Yesterday I turned thirty-four. It seemed like a relatively ordinary day, but my dreams last night were proof that there was more going on under the surface.

In my dream, I was moving out of my childhood home (at least the home I spent the largest chunk of time in growing up). Everyone who is currently part of my life was there, and we were sorting through an enormous mess of stuff. I knew that i was moving to a new house, and the strange thing was, I kept thinking that there would not be enough room for all of my things, and I was aware that there needed to be extra room for my husband and kids and other Very Important People in my life to live there, too.

I was looking at a huge pile of old, tattered books and wondering where I could fit them in the new house and suddenly realized that there were extra rooms in the new house. In fact there were several hidden rooms with nice, neat hardwood shelves and drawers and closets for carefully filing everything away. I realized that I was the only person who knew how to get to these rooms in this new house, and I began carefully tidying up the mess in my old house to prepare for the move to the bigger, better house.

This morning, i realized that this was a metaphor for my life. I had a tumultuous childhood. I have many unpleasant memories from my youth. I was visualizing myself as the houses. My current friends and my loved ones are helping me move out of my old house into the larger one because I can see that I have friends and loved ones who appreciate me and love me, and so I am making more room for that love in my life. The hidden rooms in the new house are places where I can carefully file away the clutter of my youth – because many lessons are learned through difficult times – so while trauma of the past should not be forgotten (because we can draw on those memories to combat future challenges), it does not need to be out in front, and can be neatly filed away in the event that it is needed for reference down the road.

My dream was about moving on with my life and appreciating the good things I have while still valuing the lessons learned before. I find this to be very positive.

Jenifer, 34, New York