Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Going, Going...

Even though this picture is from my apartment in Oakland, it's my last night in Seattle, and the US! I've dragged myself home from college, packed/repacked my bags, made all the appropriately excited and sort of sad phone calls, done the obligatory partying plus some, and am now going to be underway. My favorite call was when I had to pick up the phone all excited in the middle of a grocery store and catch my breath because I was super excited about the caller as well as the leaving thing! I've been telling myself to breathe all day, but keep wanting to shriek and generally freak out.

This has been my dream for years, and I've spent so long talking about it in the future tense, "I'm going to be in Cairo next year," or "I'll be studying in Cairo one day!" It makes me so thrilled and chilled and bothered to be able to say, "I will be there on Thursday." A little shiver runs up my spine when I think about being able to say, "I'm in Cairo." That is a sentence I am beyond looking forward to saying!

When I'm about to leave on a major, life-changing period of travel, time seems to billow and stretch out before me and behind me. All the stuff that went into the creation of this trip, like learning to belly dance, ending up at my college, learning Arabic, I'm very aware of, as well as what's coming ahead. I know it's not all going to be good, or bad, but that's ok, because that's real life and I'm not leaving expecting some sort of perfect "vacation." I'm going to study, and get my hands dirty, and learn some Arabic, among other things. I can also feel in my core that this is not going to be some sort of "light" experience, or easy to just traipse through. This is going to end up being a major chapter in my life, and I'm going to come back different. Maybe in subtle ways I'm not aware of, or in big ways that are so loud everyone notices right away. I don't know yet, but it will be fun to find out!

Tomorrow, I embark on a small journey within my large journey. It will begin with me grimacing at my alarm clock in bed in Seattle, involve countless hours of flying, lines, tickets, bags, reading, and hopefully end with me settling into bed in my flat in Cairo on Thursday smiling.

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