I am reading Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck right now. It is a record of his experience traveling with his dog across the U.S. for three months. At the beginning of Part 2, he writes, "In long-range planning for a trip, I think there is a private conviction that it won't happen. As the day approached, my warm bed and comfortable house grew increasingly desirable and my dear wife incalculably precious. To give these up for three months for the terrors of the uncomfortable and unknown seemed crazy. I didn't want to go. Something had to happen to forbid my going, but it didn't."
This is so very, very true! As I am now down to three days to go before I leave, I am having the same misgivings about leaving. Of course, I really do want to go - but I am having a hard time leaving. Why is this? It could be because I have such a wonderful family who doesn't want me to leave. Of course they want me to be happy and to do what I feel I should do, but they like having me around -- or, so they've said! Maybe I am having a hard time leaving because I am comfortable and content where I am. As much as I love adventure, I'm awfully happy being surrounded by love. Maybe my doubts stem from the emotions that I am still learning how to deal with -- emotions that I had locked away for a long, long time, not allowing myself to feel -- anger, fear, and sadness. Now that my therapist (a wonderful, wonderful person!!) has helped me to realize that experiencing these emotions is healthy, I am still learning how to deal with them. I am not used to feeling fear. I don't like it. But as the day of my departure draws ever-closer, I am feeling a bit afraid of the unknown. I don't like being sad, and I am sad at leaving the people I love. Maybe my reason for not wanting to leave includes all of these things. I can certainly identify with Steinbeck -- and that makes me feel better! Knowing that I am not the only one who has felt this way -- I will not be the last -- it helps knowing that I am in good company!
Steinbeck had an amazing trip. He learned about himself and about humanity in general. Those "terrors of the uncomfortable and unknown" weren't as bad as he feared. That's very encouraging!
So as I sift through my belongings that I have in three piles -- definitely taking -- not taking -- and will take if there is room -- I am talking myself into being courageous and looking forward to this time -- after all, it's only temporary!