Later than I’d like to admit right now, but I still can’t fall asleep. I’d enlighten you by revealing how many hours remain before my flight leaves, but I can’t bring myself to do the math at this point.
Basically, I leave very soon.
My cousin is getting married tomorrow. I’m going to get dressed up for that, see all of my family one last time, pass out and then wake up the next day to leave for London. My mind has kind of been racing all around lately trying to get ready and now as I lay in bed two concerns keep resurfacing in my mind.
1. I am so not ready
This might not sound like a good thing, but actually I feel great about it. In fact, it even comforts me. Let me explain why.
I don’t feel prepared at all, paradoxically, that’s exactly how I know I am ready. If I waited until I was completely ready then I’d never do anything. I’ve packed everything I think I could possibly need. I have my visa and my passport. I’ve done the minimum amount of travel research (sort of). Whatever I do though, I can’t predict what will actually happen when I arrive in a completely different country. That is exactly what makes this so exciting.
Up until now I’ve only been able to imagine what this trip might be like, but none of that will be anything near what I actually experience. That’s amazing.
I’m not going to go on and on about how this trip will change my life and whatnot, maybe it will, but that’s a relative and subjective matter that will only waste my time and yours if I dwell on it too much. All I really hope for is to gain more knowledge about how I work and learn in relation to others in both a professional environment and an environment that is completely unfamiliar to me. Simply put, I want to gain experience and self-knowledge.
Thinking of self-knowledge reminds me of one of our readings in Austin Kleon’s book “Steal Like an Artist” which contained the following quote:
If I’d waited to know who I was or what I was about before I started “being creative,” well, I’d still be sitting around trying to figure myself out instead of making things. In my experience, it’s in the act of making things and doing our work that we figure out who we are.
I love that I don’t feel ready. It’s this exact kind of messy, stressful situation that is often the fuel for some of my most creative moments. In the midst of uncertainty is when I feel the pressure to act. This is when I actually step up and gain the new experience and self-knowledge I desire.
Now onto the second of my two so-called concerns.
2. I am scared
Ooh England! So scary! (Hey don’t laugh, they probably have a lot more ghosts over there).
Am I really scared though?
Of course I am. We’re all scared of something, and if you think you aren’t then you’re definitely lying to yourself. But what exactly am I scared of?
Am I scared to travel? No. Am I scared of flying on a plane? Nope. Am I scared of getting lost? I will get lost, but no, that’s not what I’m scared of. Am I afraid of fear itself!? Well John F. Kennedy, that’s a whole different subject…
So what is it?
I’m scared that it will already be over. I’m scared that the whole trip will end so soon that I won’t even have time to take it all in while I’m there.
Seven weeks is a long time, but judging by the pace of my life I know how quickly that will fly by. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to appreciate it all in the moment. However, if that’s my biggest fear at this point then I’d say I’m in pretty good shape. This post is a reminder to myself to take in everything that I can while I have the chance.
That being said the overall quality, and definitely the length, of these daily journals will probably start decreasing once I actually arrive in England. So if you are following along and notice this downward trend just take it as a good sign that I’m actually gaining new experience and learning rather than furiously trying to document everything while it passes me by.