Ever since I was a child I have remembered my dreams in surprisingly vivid detail, months, even years after having them. Stranger still, is that a very tiny fraction of these dreams eventually play themselves out in real time at some later date. Never anything of even the slightest significance like earth quakes, or car wrecks, plane crashes, assassination plots, amazing hot sex with random celebrities, or family deaths. No, no, no, the universe decided that those would have proven to be far too useful. Instead, I foreshadow innocuous, mundane, everyday moments, thirty seconds at a time, usually well in advance of them actually happening. Often these moments are without dialogue. I will sometimes wake from the dream confused, not really sure where I had been, or who I had been with. Then six months later, it will actually happen, and I will understand that I had been confused because I am at a place I had never been to, around people whom I had never previously met. (Now I realize that this may be, in fact, less of a charming character quirk and more of an alarming symptom of severe mental illness, but nonetheless, bare with me on this.)
I have always used these moments of deja vu as a kind of cosmic navigational system in my life. The more frequently they occur the more I am sure I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I was devastated, for example, about not being accepted into UC Santa Cruz (my first choice) directly out of high school, and was sure that my life was over as I began my first semester at my local community college. But, as each day passed the more I experienced these "already seen" moments, and at the end of that very same year I was accepted at UC Berkeley instead. I like to believe that the universe had bigger dreams for me than I did for myself. That it tossed me little clues along the way that I was exactly where I needed to be, in order to quell my fears, and put to rest all of my own self doubt. My mother has always believed that your dreams are a way of whispering in your own ear, and perhaps in this way she wasn't that far off base.
On the flip side, when there are long periods between these episodes, I feel like I have misstepped, fallen off course, and lost my way somehow. It is during these times, where I find myself searching for major life changes. This last year had been entirely without them. So long, in fact, had it been between them that I had almost forgotten about them all together. But earlier this week I had two of them. And somehow, even though I am not at all a believer in fate, or destiny, or predetermination, that I am in fact possibly the least spiritual person that you will ever meet, I was infinitely relieved. In that one instant a huge cloud of emotional burden lifted, and I knew, in some small way, that I was back on track.
And while I am certainly not Sylvia Brown, Jean Dixon, or Latoya Jackson, I am perfectly happy to have been blessed with my own little, golden, rhinestone encrusted compass.