I’m suffering from your common ailments before a big trip: anxiety, stress, nervousness, excitement, impatience. But my number one ailment for the past couple of months has been apathy.
Three years I have been talking about moving to Spain and for three years obstacles have come up and I kept myself from leaving. But now I’m more than ready to go, and as my impatience grows, more and more stuff comes out of the woodwork that makes my itch to leave impossible to relieve until I do. That, however, has led me to what we like to call “checking-out.” Yes, I am in fact, checked out. I have become an automaton daydreaming about my churros con chocolate with practically no regard for what is going on in the present.
While this side effect is quite natural amongst travelers who have denied themselves adventure for too long, it has carried over into things it should not, such as my writing and music. I’m hard pressed to bring myself to do anything, even if it is one of my two greatest passions.
My fear: that this apathy will carry over into my trip. I highly doubt it, but hear me out. My fear is that once my life in Spain becomes routine after being there for an extended period of time, I will once again fall victim to this apathy and I will never be content, forced to country hop for the rest of my life always seeking something else. Now of course, with my Buddhist practice, I know this is unlikely and I have the tools and wisdom I need to know that we can never seek happiness outside of ourselves. And yet isn’t that what I’m doing now as I wait for my departure date? If I’m capable of being so apathetic now does that mean I’m more at risk to suffer from this in the future? Why can’t I even bring myself to at least be remotely happy with my present hometown and enjoy my last two weeks here?
Perhaps it’s simply because I have pushed this trip off for too long and this feeling won’t necessarily recur in the future. All I know is that I’m more than ready to get out of here, I feel like your cliche caged animal pacing restlessly except my prison consists of the dull, gray skyscrapers of New York, the painful noise of the city that grates on my ears, the crowds constantly swarming against me bringing my claustrophobia to the fore…and the past that continues to resurface without an immediate solution anywhere in sight.
I feel like I have been waging an uphill battle and I’m tired of it. I fear to tell people this as they will accuse me of running away from my problems, but let’s be real. Sometimes in life there are situations that come up and will continue to for several years and you just need to remove yourself from the situation to see it with a clearer eye. That is what I need. And until I can finally step away from it all I just don’t give a shit about anything.
All the same, I need to tread carefully here. Time is a precious commodity and to pass my last two weeks here accomplishing nothing is so anti-who I am that I need to snap myself out of this funk and realize that my adventure starts here and now. I cannot settle, I cannot wait for this or that to happen before I start penning my adventure. There is beauty around me, I’m sure of it. And while a different kind of beauty awaits me on the other side of the world, if I hope to be able to see it there, I have to be able to see it here.
So here’s to trying…here’s to the battle against pre-departure apathy.