Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ghosts of Christmas Past (Friday, March 12)

We have had a lot of anxiety-ridden dreams since arriving in Colombia. I think part of it is our overworked brains – from wake til sleep, we are constantly translating, stumbling through our Spanish, and weirdly losing our English grammar. We have some serious Spanglish going on even when we’re speaking English to each other. Skyping with Sandy & Anthony and Margarita & Juan has proved a huge mental relief. (Uh, also, if anyone wants to find us on Skype, our username is Chermeo.)

Part of it is probably the state of eternal caution that being in Colombia requires.

We’re also learning a shit ton of overwhelming family history. Some skeletons done come OUT of the CLOSET the past few weeks. It’s a lot to handle.

But mainly, Gabe and I think it started as a question. Every time we encounter something extrano or novel or new – which is, you know, all the time – we giggle: “Did you think that five years ago you’d be listening to Akon with your 13-year-old aunt’s niece in rural Colombia?” “Did you think five years ago you’d be dancing salsa at a political rally for your cousin’s uncle-in-law’s senatorial race?” “Did you think five years ago that you’d be freaking living out of a backpack?”

Etc. I mean, five years ago today, we weren’t even dating. Gabe was getting ready for his wedding with that chick in Michigan, and I was living with that dude in New York. For the two of us, the past five years have included five moves, four apartments, four countries, five jobs, a niece, a nephew, a death in the family, some very important relationships and a countless number of teachable fucking moments.

It’s a lot to process, which has led to a lot of odd dreams. Especially odd for me because the dreams have been super literal recreations of past situations or choices, packed with very real ex-boyfriends, places, jobs, and arguments – as Gabe calls them, Ghosts of Christmas Past. I haven’t eaten a single elephant (Scroll down to "My Elephant Dream") since I’ve gotten to Colombia, but, at least in my dream world, I’ve made a lot of very different decisions. It’s unsettling – I wake up every morning with a sense of how very different my life could be.