25 August 2013

a post about feelings

written at the gate in bwi airport. posted in argentina, when i finally got wifi.

i am so so ridiculously nervous for my trip. i had a wonderful last couple days at home, hanging out with friends and celebrating with family all while coping with the complicated emotions of saying goodbye and of looking forward to a new adventure. 

i found myself more than once wishing i'd just gone to college. while i know that route comes with its own set of worries and anxieties, it seems like such a familiar and well-traveled path. i could share it with my old friends: picking bedding, meeting roommates, managing assigned reading, and everything else that comes with moving out and moving in. 

so this is a different kind of nervousness: all the anxieties of international travel and of a big (if temporary) lifestyle change, and challenges separate from those of my college-bound friends. i've had to pack a bag of winter and spring clothes that floats right at 50 pounds, struggle with airline customer service, research argentinian phone plans, and find a perfect host gift. once i'm there i'll have to speak spanish all day, be a helpful and hardworking intern, be a polite guest, absorb a new culture, and integrate into córdoba social life. i'm excited but also terrified. and i'm sad to be leaving my family for a length of time that, rationally, is shorter than the first part of college, but feels so far away. we've had lots of bonding moments living in close quarters in yangon, so i'll miss having them around (though maybe they'll be glad for a break from me?)

i'm so grateful and lucky to have maddy with me, both to share the nerves before we left (comparing packing lists and anxiety levels) and to share the experience once we're there. i can't believe this is actually happening: the year we've literally been discussing since we met in sixth grade, the opportunity to travel together and meet people and who knows what else. 

as thrilled as i am about williams, i know i would always regret it if i'd chosen not to take this year to explore. i need to allow myself to experience the unknown and to face the unexpected and to fail and to thrive. it sounds overdramatic, but it's true.

one last note: i am so indescribably fortunate to have a family that made this year happen for me. i can't thank them enough. 

x, m

flying over chile is a magical experience. i always try for a window seat.

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