They’ll tell you life flashes before your eyes right before you almost die. I can’t testify to that. I was too busy almost dying to take a scenic ride through my life on the two instances I nearly met my maker.
Almost dying is a busy business, friends.
But here’s a new one for you.
Last summer, I gave myself a year to mourn and say farewell to my life as I know it. I didn’t really believe I’d actually embark on this trip around the world for five years, but I figured I could fake it till I made it.
With the year-to-mourn scenario, I knew I’d have a lot to work through and process and deal with, from last times at the beach to sayonaras with people I love.
What I couldn’t predict, though, was the emotional voyage I’m taking before my journey. Or how soon this emotional trip would begin.
Life isn’t flashing past me. Instead, I feel like I’m waiting at a railway crossing as the longest train ever rumbles past, each carriage representing another memory or experience in my four decades walking this earth. Each one crosses me, chugging past, demanding my attention for a fleeting moment. Then it’s gone. Just like everything else in my life will be in 19 weeks.It’s as bittersweet an experience as it can be.
I’m so excited and hopeful and in awe of what it is I’m about to embark on in just under 5 months, but I also know I’m never gonna be this version of “me” again. I’ll never live here again, have this combination of belongings again. I’ll never be this naive or scared again. I’ll never be this full of unchecked potential again.
Everything will change. My whole world. Me.
I’ll love who I become. I’ll be proud of myself, confident, daring. I know this already. I also know I’ll have no regrets. For the rest of my life, no matter how this turns out, I’ll be the girl who was willing to give it a shot.
Still, I think I really will have the adventure of my lifetime. I think I’ll come away with more writing fodder than any author could ever wish for. I believe I’ll meet my savings goals. I know I’ll find a place I never want to leave.
There is room in me, in this universe, for all of that to be true and yet also for me to be sad tonight as I say goodbye to my past and get ready to embrace my future.
A part of me thinks getting rid of my antiques early is the best thing that could ever happen to me. With that, it’ll be easier to accept both moving on and loss. When I wake up tomorrow, that’s the side of me that gets the loudest voice.
Tonight, I’m owning my grief, but I’m doing it badly, because all these moments of dreamy optimism keep peppering my sorrow. My eyes are dried out from tears and tired, yet I keep getting shivers of excitement.
I live in a weird world right now. That’s the emotional state that comes with limbo. Stoked yet sad. Optimistic yet reticent.
“I contain multitudes.”
I’ve never related to that phrase more than I do tonight.
I’m trying to think of a way to end this with a cute button, poof. Done, concluded. Away you walk, a happy reader. But there is no simple ending to this post. Not today. Inside, my soul feels a little like a puddle a toddler has been splashing in. I got a good release, but a little muddy.
That’s all I got for you, man. I pressed pause and this is the snapshot you get. A stormy moment on the otherwise smooth-sailing seas to my future.