations of us have been told that dreaming is a happy wonderful state in which all the ills of our day-to-day life are gone. As long as we believe in our dreams they will come true in our waking life. To which I respond, why would I want that?
Dreams are weird. I do not dream of true love and days of riches. I dream about strange and unusual things that I in no way want to manifest in reality. If this phrase were actually true, it would seem that I wish for my very own oil tanker and a talking dog who wears a blue dress. I flatly refuse to believe that the deepest desires of my heart include returning to my college biology class only to fail and being in a play in which I know no lines. I do occasionally dream that I am at Disney World, but I always seem to be in front of that weird building at Epcot between the World Showcase and Test Track that seems to serve no purpose. I am never doing anything fun. None of this seems like something I wish for. Don’t even get me started on the nightmares.
Dreams are dreams in all their strange glory. Wishes are wishes in all their hopeful enthusiasm. They are NOT the same thing. Sorry Cinderella.