Sunday, August 12, 2012

Reality Sets In...Or Does It?

"This doesn't seem real."

As I pack each suitcase in silence, I keep meaning to turn on some music. Or Netflix or something. Because things like this are more fun when there is something to listen to. I don't end up listening to anything, because I know I need time to think.

I feel like I should be more worried. My doctor went a bit overboard on my as-needed anxiety medication because she was convinced, at some point, the reality of it all would get to me. And I would panic, needing deep breaths with supplemental pills to calm me down.

I have not experienced what my doctor foretold. I have been sad, excited, content and joyful, but never worried. I woke up Wednesday morning to find my school email not working and realized that I was officially no longer a teacher in my district, and everyone was at work without me. I thought, "How odd," and got up to have brunch with my aunt.

Today, I hugged my grandparents goodbye along with many extended family that I wished I had gotten to know better. Minor thoughts of regret passed through my mind, but mostly happiness that I would remember everyone so fondly. I can picture them all smiling.
My new favorite relatives.
I've had some moments of sprint-packing, slightly afraid I might not get my apartment or later, my bags, packed in time to relax with my family. But once things were packed and rooms were empty, I felt only accomplishment.

Tonight, I sift through my wallet, removing all the cards I won't need. I leave behind my keys, my Oberlin ID, and my almost-filled Homer's Coffeehouse punchcard... "This is so weird," I think. "These things I always carried with me, and now I won't need them at all."

Two bags and one carryon are ready. My backpack still awaits my laptop, iPad and Kindle. I'm pondering how I will carry my shoulder-bag carryon through the airports, thinking I might just have to drag it if that's what it takes. "I'm not going to hurt my back," I say aloud.

I have always been such an organized person. I plan both short and long term, and prefer to have all the information possible. I'm good at that--organizing, planning, thinking ahead. I try to be logical and efficient, and sometimes what I think is medium-to-high strung behavior comes across as extreme drama, fueled by anxiety.

Things are different now, though. I enjoy not knowing what is next. I love not worrying about things I can't control. I think of the places I can go, of the things I can do, while I'm abroad, but I appreciate not knowing if I will go and do what is possible. I don't know much of anything and for the first time in a while, I get to experience a sort of anonymity and fresh start.

Egypt has already done incredible things for me. It has made me strive to be the type of person that can balance logic and spontaneity. It has made me understand the difference between excitement and expectation. And I am so freaking excited.

1 day, 11 hours, 17 minutes, 25 seconds...


  1. So Megan, this thing I just read in the New York Times about the new President firing all the top generals and the Secretary of Defense does give one pause. You sure are going to be arriving in Egypt at a quite interesting time. But I do think that some extra praying is in order.

    1. Thanks, Steve. I'm excited to be in Egypt during such a pivotal time. I appreciate all of the prayers!