I have 10 days, and approximately 3 hours, before my plane takes off. My bedroom floor is littered with all of the items I’ve collected over the last year that will eventually be organized, folded, compressed, and stuffed into a backpack. Fittingly, a framed piece of glass that I bought a few weeks ago to hang on an empty wall in my office, is propped there, reminding me, “Love Her But Leave Her Wild”. It’s all very surreal.
On March 6, 2015, I posted a note on Facebook asking for input on whether or not I was out of my mind to consider going to a foreign country, a developing country, for 3 weeks to volunteer, explore, and submerge myself in the culture. I got a few of the expected responses about safety, and the concerns about a single woman traveling alone in a foreign country. I knew it was because those people loved and cared for me. I didn’t take it negatively. Aside from those few comments of concern, the rest were extremely supportive and motivating; cheering me on and asking me “what are you waiting for??” The next day, I got this at lunch. The signs were there. The support was there. The need to be both selfish and selfless was there.
Obviously, I ended up proceeding with the decision to go, and looking back, I’m not sure why I rallied the troops. Maybe I was looking for someone to talk me out of it. Maybe I was looking for permission. Maybe I was hoping to hear that my need to leave all I know for almost a month, getting out of my comfort zone and pushing myself to do something that scared me, was not all that crazy. I don’t know why, but for whatever reason, I needed the support.
And now its April 2016, and here we are; or here I am, feeling a bit lost as to what to do with myself for the next 10 days since all of the preparing is done. A little over a year’s worth of time, effort, (money), and thought is about to pay off. I’m anxious; or maybe I’m excited. I’ve never been able to tell the difference. A journal entry in my Pretty Pink Peru notebook…Hey! I just came up with that. It will now be known as the PPP! (Thanks, Susan) Anyway, an entry in the PPP from 4/23, pretty well sums up how I’ve been feeling the last few weeks.
“Anxiety is kicking in pretty heavily now. Each night for the last few days, I’ve fallen asleep with negative thoughts and fears. I try to convince myself that the anxiety is excitement, and the fear is just anticipation of the unknown…”
It’s funny how the act of preparing for the trip has taken the focus away from any anxiety I may have had. A day or so ago I started worrying about getting homesick and how awful that would be, and then it hit me… “DUH!!! YOU’RE GOING TO BE HOMESICK, and if you’re not, don’t go home because there’s nothing there you miss!” Considering I know that there is plenty here I’m going to miss, I’m actually looking forward to being homesick now. Is that totally crazy!!!
10 days. 10 days, and now 2 hours. Screw anxious! I’m excited!!