Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Furthest Reaches - A Travelogue

I was watching my cat play the other day. I watched with great humor as she reenacted the life of her ancestors. She was no longer a boring, elderly housecat tossing about a ball on the living room rug. She was hunting game in the tall grass of some ancient territory. And just like a great cat, she sits silently, staring down her prey. Waiting for the all clear to pounce and claim her prize. Her eyes widen and her tail-end twitches as she tries her best to remain still, til her excitement overwhelms her and she lunges, taking her reward.
This everyday scene for most cat owners, reminded me a lot of how I am feeling. Trying my best to sit still and patiently wait. As the months slowly click by, I check of each thing on my list, preparing to go abroad. With a never ending line-up of things to get done, I have at least been able to keep busy. But the excitement still mounts. I have sent off my paperwork, and so much of what I have to do now is a waiting game. My least favorite game. 
I have been told that one of my strongest suits is my patience. A trait that will no doubt come in handy when trying to teach English, and deal with those who I cannot easily communicate with. But everyone has their limits. Waiting is a difficult game to play. While it gives you lots of time to prepare (I am certainly one who loves to over-prepare), it also gives you too much time to fret and worry. As the countdown reaches the three to four months away from my expected departure, I grow more and more impatient. Thankfully, much of this anxiety is just the understandable pent up excitement that very soon I will actually be doing this. All the preparing will have paid off. All the expenses and hassle-filled work-arounds will be entirely worth it. But as I sit complacently, awaiting my background check from the FBI, my mind is alight with the anxious impatient thoughts of preparing for such a trip. 
Pouring over my texts, both on what I will be teaching and where I will be living, and surfing through page after page of the web looking for enticing job offers to pounce on as soon as I am given the “okay”. Suddenly my trek had become a herd of game on the plains, as the predator hunches in the tall grass. Scanning the crowds, looking for that limping gazelle, that one job that needs me as much as I need it. My tail wagging in anticipation.
I have to consciously keep myself still. My day to day tasks at home and my job become more difficult, knowing I need to do them, but in thirteen very short weeks it will all be done, and I will be on to new challenges and adventures.

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