This made more sense when I was unconscious.

Last night I dreamt this really profound statement which I suspected I’d forget if I didn’t write it down, so I jotted it down quickly and fell immediately back asleep.   This morning I woke up to a note that says:

“On conquering a giant mountain: It wasn’t the mountain that was important.  It was the horse.”

And I think what I meant there was that life is like climbing a giant mountain, but in the end you realize that life is not about the accomplishment and is really much more about the company you keep while getting there.  Which sort of makes sense.

Except that it also sort of also implies that I think life is less about reaching your goals and more about sitting on other people’s backs while they carry you there.  Which is kind of shitty.  Dream-me is kind of an asshole, I think.

Never give dream-me a piggie-back ride.  She’s sort of a dick.  Sorry about that.


And in other news, it’s Sunday, which means it’s time for the weekly wrap-up:

Made by my friend Matthew (The Oatmeal.)   He's made of awesome.
Illustration by my friend Matthew (The Oatmeal.) He’s made of awesome.

What you missed in my shop (Named “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

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What you missed on the internets:

This week on shit-I-didn’t-come-up-with-but-wish-I-did-because-it’s-kind-of-awesome:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Eva, The Tattoo Tourist.  Six years ago she had a preventative double mastectomy and then covered her scars with tattoos.  As she says, “Getting tattooed healed my relationship with my altered body and reignited my creative curiosity.”  She just started kickstarter project to visit and interview artists and fans and curate it all into a beautiful photo book.  I’m a backer.  You might want to be too.  Check it out here.

106 thoughts on “This made more sense when I was unconscious.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. This story kinda makes me glad I can’t remember shit when I wake up. Because I’m sure whatever I would write down would make “On conquering a giant mountain: It wasn’t the mountain that was important. It was the horse” seem like the secret of life.

  2. If you want to see odd dreams, sleep with a TV set to a channel that runs lots of infomercials. I end up with all variety of strange dreams about ladders and blenders while hosting parties and being lost in malls or schools. Usually there is deja vu during it too, just to add extra confusion.

  3. I tried leaving a notepad and bed on the nightstand to write down thoughts I have when I’m half asleep. When I finally used it, the next morning I came back to read what it wrote. It was completely illegible except for the word “wine,” so I’m pretty sure I make grocery lists in my sleep.

  4. Maybe the horse represents the sort of equipment you need to make it to the top of the mountain. If you are not prepared properly for the climb, no matter how hard you try you won’t get there. So, the horse count represent your emotional preparedness. Oooor maybe while you were sleeping your daughter was whispering in your ear, “I want a horse, I want a horse and I am going to name him Mountain.” I could go either way with this.

  5. Are you sure it said “horse” and not “house”? Because maybe you got to the top of the mountain and remembered you’d left the oven on.

  6. I’m writing a Senior philosophy paper for Nursing School about how my perspective of my Philosophy has changed over the last four years. (yay me, I’m graduating in May). And here I writing this paper that pretty much weighs heavily enough that if I f*ck up I might fail the class, and I am seriously thinking how can I fit this quote, “Now you have an enormous metal chicken to deal with. Perspective…”, into my paper. Thank you for being awesome. Without you, I never could have made it this far. Ok, untrue. Probably I would have, but I wouldn’t have laughed so hard I cried and cried so hard I laughed along the way.

  7. Maybe you meant “horse” as in the nickname for heroin. Which is the only way I could climb a mountain. Do they even still use that nickname? I’m going to ask my dealer.
    Also.. drugs are bad, M’kay?

  8. I look forward to the Sunday post all week. Sometimes I worry that my life needs a life. Then the Sunday post goes up and I have other things to worry about. Like why don’t you ship overseas?

  9. I read it as it was actually the horse that you needed to conquer. And then maybe it will turn into a unicorn. That’s how my dream would go.

  10. Yay for the Sunday roundup!

    If I put a notepad by my bed when I sleep it wouldn’t get used. I think I suffer from temporary paralysis when I sleep, because I don’t move. At all. If I’m moving, I’m not sleeping, so . . .

    Maybe the horse was about how you got to the top of the mountain. If you don’t have a good horse, you won’t make it.

  11. I’d totally give you a piggy back ride, but I have a bad back so we would never reach the top. Sorry abut that. 🙂

  12. Dream me isn’t dying from terminal cancer at the age of 35. Dream me plays board games with Jenny and other random people who are way out of my coolness league. Dream me doesn’t spend several hours each day crying while he thinks about the future his children will have without him. Dream me wishes reality was the nightmare that it’s become. Thank you for making yourself available to us Jenny. I have and will always be a huge fan and supporter of yours.

    (Dream me is giving you an enormous hug and a taco. Love you, sweet man. ~ Jenny)

  13. I rode a horse up a mountain so I know what it means. Pick the wrong horse and you are going to be walking, up the mountain.

  14. You make my favorite things come together! It’s like fusion food, but on the internet. Fusion Blogging! First Hyperbole & A Half and not The Oatmeal! This could be the mojitos typing, but holy crap, do you realize you’re essentially forming the internet version of the Avengers?!?!

  15. There IS a quote out there about life not being the destination, not about the battles or the wars, it’s not even about the journey… but the preparation. I am paraphrasing of course. Think about what it takes to take care of the horse and that right there…that is life. The other stuff is sort of like your report card. It helps you gauge how you’re doing.

  16. crap…that was the mojitos talking…that was suppose to say “now”, not “not”….
    Ugh, don’t drink then type…

  17. Last year Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” was my theme song. This year “Happy” has moved to the top of the list cuz repeatedly saying that “I’m happy” certainly must make it true! Happy,happy,happy.

  18. I always think of really awesome stuff in the middle of the night but never write it down…that’s why it still seems awesome. We need someone to invent a machine to take our awesome dream thoughts and write them down for us so we don’t need to turn on the light.

  19. I had a dream that my job was to “get the panther delegation to the origami summit”

  20. Non-snarky response here: I think the horse is your means of getting up the mountain, meaning it’s not the mountain (accomplishments) itself, but the way you carry yourself up it (the horse). Many people may accomplish a lot, but they do it by hurting others along the way. It’s more important to have a good, strong, sensitive horse that won’t trample the other horses that may be weaker… if that makes any sense.

    /dream interpretation

  21. I was wondering if I should have a notepad on my nightstand for just such an occassion. Your experience tells me I can just forget it, unless I want to tweet random stuff the next day that has people scratching their heads, which is a great idea as well.

  22. Are you sure that you didn’t watch the movie Holes before going to bed?

  23. I am one of those people who actually gets completely irrelevant precog dreams. Irrelevant in that they are completely useless, like the brand of coffee my husband is switching to. So weird.

  24. If those metal sculptures you linked to were Weeping Angels, we’d be toast.

  25. Well that’s better than mine! I dreamed that our apartment complex had transformed and it was the future and where the parking lot is, there was a swimming pool and I was trying to get away from this blonde Ken doll looking guy running up my stairs and pad-locking my door!

  26. I am always very confusing in my dreams. I also dream in full color with soundtracks. I kind of think my dreamscape must be what it would be like to live inside the head of a cross mix of Tim Burton and Holly Hobby.

  27. Perhaps the dream means that there are things in life (the horse) that enable us to climb the mountain much more easily than we could by simply walking, and that it’s important to find that thing or things that is going to make the climb easier, more companionable, more doable. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you, or any of us, is going to be riding on other people’s backs, at least not in a bad way. The horse might be a mantra, or some particular kind of practice (like writing!), or a best friend, or taking time to watch the sunset every day, etc. And that focusing one’s energy on this thing is very valuable and important.

    Also, sometimes you do need to let other people carry you. That doesn’t make you a dick or an asshole. Which obviously you know but I thought I’d point it out.

  28. I kinda like dream Jenny. Sometimes it’s more important to enjoy the ride and let someone help you reach your destination than it is to get there in the first place. Oh, and am I the only one who things the new cartoon hair dryer looks oddly like a dildo with a furry tip? I’m just askin’.

  29. Damn, woman! If there is anything I hate more than a happy song when I’m feeling depressed, then in don’t know what it is, mostly because it’s hard to passionate enough about anything when depressed, so maybe it did something…. Can I get one of those not losing stickers?

  30. I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this. The following is my latest:

    “I appreciate that.” (underlined) “Sociopath!” (underlined twice)

    What the actual fuck??

  31. “Not Losing” – HA!

    I also love that you immediately considered the horse to be company, that’s so sweet.

  32. You know what is worse than remembering something that turns out to not make any sense? Not remembering and building it up to be some life altering thing when really it was probably about how you should move that shelf from over your bed because you worry about shit falling on you every damn night. But you still don’t move it.

  33. Um, Dream-You must be onto something from the fifth dimension. I was trying to explain to my fourth-grader something profound today about life, and how there’s the mountain and the climb, and I could have sworn there was some quote out in the ether about a horse on a mountain and the climb of the horse being as important as anything, but I couldn’t put my finger on it, even after a Google search. Having made an ass of myself trying to sound profound to a 10-year-old who clearly thought I was anything but profound — I believe my exact quote was, “There is always the horse making the climb with you” — I gave up. Do you know how much I’m dying that I read this blog entry tonight, after THAT!?

  34. The importance lies not in getting to the top of the mountain but how you got there and who was supporting you in the journey.

  35. once i dreamed that i was having another dream about a dream inside a dream, but then i realized that i had fallen asleep watching inception.

  36. I love you, and I’m happy for Gabi, but it made me feel worse to read how easily she found a med that worked. I so wish that could be me. I’m having such a hard time.

  37. I had a kid at my school wake up from a nap a few weeks ago and go “Hey Miss Marie, I dreamed a ghost told me a joke. Want to hear it? What has two legs and is a ghost? HAHAHAHA!!” So now I just feel like my dreams are super boring because there is little to no ghost comedy in them.

  38. For some reason this made me think of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Because, truly, it WAS ALL ABOUT THE HORSE.

  39. Hi Jenny! Just wanted to tell you how much I loved your book. It made me laugh out loud. Haven’t been able to fill the void since I finished reading it. I’m enjoying checking out your blog. My hubby, ten year old son, and I live in Shanghai–I write a blog about our (mis)adventures living overseas. Feel free to check it out if you are ever suffering from insomnia and need something to help you fall asleep:
    All the best and keep on writing!

  40. Holy crap Jenny we are “off of the same tree” I leave lists reminding me of events, store items, to do`s, etc…where I have placed my actual list? Well that needs to be another lists!

  41. I once woke up in the middle of the night and felt the desperate need to tell all of my Twitter followers that snakes can’t crouch. I thought this was terrible for them. In the morning it seemed less profound.

    Yours, however, actually had a point. Kudos, dream-Jenny 😉

  42. Thank you and Thank Amy who posted at 9:42 p.m. I was beating myself up that I did not lose my two pounds this week. So I came right to your blog for a smile. I did not realize I would find a reminder and more inspiration. I will reach the top of my mountain, but it is about the team I am working with that will help me get there. And we will get there together. Time for me to be the horse.

    And Jenny, I would carry you up the mountain, because you would find something to make me laugh about the whole way there!

  43. Thank you Jenny for backing my campaign – I am honored! Side note; you look kinda amazing with hamsters and what-not in your hair. Just saying.

  44. I really wish I would write my dreams down when I wake up. I even have my handy ‘be nice or I will stab you’ notebook. I have no excuse.

  45. I think dream-you is not an a** at all. In fact she has been raised right — she knows to say thankyou to someone who helps you reach your goal.

  46. That’s brilliant. I’m going to create a calendar with 365 short wisdoms I call ThinkThoughts. Here’s one:
    Until you can, you can’t.
    Inspiring insight for March 10,

  47. I think it means it’s not where you go, but how you get there. Kind of like “It’s not if you win or lose; it’s how you play the game.”

  48. It sounds to me like you meant one should be appreciative of those who help you climb the mountain. Makes sense.

  49. The mountain could represent renunciation of worldly desires and the search for higher potential. The horse represents sex. The nightstand next to your bed, morning wood. Just sayin…

  50. I did that once, and the notes were pretty weird. What I found interesting was that, after doing it for a few nights in a row…there was a common thread (and it was obvious that I was feeling trapped or stuck or helpless somehow).

    It was helpful to know I was under stress. What would have been MORE helpful would have been to dream a way to get OUT of the stress… So, yeah. Thanks for nothing, subconscious.

  51. The first thing that came into my head when reading the post was:
    Captain Kirk is climbing the mountain, why is he climbing the mountain?


  52. I love that Matthew Inman did that drawing for you. I love his work.
    Those sculptures are pretty awesome.
    The song: meh. I just can’t get into it. Sorry, not sorry.

  53. Random dream memories – I like it. My best ideas come in pre-sleep thinking. That’s where the 90% unused remainder of our brain is hiding . . . possibly?

  54. Do you have any tips on not self harming? Thanks so much. You are a huge encouragement. God bless.

    (Sure. A doctor can give you the best help but two of the things I do when I feel the need to self-harm are to wear rubber bands around my wrists and snap them hard against my wrist when the urge arises. If that doesn’t work I hold ice in my hands over the sink until my hands ache. It causes a similar pain but with no long term effects. I try not to let it get that far though and sometimes meditation or talking can help. Also, tell someone you’re close to that you’re considering self-harming so they can watch you and help push you away from harmful activities. And forgive yourself. We all slip up. Just keep breathing. Remember that depression lies and that you’re part of our tribe. We need you here. ~ Jenny)

  55. Last night I had a dream that Ron Swanson was washing the stainless steel pots that I put on my wedding registry.

    I don’t know what that means.

  56. For some reason, I tend to write songs in my dreams (when I’m not screaming at people for being idiots or wandering aimlessly in a gigantic time-loop attempting to get to some Very Important Event that I’m desperately late for). I can neither read music nor play any instrument. One night several years ago I decided to write down the nonsense lyrics I had been singing with the melody in my dream, in the hopes of remembering said melody so that I could attempt to plunk it out on a piano at a later date. When I woke up the next morning, instead of the instant memory of an amazing song, I was greeted with…nonsense words. No earthly idea what the melody was supposed to sound like. I suppose I should learn how to write music so that these songs don’t get wasted, but then I think a) that’s a whole lot of work, and b) at least dream-me gets to enjoy them.

  57. That shit’s straight from Confucius, or a fortune cookie. So, now I know, ancient Chinese philosophers, are just talking shit from their dreams. Thanks for clearing that up Jenny.

  58. OMG! The Oatmeal and The Bloggess, together in one picture!! The internet could not get any better.

  59. I was chaperoning a field trip and found myself showing off my Twin Beyoncé photo and reading that entry to the other adults at the front of the bus. I’m wondering if I will ever be invited along again.

  60. “….so why oh why didn’t I conquer the sodding horse instead when I had the chance?”

  61. Why is it that when you post something, it sticks in my head and I analyze it for days? The horse thing reminds me of the thing men say when they have to go pee…you know, “I gotta go see a man about a horse.” So maybe that means that when you go on a journey, make sure you plan for potty breaks, or it might be a really tough road trip.

  62. “Depression lies and you’re part of our tribe” would make a first-rate t-shirt. Although I write, my day job is teaching, and I could tell my college students where to go to get it….

    That quote also reminds me of the (now sad) clip of Philip Seymour Hoffman in the movie where he talks to the young man about the advantages of not being cool….

  63. Jenny, I love Jungian psychology. It suggests that everyone (everything?) in our dreams represents a part of ourselves. Horses are often symbols of libido–as in, powerful creative/artistic force. Your dream is a poignant image for me–dream-you being carried by powerful-artistic-force you over high-mountain-to-summit you. With moral of story: it isn’t the contents of the life that define us, but the acts of creation with which we move through life. Thanks for sharing. I needed that today.

  64. Holy shit I just got what your dream meant! It’s not the destination that matters it’s the people who helped you get there! That shit is profound and not just when you’re drunk!

  65. Those “Not Losing” stickers would also be great for giving out at weight loss meeting –to those who just couldn’t stay away from cake and fries the week before!

  66. For your “Cats are Assholes!!” folder…

    LOLZ. Thanks, Jack.

  67. It means you need to choose the right vehicle to get you to the top of the mountain. Focus on the things you can control (which horse) rather than the things you can’t (the mountain). If it were about company, you would have traveled with another person or at least a talking horse.

  68. So I just realized that the end of your “…so your credit card bill be more interesting):” looks like a frowny face, when a “:P” face would be more appropriate.

  69. Love your blog!! I think it means that the challenge isn’t the important thing but rather the tools you use to meet the challenge. For example, you wouldn’t get very far digging a hole with a tea spoon, or eating a gallon of ice cream. You’d want a bigger spoon/shovel.

  70. Just in case you didn’t get enough happy there is and it’s pretty self explanatory. Continuous 24 hour music video of people dancing to the song. The video you posted is spliced together bits of the 24 hour shot and I believe it’s one continuous shot. It makes me happy. You make me happy so I thought I would try to return the favor.

  71. Thanks for including the link to Gabi’s post. I had a big move a year ago, and my brain has been short-circuiting quite a bit this past year. I wouldn’t have thought a very positive move would be such a mighty trigger for depression. I’ve been seeing some of the same signs as Gabi (like the IMPOSSIBLE decision-making and the slightest task being an insurmountable chore). I’ve been dragging my feet to get medication though, because the last time I did I gained over 30 pounds. But after reading about her success, it makes me think it’s about time to try again. Thanks!

  72. Forget the stickers. What you need to make are the Mental Health Merit Badges I always want someone to give me when I’m in a bad place. You know, like “Took a shower when epically depressed” or “Made it through conversation with my mother without letting her get to me” or “Managed not to text anyone inappropriately after the 7th martini”. We should totally get recognized for that crap.

  73. When I was a wee kiddo, I woke up and yelled at my mother, “YOU ATE MY BIRTHDAY CAKE!!!” Then, for the rest of my life, I had to listen to this story every goddamn birthday.

  74. I have had dreams in which I’ve been someone else. And even when I am me in my dreams, it’s like watching a movie. I am seeing myself doing all the dream things. And I’m not sure if this is normal or not because the voices told me that it’s probably a symptom of The Crazy. This got dark very fast. I’m sorry. I’ll fix it. Hey look! Kittens!

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