The future exists so we can see how we have contributed to changing our world for the better.
Or at least that's the mindset we should have.
Tomorrow is the day. I realize I've been ridiculously occupied and so haven't written much in the past week, while way too much has happened. I posted a blog earlier today below this one that was supposed to go up 6 days ago. Oh well. If you're reading this then that means you get 2 for 1 this time around. Because I think you're lovely. Also, this will probably be the last blog entry for a month or two because access to the internet our first two months abroad will be just about zero. The first two months is strictly program and language training and adjusting to the culture and country. The idea is not to have any distractions such as cell phones or email.
So to start, I think I've lost my mind. I told everyone who asked "How are you feeling?" that I was fine at that point but a day before I would leave I would be a mess. Well, I'm pretty close to that at the moment. Thankfully, I got most of my packing shite together a few days ago, but I still have a decent bit to do before I depart tomorrow. Everything is a wee bit too real. I have to do things I didn't even think of a few months ago.
For example. Tomorrow morning, before I leave, I will shut off my cell phone, and leave it home, and not have it for 2 years. That's fine, but it's just something I didn't even think about. I don't even know if I'll have the same number upon my return - my guess is probably not. Also, the things in my room that are mine. They will not be exactly where they are upon my return in 2 years - unless my mother decides to dust the toy chest I guess. So maybe I should have made things look a little neater. There are books and toys and little things that have been part of my daily life for 23 years that I will temporarily leave behind, but all of which offer some degree of comfort, and sanctuary to me.
It doesn't matter. I did a lot of thinking this weekend. My good friends from college (you know, back in "the day") came up this weekend and spent the nite. We went out on the boat up in Cold Spring Harbor and got back and had delicious pizza and mom's homemade cookies, and on top of that, we helped my dad solve a major dilemma involving a 5 liter bottle of wine. The dilemma in case you haven't guessed it yet, was that he could not finish it by himself. Wine all around, a fire in the backyard, a beautiful nite to veg to - it was all wonderful. I also got to go to the beach on Sunday for a few hours. The beach wasn't too crowded - the water was cold enough so I didn't feel the urge to go in, and the sun was shining brightly. The best part for me was the constant wind blowing off the water. It was cool enough to be refreshing, but warm enough to be tolerable. It filled my nostrils and lungs with the specific smell of the ocean during summertime. I was able to look as far out as I could and see little dots that were boats out in the distance. I got thinking about how physically far away South Africa is. I tried to look down the beach and picture one person flying like a bird to SA. The distance seems impossible. Yet it is anything but. It seems all that much closer not only because of airplanes but because of the ease of communication across continents.
But damn. I sure couldn't see South Africa from where I was.
As I started feeling the knots in my stomach and as I got noticeably quiet around my friends (something I try not to do, but seem not to be able to overcome it when something big is looming) I had somewhat of an epiphany. Well.... ok, maybe an epiphany. More like a grand realization. Whatever it was, it happened.
I get this anxious, nervous, freaking out feeling the day before I do any big traveling because in the back of my mind, I'm thinking only about what I'm leaving behind when I step out the door. The grand realization I had was that that was stupid.
Of course I will always be thinking about what I'm leaving behind, but the point is I have to change the way I think about it. I can't think about how much I will miss this or that or how much I wish I could take X, Y or Z with me. I have to think about how everything from home and my past will benefit me and my work in the future. I have to focus on the incredible adventure I am about to undertake. I have to get into the mindset that allows me to focus on the future - the next two years - in Africa - volunteering - meeting countless people - learning new languages - eating new foods - laying my eyes upon the beauty of the world. This is what I've been looking forward to for years now. I will miss everything here very much. But I can't dwell on the comforts of home anymore. It's not good for my morale or for my stomach. What I will take from home is the strength that everyone of my friends and family has given me, and the love that has been shown to me. I will share that with South Africa.
I've been put in a position that allows me to contribute to changing the world. Many of you have told me that I can in fact change the world. Truth is, anyone and everyone can, if they want it enough. My promise to you is to do my part, and prove you right.
I'll be back in two months.
Sala Sentle. (Setswana - Stay well)
Sala Kahle. (Zulu - Stay well)
4 months ago