It's 10:30 pm on a Wednesday night and I just finished shoving the last sweater in my bag before my trip tomorrow. (You can never have too many sweaters, except when your bag is small and you're traveling long.)
I'm typing mostly with my left hand right now and it's funny to feel it struggling to keep up with my right (which despite being injured, still moves faster and with more precision.) I always wonder what would happen if I was short on limbs. Would I crawl into myself and act like just a shell, or would my other parts be stronger, blossom into something they never thought they could become. The thing is, I didn't want to know literally right now. But here I am, a hand cooked slightly and a "oh bother, not again" expression on my face.
This year I'm going to be gone from home for longer than I ever have before. Tomorrow, my journey begins in the city of Chicago where I'll be staying with dear friends for a month and hoping I enjoy every second.
I've always liked the idea of going new places. I like the idea of living there just long enough to feel like it's almost home, and dropping a few pieces of my travel-heart there along the way. (You'll remember me there, right? You won't let me get too far away?) I like the idea of coming home, dropping my bags and what's left of my heart on the floor, my soul a little fatter and my bones a bit more sore.
But I've never liked getting there.
I've never liked the stress of preparation. Trying to fit your whole life into a few small bags just so people can go through them. I've never liked waiting in places you feel all alone in, with weird light, and strange colors and people who would never care to learn your name.
I guess it's true that the road you travel forms the place you stay, but mostly I get comfortable at home and don't want my legs to ache. Still, tomorrow morning I'll wake up and stretch my arms up toward the sky that doesn't hold light yet. And I'll breathe into the lungs that don't hold more than air from places I've never been and worlds I've never seen. I'll pull on my shoes over thick, white socks, and push my sunglasses into my hair and face the day.
I'll have to do a lot of listening to do, listening to the speakers high above, to the words on my page, to God in my heart. And I think maybe this time I'll start to like the going part too.