The whole concept of everything working itself out had become neglected in the past few months. Despite clear evidence to the contrary I had lost sight of my mantra. I had become increasingly frustrated with the Peace Corps. The other displaced, would-be volunteers from Ukraine, and then Azerbaijan, were getting reassigned and I wasn’t. This non-journey was not to my liking. I had taken to cajoling my contacts in Washington. I was trying to sail a ship I was unfamiliar with, trying to steer the behemoth in the direction I wanted it to go. Then one day, out of the blue, the dark clouds parted, the fog lifted, and Thailand was on the horizon. As the surprise and elation washed over me, my mantra seeped back into my consciousness. Yes, it was all working itself out. I need to keep that simple maxim in my mind as I travel forward, as I move on.
The final pieces of furniture will be removed from the near-empty house in a day or two and the rooms are more and more impersonal and echo-y. The essentials have been moved into my new home (or rather room within someone else’s home) a few miles away. Most things are in storage a couple of miles in the opposite direction. There are a few things still lingering in the house, mid-way between the two. I’m afraid to unplug the computer, wi-fi, TV and stereo, knowing I probably won’t be able to figure out how to reconnect them properly when I move into my new residence. My checkbook is in a box, but I’m not exactly sure where. Hopefully I’ll rediscover it like I did my mantra.
I keep moving the moving date, pushing it out a day or two, stalling the inevitable. I still have Tatter and made an appointment to get him groomed before I finally pass him along to his new family. Once he’s groomed, he’ll look younger than his nine and a half years. As his hair grows out the older he gets, the coarser black hairs on his torso disappear beneath the longer, softer tan ones and it makes him look older. I like him better when he’s freshly groomed, the black and tan are pronounced and he looks more the puppy. And so having him clipped just before we say our goodbyes will leave me with an image of the dog I fell in love with so many years ago.
This stalling, this procrastination and reluctance is natural, right? Of course there’s fear and trepidation in the next steps, in not knowing what’s waiting around the corner. I have vague images of the things on my larger “to-do” list, those events that will take place between my leaving this house and packing for my next big life-event in Thailand eight and half months away. Just typing the word Thailand fills me with such a strong, hopeful, wondrous feeling in my chest that it’s possible to ignore the unrelenting angst for a few minutes.
I spent a good portion of yesterday getting my car serviced. They replaced a tire and the windshield wipers, topped off my fluids and rebooted my on-board computer. Now I can travel out west knowing my car is in pretty good shape. I haven’t mapped out my trip yet. I’m trying to take a different tack to the planning of this trip—by not planning. I’ve always planned these types of things out in detail, knowing how far I’ll travel in a day, where I’ll stay, what I’ll see. The mental map of my trip across the country is zigzagged and backtracking. I want to take it all in; I want to see everything there is to see. I can’t begin to prioritize, so I might as well just concentrate on the daily journey. This will be a challenge, but I’m willing to give it a try. For too long I’ve heard the adage about the journey versus the destination and I’m now more interested in the journey. I want to simply travel and take it mile by mile, day by day.
I will pack up the car, visit my folks for a few days and then head west, alone. I will amble and explore the breadth of this country and wend my way back before the high tourist season begins. I have faith that I will discover more than America on this journey.