A phrase I’ve picked up from my mom over the years, and as I sit here waiting for my first plane to start boarding (in almost two hours) I can’t help but appreciate how well it applies to travelling in general.
You get all your stuff together for the trip and you’re excited and have to make sure you have everything ready and done, and then you get through the hassle of checking in, and through security and you’re left just waiting. Waiting for the boarding, waiting on the plane, waiting during your layovers. Flying involves a lot of sitting and waiting.
This journey, I find the wait to be particularly trying.
From the first inkling I had that I may, just maybe apply for this teaching opportunity, to filling out the application, receiving my ACCEPTANCE and realizing that I was going back (to France) the pace of everything has just been increasing incrementally. From work contract, to visa paperwork, and then on to the more tangible steps like preparation lists, apartment searching (I’m still homeless by the way), last minute shopping and the oh so dreaded packing itself things have gotten more and more hectic.
Until finally last night where my bags were packed, I was checked into my flight and having my last dinner with my family. And I realized that it was time, that I was leaving. In less than twelve hours, I would be sitting on a plane and finally, finally going. And then my next thought : What do I still need to do? What’s the next thing?
Don’t misunderstand, I know what I need to do. I know what my first steps are going to be upon arrival. But what can I do now? Nothing. Just sit in the airport and wait. (Okay, yeah I could read through some of those TAPIF E-mails more carefully, or work on my lesson planning, but that’s beside the point). After all the momentum I’ve built up (and all the stress along with it), it’s just weird to have come to come so suddenly to this horrible, screeching, dead halt.
It feels like running down a hill. You start off slow, but if you keep going, even if you didn’t intend to you build up speed until you feel like it’s all out of control and there’s no way you’ll reach the bottom without falling. Now imagine, you’ve reached that point in your run, and all of a sudden you just stop. Not a gentle trail breaking but an ‘I feel like I slammed into a brick wall halting stop’.
And that’s where I am right now. Standing on this hill, halfway, out of breath from my jog and a little stupefied as to how I came to this stop. But below me is the rest of the hill. I can see how far I have to go. And I know I’m going to have to run that part too. But I’m not going to get to build up my pace slowly this time. It’s going to be even steeper and faster and more out of control and all I can do is hold on, and keep my legs moving so that I land on both feet rather than tripping and tumbling the rest of the way. And I know I’ll make it, and finish the job properly. But it’s daunting nevertheless. Even more so because I have to just stand here in front of this wall waiting for someone to tear it down, and staring the whole time at the even steeper slope on the other side. Daunting, and exciting, and exhilarating, and scary.
And I can’t help but wonder, why couldn’t I go on a nice, easy flat jog?
But then I think to myself, where’s the fun in that? Running down a hill is much more thrilling after all.