Calendars are a scary thing these days. I looked at one for the first time in a while two nights ago and realized I have at least one thing scheduled every single day until I leave. Today is December 15th, and my home screen countdown reads "23 days, 11hrs and 40mins" left before I'm arriving at Zion. That doesn't account for the fact I'm leaving five days before that to road trip out there, or the seven days I'll be in Florida the week leading up to departure. (or the fact that I didn't end up posting this until December 18th) Which leaves us with a good 'ole 11 (8*) days "unaccounted" for before my life changes yet again.
I'm feeling an abundance of emotions about this new adventure.
Excited: Above all, I am truly so excited. I spend my days planning the trip out, finalizing details of my contract, and adding things to my bucket list of what I want to do while I'm there. I spend the nights dreaming of all the adventures I will have, the people I will meet, and how I will continue to grow into the person I have started to become.
Nervous: Though I'm overwhelmed with excitement, my anxious self can't help but be nervous. What if it isn't great? The job sucks? The people blow? What will I do then? But I find comfort in the idea that nothing is permanent and if for some strange reason it isn't all that I've dreamed up, I can always go somewhere else and find something that is.
Sad: Nothing I'm feeling can neglect the fact that I am about to move 1,374 miles from home where most of my family will be, or 2,674 (funny they both end in 74) miles from my sister, or away from my friends who are all scattered across the country, and do not even talk to me about leaving my dogs. The past few months have been filled with these people, it's hard thinking about how it's the last time playing Yahtzee with my mom, or having family dinner all crammed around our beloved wood table, or driving around listening to All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor's Version) (From The Vault), or taking Winnie to the emergency room because she ate an ENTIRE chocolate cake (I'm actually glad that's the last time I'll do that). Once I leave January 4th, all I will have is memories of those things to get me through.
Fear: I have a tendency to wish time away. I've been trying hard to stop this habit, but it's in my instincts, and when I think of wishing time away I acknowledge that at some point (very unclear when), this journey will come to an end. Endings wreck me, I've never been someone who is good at leaving (please! I am forever mourning a best friend breakup that happened four months ago!!!). I fear the end of this chapter, when I will inevitably pack up my bags and say goodbye to people I have grown to love and memories I will forever cherish, and that scares me. (Someone help me tell my inner monologue that that is a LATER problem).
Hope: And to end on a positive note here, I am hopeful. Hopeful that this will be the right choice for me. That I will live a life free from all the baggage I despise, and full of the moments that I long for. (and hopeful I'm meeting my husband there, but that's something between me and my 11:11 wishes)
I intended on that being the end of the post, but I went to go babysit before I posted it, and ended up reading a book with my kid. It was a Minecraft book so actually don't talk to me, but a passage from this video-game based children's book felt relevant to my thoughts from today. It read, "The best time in the world, ... is the time before the adventure starts. Before it starts, it is possible, just possible, that is could end differently than it always ends. It is quiet now. Quiet is a vacation for the mind. Soon the adventure will begin," (Valente, 28).
When I was weighing whether or not to go back to school, I would say that I knew how my life would pan out if I went to West Virginia; I would have great friends, have a good time, go to my classes, graduate, and get a job. But going to Utah was the risky choice - I didn't know how everything would work or what would happen. And in the end that's why I picked that path. I live for the anticipation, and endless possibilities of how an experience could change my life.
No matter the the emotions I currently feel, I don't know how this is going to end up - there is no surefire way to tell. Though all the emotions I have are valid, I can have my hopes, dreams, worries, and predictions, but that is all they are. I won't know until it actually happens. And there is something wildly thrilling about that.