Thursday, August 21, 2008

No Man's Land.

Each of these changes and phases rocks me to the core. It’s not like turning a new leaf or closing a chapter. It’s like abruptly reaching the end of an entire encyclopaedic volume and starting another one, every time. For reasons yet undiscovered to me, I don’t seem to want to allow myself the feelings. I am unable to give myself permission to feel the full range of emotions, in all its terrifying glory. I tell myself it’s no big deal; get over it, move on. I am generally quite a pro at listening to my body – except in this instance. I try to find reasons and excuses for the laziness and fatigue, rather than just chalking it up to what it so blatantly is - emotional overload. I am overwhelmed.

Then, to add to the pile, I worry that I should not be worrying. That by stressing and getting wiggy, and then telling myself it’s no big deal, I am gypping myself out of fully experiencing all the nuances of what should be the most exciting time in my life. That years from now I will look back, like so many wives that I know, on my “wedding day” that was supposed to be the happiest day of my life but that was actually a complete blur of trying to coordinate photographers, bridesmaids, dinners and speeches, and discover that I missed it.

I worry that I am not wholly present.

But it’s difficult to live in the moment at the moment. I feel awkward and gawky. Out of place. I am in the home where I spent several years of my life, in my old room, with my old familiar things and with my parents. It should feel as comforting as a favourite sweatshirt. But it does not. And I need to accept that there is no “should” when it comes to feelings. In reference to my upcoming world tour, people often say to me, “You must be so happy and excited!” But just like there is no “should”, there is no “must”. I feel how I feel and that needs to be ok. I have left my job, my home, my possessions and now my city and my friends, and it’s ok for that to feel foreign and scary and weird. It would be alarming if it didn’t, in fact.

It’s a true rollercoaster ride. I’m nervous. I’m scared. I watch a movie that features images from Greece and I do get excited. While silently supportive, I know my parents are terrified about my trip so I’m trying extra hard to be cool in front of them, which just makes me more stressed. I want to try to relax, but as my dear friend and lifeline L so wisely said to me today, “You can’t ‘try’ to relax. You will relax when you’re ready to relax.” Yoda gets it, too: “Do or not do. There is no try.”

So for now, I am balancing some down time hanging with the folks with frantic guide book reading, hostel research, deciphering the rainbow of Bangkok buses and which ones pull the least tourist scams, getting my IDP, endless hours on the phone trying to unravel all the red tape that goes with having no fixed address, paying off last bills, researching cheap flights, and the occasional jaunt to the gym. I’ve re-entered the cycle of broken sleep patterns, after quite a few weeks of sleeping rather soundly. I am starting to panic.

My flight leaves September 10th. First destination: Zagreb, Croatia.

Maybe then I will relax.

"Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow". Proverb quotes

1 comment:

Lorraine said...

You've probably got advice coming out your ears but I'll give you some more anyway: give yourself permission to not analyze. As an analyzer I know that's akin to saying don't bother breathing, but I'm just putting it out there.

I had the good fortune to spend a few days in Zagreb in the early 90's. Unbelievably good, simple, fresh food. Cured meat heaven. Walnut pastry nirvana. I think I had 14 meals a day there. And beautiful, glamorous women so you will fit right in. Not that your world tour is about food and glamour necessarily ;-)

You're there. It's just hard to see there when you are there. Hugs, L: (a different L)