23 December 2009

christmas future, christmas present

For a generally calm person, my nerves are always frazzled at airports.

One time, on an overnight flight from Nairobi to Amsterdam, I thought I was having a heart attack and spent a good 2 hours deciding whether or not to yell, "Is there a doctor on the plane?"* I decided against it, thankfully, and instead hyperventilated myself into a fitful slumber.

At the Amsterdam airport, still convinced I was in mortal peril, I visited first aid. After very briefly evaluating me, the doctor said decisively, "You're just having a panic attack. Here is a sedative."

"Oh." I replied.

And now I'm sitting at the airport, and that familiar feeling is creeping over me. But I'm going to:

- Force myself to realize that I'm just gd excited for the holidays, and for the most time I've had off in a year.

- Write to you, like I've been meaning to do much more often.

Since I work at a university, and I only graduated from one a year ago, I think of myself of straddling its coexisting worlds of adolescents and adults. I'm over the perennial sweatpants wardrobe, but I'm not ready for pressed dress shirts, either (thank god). My student ID card should be obsolete**, but I can't seem to affix my institutional ID tag to my body. I am always forgetting it at home, accidentally on purpose.

One day this fall, I was rushing from one meeting to another - nearly convinced I was scrambling to hand in a paper on time - when I looked down to see my black jacket, wide-legged trousers, pumps, and travel mug. I had forgotten this is where my life was at. It was like getting an unexpected glimpse into my future. Most shockingly, at this moment I was not shocked. You would think that a peek at your future self would contain traces of disappointment, regret, and nostalgia***. It didn't, and I felt proud.

Anyone who's been following this blog for a long time would know I'm kind of obsessed with the the tension between present and future. I always worry about what I'm doing now, and how the hell I'm going to get to what's next. I'm so worried about it that I don't write about it, because I know that if I annoy myself I am certain to annoy you.

So as the first boarding call rings out, I want to say, as a christmas gift to myself, that I am okay with everything the way it is - even my anxiety. Suddenly, I am happy to be nervous and curious about each coming second, because I know realize this is what thrilling feels like. Senses tingling, and something great hanging in the air (and not just the cloying air fresheners that are crop dusted through every retail store at this time of year). My gift**** to myself is being okay with being really excited about... well, I'll tell you when I know what it is.

*Do people actually do that? What can you really do in that situation?

**But a technical glitch with the date on my granted me with student status until I'm 32.

*** A personality test I had to do for a work retreat revealed that nostalgia is my response to stress. Embarrassing, but I guess there could be worse responses. Involuntary vomiting or chronic fainting would definitely be worse, right?

**** This, and the perfect pair of black boots I could finally afford.

1 comment:

Dustjacket Attic said...

What an honest post, I think it's great that you have realizations about yourself and can address them.

Best Wishes for a very Merry Christmas,
xoxxo DJ