Everything is done in San Francisco, except for actually leaving. I’m in Atlanta right now, about to head up and visit my brother in Ohio before heading to Taiwan. I don’t know when I’ll be able to come back, or even if I will. I know I’ll pass through again one day, but there is no way to plan that far ahead, so I don’t really try anymore. I just imagine what could be, which is more of an emotional experience than a realistic one.
After the trip across the country, I’m not looking forward to the eight hour drive, but I never get less rest than when I’m on vacation. We’re going to stop at the waterfalls in Daniel Boone national park, then spend a couple days in big sky country before heading back. I wish there was more time so we could do a proper road trip, but I can still hope for the future.
I needed this break, this time to stop and think between classes, between jobs, between the stages of my life. While I’m no longer just starting out, I’m still not far along enough to be completely calm about everything. My jaw locked up last week and I’m still waiting for it to completely heal. I always find stress reactions to be strange, how nothing seems wrong but your mind starts attacking your body without really explaining why.
I always wonder what I will find as I stop to take a look around. I used to have more plans, but I’m coming up to a new country and the end of my undergraduate degree and I’m not sure what will happen after that. I still want to go into the Peace Corps, and I was thinking about heading to Macedonia or Eastern Europe somewhere. I might wind up staying in Taiwan longer though, or continuing on through Southeast Asia. Maybe I’ll start to look for work as a sociologist, trying to understand the world’s problems.
At the very least it will give me time to surf, learn Mandarin, and practice kung fu. My problem with school was never the difficulty, only the energy that it took to write the papers and do the research. It’s draining, especially after a year and a half of constant classes. I like the pacing of the classes, but I can’t pretend it’s always easy. One step and then the next gets you where you’re going, but every once in a while I look up and see the vast possibility ahead of me.
I think that is the best and worst of it. I can do anything, be anything, but historically that doesn’t really work out well. I guess it’s just the cynic in me, raining down on any possibility of awesomeness, even though my experience has always been that life is easy, and there is nothing that cannot be done.
The fight between hope and despair is one of the most reliable things in my life, and despair always looks like it has the upper hand. That’s what is so weird about my psyche, that it always takes the darker path. After a decade of work I can finally laugh at myself, working to change the patterns that have kept me back for so long. I remember the idea that life doesn’t get easier, it just seems that way for clever people.