Oh, to pack

Packing is just this really horrible thing. I’ve never been a very effective packer. I don’t think I have the foresight to prepare for things I will need down the line. I’m a very immediate person, and packing for a year is quite long-term.

I’m leaving for South Korea today and I’m terrified. Yes, this is a new experience. Yes, this is an adventure. Yes, this is the convenient escape from home that I’ve been anticipating since September. But I am terrified.

Right now, I have reached a place of blind panic. Leaving is petrifying. Staying is impossible (and horrible). Packing is disastrous. Procrastinating is just irresponsible. I keep thinking: there’s no way I can survive. There’s no way I can go to this whole different country and live by myself and actually survive.

But the more I sit here with all this stuff, the less I realize I actually need. When talking to people, I’ve been telling them my new mantra: one friend. They take it to mean that my goal is to make one friend and they laugh because they think I’m bizarre and crazy. And I say “one friend,” but actually, it means something a little more, a little different. It means all I need is one friend to bring me in. One friend to understand me and accept me and love me despite my absurdities. One friend to provide comfortable refuge from the unfamiliar. Maybe not even a person. I just need one thing to be constant and comforting and familiar. I think if I have something like that, then I can probably do this.

So right now, I tell myself that if I take a deep breath and stop thinking so much and quit living in the worst case scenarios of my head, I can probably do this. I can probably make it out alive.

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Burroughs is good.

Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
I rave no more ‘gainst time or fate,
For, lo! My own shall come to me.

I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face.

Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray
Nor change the tide of destiny.

What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it hath sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.

The waters know their own and draw
The brook that springs in yonder height;
So flows the good with equal law
Unto the soul of pure delight.

The stars come nightly to the sky;
The tidal wave unto the sea;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
Can keep my own away from me.

— John Burroughs, Waiting