The Northern Coast

The Northern Coast
The Northern Coast--photo by Zack Thieman

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Going through the motions

I feel I need to explain.

Stress does funny stuff to a person. It can make them sad, it can make them sick, it can make them crazy, it can make them joyless life-sucking jerks.

I think I'm experiencing all of the above.

I cry at the drop of the hat. I can be cold, short, and snappy. I am whinier than normal. I am a lot more uptight than normal. And lord knows, I am no fun right now.

And this makes me sad, because these are my last weeks here for a long time. Why would I make them un-enjoyable for everyone?

It's like I'm going through the stages of grief when I haven't lost anything yet. I am preparing myself for the losses, I guess. It's hard to be happy when I am forced to face all the things I'm going to miss-- weddings, birthdays, funerals, care-free summer evenings with close friends, running alone at twilight, lazy Sunday afternoons eating gluten-free pancakes with Justin...

and then all of those things I'm going to miss collide head-on with all of the things I've yet to do-- pack, move my stuff back to Idaho, visit friends, buy necessities (or just commodities), finish this marathon I've been training so hard for, etc.

My stomach has taken residence in my lower bowels, and my heart is caught in my throat. I just want to have a normal day without crying, obsessing over everything I still have to do, lamenting everything I'm going to miss, and stressing over my complete lack of control of it all.

It makes me feel like a big baby. And whether or not people feel like they understand what I'm going through or are sympathetic towards it, everyone gets tired of Cranky McCrankerson reeeaaaaaal quick.

So, I'm sorry. I'm sorry if I'm posting on Facebook too much, if I'm inconsolable, irrational, if you catch me staring into space and not hearing a word you say, if I give you the feeling that no matter what you do it's not good enough. I'm sorry these are my last impressions I will leave you with for awhile. Because I love everyone so much and I see what you're doing for me, even if it's something simple like recommending a camera or your thoughts on luggage. My brain has lost all decision-making capabilities. I have reached the point where I just need things done for me because so much of me has seized up in stress and terror. I don't want that to be the last you see of me, because I know things will be great. I know I will make great friends, create lasting relationships, and serve a purpose in my time away. I know that all of this isn't for nothing.

It's just hard to get a grip sometimes. And that's all I want to say.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I just want to take a moment to say, getting ready to leave for two-years sucks.

A lot.

If you haven't heard from me, it's because I'm doggy paddling in a sea of "to-do" lists, which include but aren't limited to:

-Go through stuff
-Get rid of stuff
-Run (marathon's coming up)
-Buy stuff
-Sell stuff (in order to have money after buying stuff)
-Pack stuff
-Pet Shmoo
-See family
-See friends
-Call friends I can't see
-Practice Spanish
-Tie loose ends

Oh, and somewhere in there is go to work full-time, eat, sleep, poop, and try not to get sick.

Some days it's too much to take, so I pretend it's not happening. And then I look at a calendar and my stomach drops and I think of all the things I have to do and all the people I have to say goodbye to, and it's just too much.

Because no matter what, I'm not going to feel even close to ready. Did I pack enough underwear? Did I say goodbye to everyone? Did I tell my family and friends I love you enough?
And then there are the feelings of incompetence.
Am I qualified for this? Is my Spanish good enough? Are these kids going to mow me over? Are people going to like me?

I don't need to hear people's opinions on this. I don't need someone to tell me people will love me or I'll do great. It's just so many people ask me "are you excited?" and I can't even begin to express how I feel. Excited? Kind of. Scared shitless? Ready to puke and/or cry at any moment? Comatose from being overwhelmed with it all?

Yes, very much so.