In two weeks, I will be on a plane from LAX to Moscow, with Timmy whimpering in his breathable black tote bag beneath my feet, two bags of luggage in the cargo hold, and one carry-on above my head. In fifteen days, I will be spending five hours in the Moscow airport with my pup and my carry-on, until I board a plane to Amsterdam and then take a train to The Hague. Sixteen days days until I spend a day wandering aimlessly (and probably exhaustedly) around Holland while I bide time until the departure of our ferry. Seventeen days until I arrive on the eastern coast of England and shuttle myself and my belongings all the way to Bristol.
The diminishing quantity of days makes it seem more real, but not less imaginary. For months now, this has been the main content of my worry. I worry about finding a home that will be furnished and OK with my dog (a feat which may or may not happen, but maybe that’s OK). I worry about getting my visa, about PY losing his passport (that happened), about taking an afternoon off to submit my biometrics data.
At night, I dream of strange things, like Timmy holding his pee for forty-three hours and suddenly releasing his bladder like floodgates. I wake up feeling nauseous, and simultaneously pitiable, because isn’t this an incredible opportunity and why am I suddenly so afraid of the unknown?
Fortitude seems far, but then sometimes, you just move through your life and it comes to you precisely when it is most required.
I spent the past four days on vacation with my family in Palm Springs. We drank wine in Temecula, and then drank it at the timeshare and went for a night swim in the warm evening air. In the mornings we drank coffee together outside at the patio table. We spent hours lounging in the sun by the pool, reading sometimes, and talking other times, and taking a dip in the cool water when the sun became too hot. The days went by so quickly, and then last night, all I could think was, Now this is really happening.
I am really moving to England, and it is really happening in two weeks. I read the last few chapters in Pema Chodron’s The Places That Scare You, and a few paragraphs aloud to PY, because we need to get right and ready with the agitation of being between things. Wishing for something to hold onto, some degree of steadiness, is not going to bring anything besides frustration. This is really happening, and we don’t know what This Is. And that’s OK. This is me telling myself that, anyway. Telling yourself these things often and persuasively is the beginning of it being true.
If you want confidence and don’t know how to get it, a really good way is to be confident in other people. When you walk into Starbucks, think, “damn, that barista’s hair is da bomb!” Or when you go to school, think, “my teacher is rocking that skirt!” When you start seeing everyone as being beautiful, at some point you realize that you’re everyone too.
Actually, most of the things I worry about don’t happen. Potentially, most of the things I am currently worried about will not happen either. Probably, even if the things I am worried about do end up happening, they will not be as bad as I worry that they will.
This is occasionally good to remember.