Imagination. Mine. As in, the overreactive imagination (yes, overreactive, not merely overactive, as every possible stimulus and even a fair amount of impossible ones trigger it) that is my greatest talent and worst curse. The thing that allows me to write out an entire ramble in my head. The thing that allows me to make a speech that I'll verbally utterly fail to deliver. The thing that allows me to have imaginary conversations with people, saying specific things and them responding certain ways and me having answers for each way they'd respond. (This is what the dream is closest to. Dialogs that I prepare in advance, especially when I want something. I'll create an introduction, drawing them in, then deliver my point, and have in mind options for each response they're likely to give me.) The thing which triggers my response to everything, once having made me paranoid every itch on my body was a bug. (Long story, that.) The thing that allows me to create amazing visuals in my mind that I struggle to bring out on paper, but can semi-coherently use in my novels. The thing which makes me such a dangerous mafioso, yet also is the source of such significant insecurities and self-doubt that it drives me crazy.
I do all of these things, and so, SO much more, on a constant basis. They're all the imagination creating things that could be but aren't, could be but won't (most of these rather painfully, mind you--imagine having the ability to in crystal clarity envision a future where I've transitioned, have at least a friend, my family's there with me, I'm stable, I might have a family of my own, and knowing all of this is never to be), could be and am actively aiming for (say, being a successful writer), could be yet I want to avoid (say, being a hobo), and even plenty that can't be and never could. (Say, me suddenly discovering that I have access to magical powers and that all my suffering before then was them having been latent in a world where they supposedly don't exist.
...Did I mention I have at least three stories that more or less begin that way? Probably could find a dozen that use the concept at least loosely, too, if I dug.)
I do it in the shower (that's one of the main reasons my showers take an hour and a half in fact), I do it while working, I do it while I'm eating (that's one of the main reasons I can take an hour to eat my breakfast, in fact), but primarily I do it when I'm pacing back and forth. (It's always there. But it's most active during these periods.) Running and being in the car are also places they dominate. Think daydreaming, but awake and active, rather than passive. My mind multitasks with the fictional overcoming the reality in focus, the reality being a passive task and the fictional my active mind.
It's something you either know, or don't know, and I'm not sure there's any way to convey it. You just sort-of have to feel it. But anyway, this is all a bit of a massive tangent. The point I wanted to get across is that the dream was a bit like that in feelings as the dialogs weren't quite concrete. The exact words weren't set in stone. (Even in my dreams, I paraphrase!) They were, however, set to specific set actions. Meaning that while the dialog shifted a bit, the sequence of events did not.
What was that dream? Well, it's actually quite a short one. I was me as I physically am (not as who I hope to be), at square dancing. Just like any other dance day, at first. Me, pretending to be something I'm not, for the sake of others and also for the safety of myself.
...Then, out of the blue, a specific club member's mom (said club member is technically the president, I believe, given that board meetings are at her house, but rarely does she come and no longer does she compete even though I think she's young enough to, and yet her mother's there nearly every week, always reminding us to sign in, and her father's the only true male dancer aside from the caller, though obviously they're under the impression a square with me isn't an all-girls square) asks of me a rather blunt (and frankly, embarrassing) question.
I'm not sure what wording was there originally, but it more or less was asking me, "So what's it like, being a transwoman?"
I literally shrank and huddled under the table, partially out of fear, shock, and stress, but mainly out of embarrassment. (And, yes. Me being under the table and hiding is something that seemed perfectly in-place. You'd be surprised. I used to do that all the time as a shy little kid. Since facing my transwoman side of me makes me feel like one again, I suppose it's appropriate, both as my visual self and metaphorical self, since as a transwoman I am still young, not matured.) I forget how I respond exactly, but I know that I ended my response with a, "Who told you that?" of some sort.
Her answer? "Why, your mom of course." (Along those lines, anyway.) And--in spite of her not being directly involved with my club for years--sure enough, there was my mom, at the dance. She had found one of my notes, tipping her off, and a rather awkward mother-newdaughter conversation ensued, in which she basically didn't understand, but was accepting all the same of the situation with me.
...Good dream. That final outcome is probably the best I could ever hope for: an awkward acceptance, where it's confusing and embarrassing, but still supportive all the same.
As for how today went, it started with a hike up the big hill, with my dad and siblings. I found it easier than last year; it took about an hour and a half to go up. The view from there is absolutely breathtaking (almost literally, given the height), and it's a quite nice place. The sun was particularly nice when standing on the log we do, because the log's shielded from the ice-cold wind, allowing for us to bask in the warmth of the sun for a while.
Sadly, the landmark rocks with what the elevation's supposed to be had that as blank. All the other information, from the year to the circumstances behind the expedition and whatnot, was there. It even gave the "Elevation: " etching, yet that field where it was supposed to be filled in was blank, not a single indicator one was ever given. Ah, well. (From my understanding, it's officially around 5100 feet, with our house down there being GPS-confirmed to be 4200 feet, so 900 feet gained.)
On the way down, we not once but TWICE overshot our destination, taking the roads down further than we had taken them the way up, though it ultimately wasn't much of a detour, and we finished the hike down in an hour. One thing of note, my mother insisted I wear a coat to go above my jacket, but I insisted that the hike two days ago was fine, so I would be this time, too.
Turns out I was mostly right. Wind chill was absolutely brutal, but the sun was (as mentioned) pretty nice, lasting most of the hike. (Clouds covered it near the end.) Though I occasionally got cold, I developed counters. Hair over ears to keep them from freezing? Worked so well that I occasionally pulled my hair back to let the air in. (I prefer my hair behind my ears, and draped behind my back, rather than in front. Just feels, I dunno, more feminine for some reason.) Arms crossed? Kept my heat in so well that I could break stance whenever I felt like it.
It was a bit difficult before I developed my techniques above, but I was plenty-warm once I did. (The cold only got bad on the way down, anyway; most of the way up, the wind wasn't as bad.) The hands got cold before being shoved to my armpits' excessive heat, and the arms/pecs ended up slightly chilled, yet I was fine.
Upon returning, in fact, I didn't even feel like I was burning up. (A common sensation from going into a warm house when basically a human popsicle.) Instead, I felt as if I was in a normal house, rather than a slightly-too-warm (the default feeling I have here) one.
After that, we (that is, my siblings and I) spent a couple hours on Age of Empires II. The game we played was decently easy, in spite of being on Hard, thanks to the setup: four of us versus three unaligned computers. I came in second again. (My brother always beats me, much to my bewilderment, though I just learned one of the potential reasons why--a poker tell, of sorts.) Locked teams, of course, so I mean we massacred them, and my score was the second-highest overall.
Then, it being close to dinnertime, my brother and I watched my younger sister get massacred in a game she had started before. We helped he make a seriously-valiant effort, though! We came in to the end of her first stand, witnessed (and began assisting) her second stand, helped her make her true last stand (militaristically-wise), and when that failed, did a grand circle around I'd estimate a good 60% of the map, making lumber camps and chopping wood until spotted--and barely having 100, running to a new location. This continued many times--at least five--before she got caught. Ultimately, she made it one and a half times around the map, but when hunted by a methodical samurai, cavalry archers, catapults, and trebuchet, forced to strategically sacrifice one villager at a time to ensure the others' survival, it could only have ended one way: her death.
(Somewhere in this zone or after supper, we watched the replay. When the "spies have infiltrated your nation" message came up, it was discussed that my message about researching Atheism, my special tech as my preferred civilization the Huns, shows up to the computer as well. And then, my siblings revealed that it shows up to them, too, and my brother said that whenever he gets that message, he knows I'm wasting money.)
Then came supper. After it was finished, we tried the bar method of determining what we'd do. My brother asked me and my younger sister, "Okay, if Age of Empires is *hand at default height* here, where is *activity*?" When we had that, my younger sister did it for him...and between the three of us...there was literally no overlap at all. Our three metrics were so incompatible that no clear comparison could be made. So we asked our older sister...who was also unhelpful.
What did we do then? Well, I decided to form a system where on the count of three, we'd all shout out a random idea. I shouted Gauntlet; my brother, Age of Empires. My sister said cards, so for a split-second, it seemed like a deadlock...until my older sister revealed she had also participated, saying cards.
That was good enough for me! So cards it was. First came Golf, which I believe I won. Then came Hearts, which started off badly: I got the queen, and some hearts. My older sister deliberately sabotaged any chance of me shooting the moon, but my hand was so bad that I got most of the hearts aside from her deliberate attempt, meaning I very well could have if not for her.
Next round, I was a liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittle bit bitter, so I decided to spite my brother (who gave my older sister her shooting-the-moon-breaking heart) and older sister: my younger sister was close to shooting the moon. I did nothing to stop her, refusing to take the hit when already in last. My sister, unlike the previous round, had nothing to stop it with, and according to my brother, neither did he. So it was an "If I can't win, I'm dragging you two down with me!"
...I did. My younger sister shot (ha) into first place with a mere one point, with a steady lead compared to my 44. The third round gave further revenge: dumping the queen on my older sister and all 13 hearts on my brother. This happened surprisingly often. (My older sister got the queen a disproportionately high number of times.) Final score?
Older sister: 104. Brother: 100. Me: 90. And my younger sister (once again) won with an insurmountable lead...at 18 points. So, yes. I lost, because she won by a landslide...but that second-place of mine was well-fought. Ultimately, I ended up doing exactly what I promised: I couldn't win, but I took them both down, 'winning' with a respectable margin compared to them.