I just put in my thirty-day notice at work. That was about 3.5 years overdue.
Two days ago, I purchased a plane ticked to Bangkok. I did not have the reaction one might expect. When usually I’d be dancing around the living room and jumping up and down, I lost it, nervous break down style.
I like to think I’m immune to fear.
Apparently, I am not immune to fear.
When people ask if I’m afraid, they generally mean, aren’t I afraid to go traipsing through third-world countries relatively alone? They mean, aren’t I afraid of leaving the comforts of all I know to fumble through a foreign land? They mean, aren’t I afraid of what comes with the uncertainty of the unknown, aren’t I afraid I’ll be kidnapped, raped, murdered?
The answer to those questions is (primarily) “No.” Wandering around the globe with not but my backpack has been my lifelong dream. And I’ve traveled enough to know that, while caution must be executed, people around the world are generally welcoming, generous, and kind, rather than out to get me.
And so, what did I have to be afraid of?
Plenty, it turned out, and it hit me like a ton of bricks when that ticket became secured and shit got real.
What am I doing? Am I ready? Will I be ready? Will finances come through? What happens after? Will I end up back at square one, working a dead-end, mindless job, putzing around in this metaphorical waiting room with no sign of a way out? (Here, we find the real root of the fear, I think.)
Within 45 minutes of booking the ticket, my friend from Georgia messaged me. I’d been on her heart, she said. “For a reason,” she said, when I told her I couldn’t believe she was messaging me right then as I was bawling my eyes out. Minutes later, I received an unprompted email from my professor, asking if I needed funds from the university.
I’m going to be okay.
It’s just a little scarier than I anticipated.
But in the end, it’s not about me.
My fear is nothing compared to that of those whose stories I’ll be telling.
And their stories need to be told.
And, I suppose it’s a gigantic lesson in trust for me.
I hate lessons in trust.
Maybe someday, I can just learn to trust, and then the lessons can stop.
For now, I need to pull my head out of the clouds and focus on what needs to be done here. Homework. Research. Fundraising. Spending time with family and friends. Savoring Mexican food.
For now, I need to soak up the goodness of life, before the goodness of another life begins.