20 November, 2008

Stepping off . . .

I sat across from my ex, my nose stuffed up and my head fuzzy from my cold. We were at the Lighthouse, a Korean tofu hot pot specialist in suburban Washington. It's one of my favorite meals during winter and I probably won't find it once I get to Buenos Aires. In a way, this is a farewell to an aspect of my life in DC.

I have been a bit flighty lately. As my shove off date to Argentina approaches, I am realizing all the tasks I need to accomplish prior to leaving. There are academic commitments to fulfill and office work to to finalize. There is the boxing up of my apartment and the packing and repacking of my two rucksacks. The list is endless and unforgiving. But I'll get them done.

But the real weight on my chest is the idea of moving on. Although I made that choice quite some time ago, the idea that I will soon step off the edge is truly giving me the butterflies. I've been on many solo trips before, from the sands of Arabia to almost the bottom of the Earth. But for the first time I am off on a journey not knowing if I will return. I feel like I am charting a course without a map.

Ever since I was a wee boy I've been told to follow a professional path - be a lawyer, a banker, etc. I read my parents' disappointment as I detoured time and again and eventually ended up working on Capitol Hill. But at least that was a professional field right? I was working and breathing the same air with decision makers who can change the world. But was I?

Friends came and went and I am still standing on the same spot. It's time to go.

As I personally said goodbye to friends, I am realizing that I'll be alone pretty soon, with nothing to bank on except my wits and my savings account. I know I've plans for graduate school in Europe, but I also need to have my head right before I get there.

Perhaps this was how my parents felt years ago when they forfeited the comfort of their homeland for the unknown promises of California.

9 comments:

Baino said...

Must be difficult leaving friends TCL but the butterflies are probably more adrenalin and excitement. It is indeed exciting and I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time once you hit the road. Although I don't envy you the packing. I wish I'd done more travelling before settling down and becoming committed to mortgages and family life.

Quickroute said...

You're embarking on a great adventure - think positive and the world is your oyster

Az said...

Interesting stuff dude!
By the way...you were the first comment I have ever had on my blog! How did you find me?

TCL said...

Bain and quick - thanks for the encouragement. I'll be ok once I hit the road. But just the blues before leaving I guess. Cheers!

Az - I found you thru Paddy in Buenos Aires. I think you made a comment there. I also saw your post on the BA Ex-Pat board. Bet you didn't sign up for the abuse eh?

Megan said...

I really don't know if I'd have the courage to do it. So cheers to you for that!

Will you be chronicling your adventures here? Please say yes...

TCL said...

Megan,

You betcha. Wouldn't be any fun going on the ride if I can't remember it twenty years later.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

I think what you're doing is brave, amazing and incredibly wise. As Quickroute says, you're embarking on a great adventure - and it's from adventures that we learn the most valuable lessons in life.

R2K said...

: )

TCL said...

Vanilla - Thanks for the encouragement. Perhaps I'll make my way to the Cape one day.