Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Preparations and Nerves

Shit shit shit. My to-do list is ridiculous—filling prescriptions for three months, getting my doctor to call in my malaria meds and my best friend cipro, finding my Africa clothes, stocking up on sunscreen like only a pale ginger can, tutoring, figuring out my summer plans for before I (hopefully) head off to grad school, and putting in some last minute times with my Murfturf friends. GEEZ LAWEEZ. Somewhere in there, I am determined to watch all of Friday Night Lights. Possibility of finishing everything??

So I head off to San Francisco for the day in less than a week before getting on my flight to New Delhi. I’m kind of freaking out, but I also know that nothing ever feels real until I see it. Like, I didn’t get nervous about going to Uganda and Rwanda until I saw my plane icon flying over the map of Africa on my little seatback monitor. Then I think I took a nervous poo every hour for nine freaking hours. Too much information?? If India is anything like my first month in Kigali, then this is just a warm up.

In all seriousness, though, my mom did a tarot card reading for me today. I know, I know, it’s kind of silly. But whatever. My cards were basically all about learning how to let go of material attachments, dependence on what is comfortable, and upcoming growth?? FORESHADOWING. But really, isn’t this the whole part of me going, right? To learn how to be truly independent in a place where I am literally all alone and can’t fall back onto anyone. To put myself so far out of my comfort zone that I stop being afraid of pushing my limits. To face my fears and to come out knowing that whatever happens, whatever comes my way, I will be okay. But enough with the clichĂ©s.

My friend Heather reminded me yesterday just how lucky (or unlucky if you ask me) I am to be completely untethered.  No job. No school. No boyfriend. No rent. Only 2,000 bucks and a plane ticket. It really is probably the most exhilarating and terrifying feeling—to be this free.

Last thoughts, I promise. I am a bit afraid that I have too many expectations and too many hopes. I think it’s because I know someone that did just this; he thought time abroad would radically change him. And it did. But I’m not sure if it did in the way he wanted it to or if he ever really recognized in what ways he was different. Whereas, I went into my study abroad completely and totally open-minded. The better word, though, is probably naive. I didn’t have any expectations at all, and so when I came back different, it was a bit unnerving.  So who knows what pre-travel attitude is better. I guess I just don’t want to disappoint myself.

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