I am sitting in what will be my new-new york apartment surrounded by boxes and unknown neighbors. It is friday night in the city which means I can hear the voices from the street wafting through the open window and the occasional siren screaming down the street. I have most definitely determined that sirens here are painfully louder than anywhere else and though I can venture a fairly good guess as to why this is, I still wonder, truly, why this is. The summertime breeze is also carrying the faint, yet distinct smell of fried chicken up from Mama’s Food Shop next door and despite my oh-so-nutritious pre-trek meal of pizza and popcorn, and if I weren’t happily installed in my pajamas on the couch, I might consider a third course.
It is hard to say how I am feeling about the trek now that it is almost here. Am I excited? Yes. Am I apprehensive? Yes. Am I prepared? I hope so. Will I forget to pack anything? I hope not.
My slight misgivings now are similar to what they were before – questions about our team’s overall preparedness are still looming in my mind, details about the logistics, to me, are still somewhat sketchy. Yet with no authority or control over these types of things I am generally trying to move with the flow of traffic as best as possible. I think that because on all of my previous travels I have been the one preparing and planning, and this preparation involved no one except myself, I am finding it hard to NOT have all of the information that I am used to having at my fingertips in a moment’s notice. I have a bit of confidence that the questions I have are unanswered not because they have not been asked, but more so because for the first time in a long time, it has not been my responsibility to answer them. And this feels entirely strange to me.
I am also, for all intensive purposes, wholly unsure of what to expect. A position that feels simultaneously exhilarating and terrifying. There is a voice somewhere inside my head that tells me that this is okay, that this whole process has been one that I will look back on and find great value in someday. That it will make my future experiences richer, my daily habits more meaningful and my interactions more authentic. Somewhere this voice tells me to just turn off the motor that runs my brain, to enjoy the journey, be excited about the opportunites that have fallen into my path… and this is true. and this is great, and these are things that I get really excited about, but dammit, sometimes you just want to know what you don’t know.
I am certain that this general angst about my pending Future (short and long term) has developed over a year (or even two, if you are really counting) of nothing but waking up in the morning and asking myself, in a very real and purposeful way, “what are you going to do today?” It is a question that either prompts limitless responses, options and possibilities or convinces me, then and there, to just go back to sleep. But as the days go on, you begin to see how you are answering this question, day after day after day. You begin to know what to expect from yourself, from your interactions, from your environment, space or place. You begin to create a structure where there was once no structure. It makes for fewer options, more direction, perhaps greater purpose. But there are also days where you wake up in a new place, unsure of what to expect, ignorant of how to respond, your previous frameworks and expectations, well, you might as well throw out the window. The new version of your daily existence has arrived and you’re going to need to update quickly if you’re going to have any chance of keeping up. Of course, you will still ask the question and do as you do and respond as you respond, but in these new circumstances, there is not yet that expectation of the what and how and when and where of it all.
Even as I write this, I yo-yo between being completely in love and excited about these transition moments and being totally content to sit here in my pajamas listening to the party next door and thinking about fried chicken.
Anyway, this seems to be a lot to say, and it seems to me to be saying a lot more about the general state of things over the past year than it does about the upcoming trip to K2, but it is on my mind. I am excited and extremely eager to find out what these next weeks will bring…