Now Boarding: A Flight to the Unknown

She felt listless and distracted, and unable to focus on anything for longer than 30 seconds it seemed. She walked away from conversations, TV shows, movies, and tasks, with no interest in completing them or even remembering that she had started something in the first place. Nothing held her interest lately, and she would chain smoke spliffs out of frustration, hoping that the smoke would haze her vision enough that she could ignore whatever plans she had or improve them to the state of sparking her interest. More than usual in her day, she would stare out a window, lost in a thought that she could not recall five minutes later. She could feel the blank stare of her face, but had no energy or willpower to snap out of it. It was becoming frustrating, as she could not work through a singe task without spacing out in the middle of it and derailing whatver motivation she had had for completing the task at hand. She even took no interest in the practices and activities that usually gave her pleasure – writing was a challenge, the words being pulled from her brain slowly and painfull like a splinter from your finger; inhaling fresh air felt painful against the resistance of her smoke damaged lungs; and reading was reflexive, while she was not actually absorbing the words and thoughts that were on the page. She seemed to be existing in a shallow state, with something deeper pulling at her, distracting her from her ususal routine and confidence. She was fighting against the mental quick sand, struggling to keep her head above the expanding clutter that filled her brain. She felt hollow, but knew that that was not the case – she was fighting from being pulled down into the depths of her own mind, and being lost in the twisted, uncertain and ever churning bottomless turmoil.

She knew that if she allowed herself to sink into whatever was pulling at her mind, she would loose that fight quickly and be lost in a dark place for days. This is not what she wanted before she embarked on her adventure to Asia, and she was doing all she could to staveoff the breakdown. She was anxious about the trip, and constantly trying to tell herself that it would be ok. She had travelled the world plenty of times before, being way less prepared, and come out having enjoyed her vacation without tragedy striking. This time was different though, this time she was going to a country where she could not blend in as a local, and would stick out like a sore thumb everywhere she went. She was heading to a country that would cut her off from the comforts of the internet, and make it difficult to keep in touch with the people she loves and left at home. She was going where she did not speak a lick of the local language, and was banking on the ability to find English speakers during the course of her month long adventures. She was going to a place with ailments that were forgein to her, and could debilitate her frail body easily in a day. She would be expected to eat unusual food and have the stomach for it, because she had no other options in the remote country side. These were all the things that had gotten her excited for this trip, yet they were now all the factors that she worried incessently about now that her date of departure was nearing.

She knew that  she needed a mental switch, a labotimy of all the negative, pescemistic thoughts that were gaining momentum in her mind. She could not embrak on this trip with the mindset that she currently had, as she could not chain smoke it away on the airplane the way she had been the past few days. She needed to be looking forward to this trip, and excited for the new adventures and experiences she would have. She needed to get back to being excited, and stop worrying about all that could go wrong. If she focused on those possibilities, they would be sure to materialize and her fears would come to life. She told herself she was excited to get lost at least once; she couldn’t wait to pose for strangers’ pictures who had never seen a Westerner before; she would embrace the daily indegestion because it was worh it after enjoying so many new and exciting flavors; she would occasionally smoke a cigarette, but she would embrace the opportunity to step away from her spliff habit and clear her lungs for a month; she would vomit at least once, but her medicine and the protein bars she packed would help remedy that situation and its backlash quickly; she would find her balance with the pit toilets and learn to embrace the natural deficating position; she would feel butterflies in her stomach on her birthday, when they flew to Bangkok to meet her longtime crush, but the week spent with him would be amazing and if something is meant to happen between them, she would know when to finally make a move. She was incredibley nervous and uncertain about how this adventure of hers would go, but that’s the fun and part of the reason why she choose a new destination to visit every two years, because the thrill of facing the unknown is what she craved and lived for. It is what inspired her to continue on every day, and why she set seemingly unattainable goals to chase down with determination. Pursuing the unkown was both a high and a low for her all at once, with each side of the emotional coin she nervously flipped back and forth in her hand, only magnifying the other in its abscence. The lows are what make the highs so sweet, and why she trudged through her uncertainty and restlessness, with faith that it would pass shortly and she would be higher on life than she had ever imagined she could be.

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