A week ago, 80 percent of my conversations incorporated the following question or an eager variant of it: “Are you so excited?” In response, I was just able to hesitantly muster a jerky, figure-8 shaped nod and a stammered “yea…”
The truth is, despite having quit a job, applied for a visa, bought a plane ticket, strategically packed my bags, left people I love, and sat myself down on the first (and second and third) of a three-leg flight out of America, six days ago I still didn’t quite believe what I was doing.
Studying abroad junior year of college came pre-packaged in a bulk set with hundreds of students, creating a collective excitement that lent weight to the fact that the experience was really about to happen.
Moving abroad after graduation didn’t happen on a bandwagon, but still it was common enough to create a sense of legitimacy thanks to a significant group of fellow graduates heading overseas to teach English, begin post-grad degrees, be reporters, and so on.
This time, though, the number of people around me making such a move could be counted in a poignet. It made it seem like something they did — not something that people do — and I felt like I fell in the “people” tribe.
But here I am in the City of Lights and it feels like one of those lights is a bright, white tube of a spotlight shining on my head reminding me to make this change of direction worth all the good things – great and loved things – I left behind.