I’ve reached a pretty good stage in my life.
When I say that, I mean three or four months ago, every thought in my head was accompanied by, “is this what normal people do/think/feel?”
Now? I don’t think about that at all. I’ve become numb to things that would’ve affected me pretty badly this time last year. I couldn’t be happier about that. I’m me again.
I made myself a promise a few months ago, when everything and everyone became wrong, that I’d dedicate this Summer to mastering the practise of being honest to myself, to the people around me, and to making sure I’m in the best place possible for Japan.
I’m so happy knowing that I succeeded, because with everybody I saw this summer I was totally comfortable and incontrol of my emotions. I was utterly unashamed. I just felt incredibly like me again, and it might sound silly, but that’s all I’ve been trying to achieve. When you lose yourself so abruptly, you can’t just pretend that it’s all going to be okay without making any steps to patch up the wounds.
I will say, though, that as I sit here with less that 72 hours to go until I’m on that plane out to Tokyo, the “is this what normal people do/think/feel?” thought came back. Because, I suppose, I became a little self-conscious that instead of thinking about bigger things, the thoughts I’ve actually been having include;
You’re only going to be washing your hair two more times in England this year.
These are the last baths you’ll be taking for a good year; enjoy your showers.
You’ll only be sleeping in your bed for another 3 nights.
EastEnders is meant to have a sick storyline coming up; it’ll be tricky watching in Japan.
What if I end up hating Mister Donut doughnuts, and what if they set off the weird lactose intolerance thing I started having in Easter in the way that Krispy Kreme doesn’t?
What if when you sleep on the plane your contact lenses roll to the back of your head and make you blind upon arrival?
What if you accidentally keep saying да instead of はい like you did in first year?
CHECK OUT THAT METAPHOR
In first year, everything was pretty OK, but the issues that came out full blown in second year were developing in the background (you just had to know where to look). In second year, I became heavily reliant on the fact that I was only around 3 hours away from home at any moment when I was in Norwich. It was like I was trying to escape from a tunnel that I knew had been sealed off from both sides. I travelled home often. I maintained contact often. The simplicity of that will be gone when I’m on the other side of the world, constantly either 8 or 9 hours ahead of everyone back home and relying on Wi-fi for calls.
I mean, I write that like it’s a massive deal to me. And it would’ve been a few months ago, but thankfully it’s not anymore. It’s just life, and I’m going with it.
Travelling doesn’t concern me because I’ve always been bouncing from one country to another every year of my life. I’m pretty sure that as I go through security, waving goodbye for the final time in a long time to my family on Wednesday, the thought going through my head will be none other than I really hope BA doesn’t mess up getting me the vegan meal I requested or I won’t be eating for 12 hours.
The thought sitting comfortably below it, knowing that it doesn’t have to come to the surface to be acknowledged, will be Congratulations on getting to the part of your life you only dreamed about half-seriously in that classroom 4 years ago. Congratulations. Congratulations.
The truth is, I couldn’t be happier that I’m thinking in this particular way. Because I would honestly so much rather be worrying about silly things rather than having a full blown panic attack about missile tests or earthquakes or nuclear power plants or anything like that.
Words can’t describe how I feel right now. It’s like I’m enveloped in some kind of powerful satisfaction, some form of content so powerful it swells in my chest and makes me want to cry. I don’t, and won’t, regret anything at all anymore.
I’m really, really happy to say that I think I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.