Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Feeling of Falling

Since it feels like my life is either about to come to a thundering halt or take off on an unstoppable rampage, I figured I should write.

Instead of, you know, packing.

I have one week until I leave the country for over a year. One week, and the next phase of my life begins. It's a lot of pressure to put on a week. Poor week. Of course, there's lots to do and I can't spend my time on the couch like I want to, but I feel the need to reflect on the enormity of what's ahead of me and the incredible collection of people and circumstances that have gotten me to where I am, on the precipice of this grand adventure.

At this point in time, I only know a few things for certain: next week, I board a plane to take me to Barcelona. I have a place to stay in Barca, and then in Montserrat, and then it's all a bit uncharted. That's the thing about a project like this--I'm following my nose, going where the wind takes me, and it's awfully hard to book the wind in advance.

As I teeter on the border between terror and elation, I'm thinking a lot about things that I'll miss in this coming year. I'll have to give up face-to-face contact with my family and friends, my rather startling dependence on Pandora for music, and my teddy bear (she's enormous--no way she's fitting in my day pack.) Some days I'll give up showers, and comfortable sleeping arrangements, and charged batteries. It's hard not to get stuck thinking about loss.

However, as I learned during my time in Bhutan, this is a dangerous trail of thoughts to follow, since I have no possible way of knowing right now the expanse of what I'll gain on this journey. And there is nothing quite so corrosive to the wandering soul as the thought of here being equated with the concept of away.

Which brings me to now, a week out, waking up every day to the feeling of falling. I think it's what I need--the unequivocal jolt to the senses that comes from a falling nightmare, waking me up and forcing me to breathe in unfamiliar air. I'll hit the ground running, and take life as it comes. I've been given an unbelievable opportunity, to follow my passion and my beliefs across the world, and I refuse to waste it thinking of what I could be missing somewhere else. I'm not saying I won't get homesick--I'm sure I will. But I also have faith in the ways in which my sense of "home" continues to develop.

So I'm slowly loosening my grip on my safety net and letting excitement take over--and believe me, excitement is an incredibly insufficient word to explain the lump in my throat and tightness in my stomach. But explanations can wait, I guess. I have goodbyes to say, favorite meals to eat, and last-minute haircuts to schedule. And maybe I'll get started on that packing.

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