Am I really leaving so soon?
Sorry for the few days between posts there -- I haven't really been feeling my best lately. I ate something on Saturday night that didn't sit well with me, and I've been doing a lot of 'rest and recover' since then. Since you're not here to read the details of my intestinal functions, I'll go ahead and get to something a little bit more pleasant... I'm leaving here in 5 days! How's that for pleasant? That news qualifies as downright righteous, if you ask me. It's been a weird few days since I got back from Kabul (upset stomach aside). I don't think it's really sunk in yet that I'm leaving this place. For good. On some level it probably has, but on another it just feels like "life as always." I remember when I made the decision last summer to come out here in the first place, and it felt like such a huge, life-altering thing. I'm moving to Afghanistan. For a whole year. I remember the weeks which followed that decision -- weeks that were filled with moving, packing, selling, paperwork, and tying up all the loose ends to ensure a smooth departure from the USA. Those weeks were a bit of a blur, but I distinctly remember a feeling of nervous excitement that permeated every single thought and action during that time. Life was a bit surreal then. "Am I really about to move to Afghanistan?" was a question I asked myself over and over again in those weeks. Sure enough it was real, and I did it, and now it's almost over. I've received two different emails from two different family members in the last few days, both expressing the same sentiment. The emails say things like "[it's] pretty unbelievable that your year is up" and "I can hardly believe that the year is coming to an end. I just think it is so great that you were able to do this whole thing." When I read things like that, I have to force myself to stop and realize that this year really is over. I guess that is pretty unbelievable. In the weeks leading up to these final days, I would occasionally feel a twinge of that same nervous excitement that I felt last summer. I fully expected the feeling to increase in both frequency and intensity as I drew closer to the end, but now here I am, a mere five days away from leaving, and I'm not sure I'm really there yet. "Am I really leaving in just a matter of days?" is the new question that I've been asking myself. I'm not going to expand on this too much, or try to figure out what it "means," if anything, that I'm not feeling terribly nervous or excited about leaving here. It's simply something I've observed. I assumed that by this point I'd be much more emotional (not that I've ever been one who's terribly emotional), when in fact life has continued to feel quite normal. I'll let you know how it feels when I actually step on that plane. In lighter and not so "deep" news, going to work lately has been GREAT. If you've ever quit a job before, you know what it feels like to show up for work every day knowing that you're on your way out the door. It's a fantastic feeling. When you can nonchalantly utter the phrase "what are they gonna do, fire me?" and mean it, it's impossible not to smile. Life is good. We'll see how I feel about that when I'm back home and jobless, but right now, for a few more days, life is good. Yesterday at work, I got comfortable in my chair and took a nap. I slept for a good 1/2 hour, right there at my desk, and no one seemed to care. I love that nobody expects anything from me anymore, as if the fact that I'm leaving soon frees me from all responsibility whatsoever. Today I don't think I was even at work for more than a couple hours. I showed up at 10, left at 11, and didn't come back until around 1 p.m. I left again at a little past 2 and didn't come back until almost 5. I even ran into the boss today and he asked "when are you leaving?" "Monday," I answered. His next question was "are you going to be at work this week?" as if he really didn't care and it was genuinely up to me. In that case, maybe not! Yes sir, life is good. I may not be terribly nervous, but I suppose there is a little bit of excitement there. Every time I receive an email from someone back home, or read a quick update on their blog, I can't help but think "I'll be seeing you soon. Face to face, in real life." It's hard not to be just a little bit excited about that.