“Are you excited?” It’s a question I have been hearing quite a bit recently due to my upcoming trip to Thailand. Of course, I’m excited. But…

It’s night. My excitement isn’t the sort that I had imagined. Shouldn’t I be giddy with joy, elation? That sounds like me. Shouldn’t I be jumping about, bouncing off walls? That too sounds like me. But neither of those behaviors are present. Why? I’m finding that my excitement has been taken over by a stillness. A quietness that I’m not familiar with. I ask myself over and over whether I actually am excited? After all, I feel no firing of the nerves, no heart racing adrenaline. Is it nervousness? Yes, there is nervousness there, but it’s something more.

I question this stillness in me. I want answers. Am I afraid? No, not afraid. Maybe I’ve just transformed into a new version of me that is too cool to get wild. No. Nope. I still get wild. I decide that the time is too soon. I’m still processing the reality of this dream coming to fruition and I need time to let it penetrate. This makes sense to me. For the past week I have been having day dreams; not the good kind. I imagine getting stopped by customs because I’m missing some necessary paperwork. Maybe there is a critical document that I’ve forgotten to pack and its far away at home, too late to turn back and retrieve it.

It seems to me that the anxiety, the disbelief of my conscious is manifesting itself in some type of retreat. In not getting excited, I’m preparing for disappointment. I’m preparing to say, I knew this would happen. And it’s taking me to a place that makes me nervous. This has never happened to me before, and so I’m not sure how to cope with it besides waiting it out and crossing that threshold. But a piece of me feels like that would still be a defeat. I want to overcome the negative feelings and join my friends in their excited chatter, not sit silently, trying to control the rising sense of impending doom.

This is the honest me tonight. I’m learning something new about myself and about life. It still has surprises. The emotions of one situation do not always transfer into another. The bright light here is that I simultaneously feel that once this is over, once I’ve proven that I do deserve this joy and this experience, that the whole world will open itself up to me. In a sense, Thailand will be my gateway trip. As I wrote the previous sentence, something struck me. I said “deserve this.” Ah, there’s the rub. It is a privilege not afforded to many this traveling to the other side of the world. And having been raised with very little, well it just seems like something unreal; something that sort of belongs to others. Thus, I feel that it’ll be snatched from me.

Because I’m fairly new to traveling, I feel as if I’m knocking on a door and hoping for an answer. But this is silly. I’ve busted down doors before. And what’s more, I don’t think the world is a cold and distanct entity with a liking for exclusion. From what I’ve heard, seen, read, the doors are already open. Maybe I just need to stop fretting and walk in.

I think I just breathed for the first time in days.

I think I just felt that tingle I know so well. Hello world. I’m coming in!