Saturday, November 12, 2011

I'm Dreaming Of A Christmas, White Or Otherwise

Recently I've started having some very odd dreams. I wouldn't call them nightmares or anything, but they're still the kind of thing that upsets me enough that my first thought on waking is "Thank God that wasn't real." I'm not one to spend much time on analyzing dreams and assigning them significant meaning, but I still feel that these are some for of anxiety dream.

There isn't much for me to be anxious about right now in my life. I love my job, Vancouver, my place in life right now. Of course, above and beyond all of that, I love Claire, and having her near me when I awake brings me right back to a calm state.

But I do think that there is some underlying, bubbling anxiety that has been causing this. Most of my dreams place me firmly back in Ireland. I recently had a dream where I was supposed to be at work for 9am, but it was approaching 10:15, and I was still in Killea, my home home as I still call it, trying to get to work any way possible. The fact that I needed to travel halfway across the world didn't seem to be an issue, I just needed to get a lift. Or the dream where I was back in Cork, about to board a flight to Vancouver, reliving all those upsetting emotions I had to go through almost a year ago,but in the wrong airport and with more than just my mum there. I'm pretty sure I woke up crying from that one, or at the very least, upset enough that all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball for a bit.

Not to mention all the dreams I still have where I'm hanging out with Bob, Jp and Noel, just messing about, doing nothing. Well, not always nothing. There was one dream recently where I vaguely recall being with a bunch of Irish friends and Noel getting up to something that was hilarious at the time, but which, as happens all too often with reams, I've completely forgotten about now. I woke from that one chucking to myself, before I realised where I really was again. Those ones are far from upsetting, but they do illustrate my point.

Christmas swiftly approaches. I got my work schedule for December on Thursday. More and more stores are putting up their decorations, and more and more homes are starting to have colourful displays of light in their windows. Not having and television or a radio has saved me from the inevitable advertisements and music of the season, but I'm sure they're in full swing too by now.

This will be my first Christmas ever away from home. Every year for the past 31 years, I have been home with my family on or before December 24th, and for more than the last decade I've been with my friends for New Years. This year will be dramatically different.

We don't have plans for Christmas yet. Claire and I haven't really talked about what to do. We have a few options, the obvious being staying here in Vancouver and doing something, and a nice offer from Cian also means we could spend it in Seattle. We could of course travel to other places, but budget concerns at a time when we need to renew our visas mean that money is far from no object, even with the tidy savings we currently have.

So I'm not sure how to feel. There is really no need for me to be lonely at Christmas. Regardless of what happens I'll be spending Christmas with family, as I'm going nowhere without Claire! I have the option to spend it with friends if I choose. I can always ring home, made even easier now that we have credit on Skype to make calls to Ireland for ridiculously cheap. I know I'll miss being home, but I'll be happy that my brother will be home from Australia by then, so hopefully mum won't spend too much time thinking about me on the day, or at least not being upset about it. I'm not currently feeling homesick, nor do I consciously think that I'll be too upset come the big day.

But I think my dreams do highlight that at least some part of me is willing to admit that I'll miss it more than I think I will. I know I've said on several occasions here that I miss my friends and family in Ireland, and I do. We never left because of the people, or even really because of the economy (though we are both happy to not be dealing with it right now). We left because we just wanted to see a bit more of the world, and experience a bit of what life is like outside of our tiny island.

Christmas away from home will just be another experience to add to that. I waited 31 years, and would have happily waited another 31, but never let it be said that I was afraid to try new things.

Not afraid. Just a little anxious.

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