I realise with a jolt that I left my backpack sitting on the ground, right out in the open air, in an outdoor carpark at university. I rush back to retrieve it, but of course it has completely disappeared. A rising sense of anxiety and stress overwhelms me as I tell my companion what was in my backpack. It seems that included my laptop, so then I move on to listing everything that was saved on my laptop, with a sinking feeling.

Fortunately, just then I wake up. A sense of relief washes over me, on discovering that it was just a dream. My university days were about 20 years ago and at that time, the only Notebooks that students carried around at uni were the spiral bound type.

Losing a bag seems to be a recurring dream for me lately. A quick Google search reveals that losing a bag in a dream symbolises loss of identity, and/or fear of losing control – depending whose answer you prefer.

Dream interpretation Google search

Neither of those interpretations suddenly throw light on anything that I’m consciously aware of, but I do think that recurring dreams have some significance. A while back, I had recurring dreams of losing a bag but then finding it again. But recently, the pattern has changed and it’s become a regular scenario that I lose my bag in dreams but don’t find it again. Damn!

Way back when I had first given birth to my daughter, I had a series of dreams in which I had just realised my VCE/Year 12 Maths exam was that day and I had forgotten all year that I was enrolled in that subject. Those dreams would pop up intermittently but with a serial-like quality to them – for example, in the first I realised the exam was coming up and I’d forgotten to attend any classes, the next time the dream popped up, I was going into the exam, totally stressed out about not having done any study, etc.

On that occasion, I didn’t need the internet to interpret those dreams, because it was glaringly obvious to me what my subconscious was doing: coming up with a scenario that captured how unprepared I felt for finding myself with a newborn baby.

So this morning I felt some relief on waking up, to realise it was just another of those pesky, stressful dreams. After the second or two it took to orient myself, I reached over for my phone to check the time. 7.30am.

7.30am on Boxing Day. What bliss! I had no plans for the entire day. It seemed unnecessary to even get up just yet. Why not have a little bit more of a snooze? Perhaps I’d be able to have a more upbeat dream to end my slumber and put me in a better state of mind for the day. With that plan in mind,* I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Next thing I knew I was waking up again, out of the same dream. The carpark, the backpack, the people shrugging their shoulders and saying they hadn’t seen it, my rising stress, my thoughts that I would have to start cancelling all my cards.

Twice in one morning! I looked at my phone again – 8.30am! I figured it was time to get up and actually relax!


* I have no ability to control what I dream about, as is pretty clear from this post.



Though my dreams it’s never quite as it seems

never quite as it seems

Dreams – The Cranberries

Leave a comment


  1. I’ve never had “lost backpack dreams”, but I have had “clueless in exam” dreams.
    Sounds like getting up rather than going back to sleep was a good idea at that point.
    Hope you enjoyed your Christmas Day 🙂


    • Yeah, wasn’t going to risk going through it again a third time! I actually had the best Christmas Day I’ve had since Santa was discredited, just because my family members all actually showed up AND conversed with one another. I don’t ask for much these days! Hope yours was lovely too!


  2. Well now! I’ve been having the same math dream lately that you had when you were pregnant. I have, in seriousness been wondering what it might mean. ( It did not occur to me that google might help me with that.) After reading your blog post, I now think I know – you must be pregnant again!


    • Haha…..I seriously hope not! Maybe it means you have embarked on something that makes you feel like you are being tested! If so, good luck!



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