Then having done my job I wait for his reply. From the moment I have done this I am second guessing myself. Why am I going to Greece? Why am I leaving North Carolina? I am happy here. (Not really but as soon as it is time for me to leave anywhere I discover that I love the place I complain about every day). What will I do in Greece? More nights of eating and drinking with my friends? What good can come of this? I should stay home and meditate or become a good
public citizen (or go into therapy).
David comes back with some flight options to go along with some of the other options I have found on the net. In a heroic moment I say "OK. Book it". I then go and tell Andrea we are booked for such and such a date and she discovers a reason why those dates are bad or says "What!? I told you I would never fly that airline again!" and I say "Well that is too bad because that is who we have all our frequent flyer miles with."
For the next few weeks I am on an emotional roller-coaster of which I am now an expert.
During this period I will feel the excitement of traveling to Greece as I read e-mails from travelers who tell me their itineraries and the envy I feel becomes a sense that soon I will be in Greece doing these things that they are so enthused about doing. Then there are moments when I will be laying in bed anxiety-ridden. So what is the deal? How can I go from having the excitement a child has on Christmas to the feeling that a condemned prisoner has on his way
to the gallows?
Fear of change. My boring little world which has enveloped me like a cocoon to the point of suffocation suddenly feels like home and leaving it makes me feel like Orpheus on his way to the underworld even though I am going to Greece, a land of sun, light, beauty, history, romance, passion and great food. Everything my little town lacks.
As the day of departure grows closer it takes courage (and frequent doses of kava kava) to keep me from obsessing on the trip or falling to my knees and begging Andrea to please not make me go. Her father lives there so she does not go through the same psychological trauma that I do. But she is also anxiety-prone because of her need to have everything packed and ready and everything done that needs to be done around the house. I can pack in an hour for a
three month trip to Greece. But then I would come home and find out all the animals had starved, all the plants had died and all the food I had left in the refrigerator had crawled out and taken over the kitchen. So it is Andrea's 'attention to detail' that enables us to leave and return to a home that is the way we left it. The animals have been taken care of, the plants have been watered and the fridge has been cleaned before we left instead of after. It is her vigilance that keeps her busy making sure all
the pieces of the leaving-puzzle are in place which enables me to be free to deal with my anxiety in a way that causes myself more anxiety. I am suddenly surrounded by meaning. The cat who could not give a damn about me just as long as I feed him is my friend. The guinea pigs who pee on me every time Andrea sits them on my lap while I am watching a game are my soul mates. Taking out the garbage on Wednesday night is no longer a chore but a tradition. My mind is causing me great suffering
in its efforts to keep me from going and leaving this comfortable (but boring) planet.