In the early hour of this upcoming Wednesday, January 20th, I will begin my year long Australian journey.
For those of you who do not know, I do not get excited about a trip until traveling actually commences. In the days leading up I am filled with stress and anxiety. This is mostly due to the personal and work related ‘to-do’ lists I make. And this abroad trip lasting a year or maybe a bit more had what seemed like a continuous list. There was a lot of preparation to be done and a lot of procrastination that I accomplished.
A few friends have asked me to share a ‘How-To’ for my move to Australia and I promise that is to come. I have to publish it after I arrive, so that I share actual successes and faults of my approach. I already have suspicions that it will not be all rainbows and butterflies.
I will divulge that packing for this trip has already worn my mental stability down. It was suppose to be a task that distracted me from larger picture stresses that come from preparing and living abroad alone, but it ended up being extremely emotionally straining. I hadn’t shed a tear yet when saying my ‘good-byes’ to friends, family, and the cities I called ‘home.’ And maybe that was because there had already been a bit of physical separation when I left Texas to live in California first. Maybe it was that I treated these last visitations as one of celebration and reunion to avoid dispiriting moments. More likely it was me trying to allude myself into thinking it will all be here when I come back. And it would be, in a familiar and novel deja vu vibe sort of way. But all the little, unrealized transformations from a year of daily life are unstoppable. All the days missed are going to add up to change for everyone, everything, and myself. In the future days missed will be birthdays, laughs, a few weddings, possibly an engagement or two, happy hours, concerts, hugs, banter, and timely communication that I will not be a part of. It is scary to leave with the possibility of going forward only knowing histories. Now packing and conducting a task that I had thought was suppose to be easy to focus on became exhausting. I hid all the above saddening thoughts and packing embodied them like an emotional surrogate…so I wept while I whittled down my wardrobe.
After the tears dried I created a list of simple stuff I was also going to leave behind. Now instead of trying to ignore the fact that I am leaving every one and thing I know ten thousand miles behind, I think about these trivial things I will not have to divert my thoughts from those real meaningful losses that are about to occur.
Frivolous Losses that I Mourn to Stay in Shallow Emotions:
- Lonestar – It is the national beer of Texas and so it is nostalgic for all Texans. And don’t you dare provide me with an Australian alternative, there is none and I don’t feel like I need to explain why.
- United State’s Holidays – Fourth of July, Texas Independence, and Thanksgiving will all be heavily Facebook stalking days for me. Or maybe hopefully I will have made good enough friends that I can force into celebrating these holidays with me.
- Suffrage – I am not sure I will be able to get my absentee ballot for 2016 elections, which means I will miss the Presidential race. The pro is at least I can claim to have had no part in what is to come, the con is that there could be a chance that I might be the deciding vote in a possible real life Kevin Costner-Swing Vote movie plot.
- My phone number – I have had this since middle school and it has become part of my identity. I don’t like the idea of memorizing a new one or that every one I have ever given it to will not be able to use it ever again to reach me. Then there is the fact that I am still expecting a few people to contact me with it; a few men said they would call. And of course they will ironically after I forfeit it over to some else that will reap all my benefits of being a great pick-up artist. I am really upset that there is a chance that someone else might get the nudes that were promised to me. And as my friend said, “Bathroom stalls around America will now have to be updated.”
- Netflix* – When I got a new computer I kept my old one specifically to view and watch Netflix. It is impractical to take two computers when traveling. I know. And I am not going to. But I don’t have real access to “my” Netflix account to be logged in on my new computer because it actually isn’t mine. A previous lover had created auser for me on his Netflix account and after we parted ways he didn’t delete it, which I interpreted as a sign that he knew he was wrong and as a consolation I at least got to keep all my viewing history and ratings. Also I am on a strict budget right now with the whole moving to another country and couldn’t afford to pay for Netflix. I am about to be so enraged by all the spoilers on social media.
- Driving – It is bittersweet since I am happy to not be dealing with or paying for car insurance anymore and I am sure the roads are safer now, but I will miss the freedom I felt with my Holly, my 2009 Honda Accord painted in navy blue. I have had her since my senior year in high school. A lot of fun times in that little tin can. And she always took care of me and got me where I needed to go even when I wrecked her a bit and she had to make it back to Texas from LA in El Nino weather.
- “Normal” Toilet Flushes – Apparently this might be disorienting if I stare directly at the bowl’s water whirl. It spins in different directions. I might faint from the confusion. That is what a friend warned me about at least.
So ignorance and avoidance is keeping me modestly blissful in my last few days in the U.S. I hope to maintain this state of mind as I count down the hours left before I step on the plane that will fly me away from it all. Soon I will be across the Pacific in a Tomorrowland.
*Thankfully two wonderful friends have now added me to their Netflix account, so I will still be able to Netflix and Chill the new House of Cards season down under.