I had a dream last night wherein I toured the site of several childhood nightmares — this time viewing the scene as a young adult. A friend in the dream pointed out scary-looking elements from the backyard and noted, "Huh, that must be why this place was always so creepy for us." Everyone had aged. Several characters didn't show up. A few books were missing from the shelves. But aside from those small, appropriate differences, the setting was identical.
It was super weird.
On one hand, I'm glad that I've grown out of that particular dream series. (Like many of my recurring nightmares, the subject revolved around the darker sequences from The Wizard of Oz.) On the other hand, wow, I hope that never happens again.
The way I walked around in the dream gave me a glimpse of life as a pretentious adult, as the kind of person who sneers all the way through art museums and who doesn't drink chocolate milk. That person would have laughed at the child who found witches and black castles scary. That person has no imagination and a bad attitude. That person doesn't properly appreciate the color pink.
I don't think I'm at risk for becoming that person, since I still feel sympathetic for other peoples' irrational fears (past and present) and still drink chocolate milk almost daily. However, I definitely want to avoid dreaming like that arrogant old fart. I probably don't have much control over that, but I think I'm going to start falling asleep to Spongebob Squarepants just to be safe.