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Preparing to Depart: The Fear Inside

Jay Mantri

As Vanessa's departure grows closer, her excitement is being replaced by a new emotion—fear.

I was washing the dishes this morning, absently watching the soapy water swirl down the drain, mechanically putting away the vintage bowls with the plaid print when I realized that it was getting close to the time when I wouldn't be doing this for a little while—or a long while—depending on how things go.

As the day of my departure draws near, I find I am teary and scared and nervous. I'm still excited and hopeful, but right now it's buried under a heap of uncertainty. I suppose its natural to have some uncertainty at the junction of "the life of the old me" and "the life of the new me," but I'm a little concerned about the lump of anxiety that has taken root deep in my gut. I wonder how it got there.

As the day of my departure draws near, I am scared and nervous. I'm still excited, but right now it's buried under a heap of uncertainty.

I have been talking more to people about my plan—I mean, I do have to let people know I'm headed out for awhile—and, honestly, I haven't gotten all that much support. I've gotten a lot raised eyebrows and "Oh, really?" "Interesting," some pursed lips, blank stares, and a whole annoying lot of little fake smiles. I think all the doubt, confusion and blatant negativity has permeated my insides. Things are festering in there.

It's hard for me to come to terms with the fact that people don't want me to just go off and follow my heart but, I think it really doesn't have much to do with me. It has to do with them feeling stuck and not knowing what to do about it, or deciding that there isn't anything to do about it. I think they're afraid of me uprooting everything in my path and heading out with just a backpack and a belief that people are essentially good. I think they're afraid of me creating a new life for myself where I'm not governed by so much of society's norms. They don't want me out in the world shirking all the things they deem necessary, dancing under the moon to some crazy music they can't hear.

Because if I do, and the world doesn't end and I live the life I keep saying I want to live, then that means that it is possible and all the excuses they have been telling themselves are lies.

I am afraid. I am. But I'm more afraid of staying exactly where I am, doing the same things I have been doing, living the same life over and over every year. That thought sends a fear through me that can only smell like death through my being.

And so I'll wash these dishes a few more times, put them away in the cupboard and maybe I'll see them again and maybe I won't. I can't say.

There's not too much that I know right now. But I do know that it is, no matter what anyone says, time to go. En avant.

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Published in Volunteer Abroad Blogs
Vanessa Nirode

Vanessa Nirode is a runner, cyclist, writer and pattern maker based in New York City, who is taking an adult "gap year" this summer. Through www.workaway.info, she is working on eco-projects in Spain, Italy and Croatia, including building an earthship in northern Spain. She is also taking part in a work study program hosted by City Travel Review in Barcelona, where she is assisting in writing a city travel guide.

Website: www.girlsdrinkstout.com

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