“Is there anything as horrible as starting on a trip? Once you’re off, that’s all right, but the last moments are earthquake and convulsion, and the feeling that you are a snail being pulled off your rock.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Red biro countdown. Over the past three months I have been eagerly crossing off every passing day. It is hard being in a place with so little to do when you feel ambition brimming inside you, when you long for so much more than a place can offer. 3 days til Calgary and I’m filled with a sense of nervous apprehension. I am the snail. Now it’s said there are two states of a person aboard a plane – boredom and terrified, but being up at Earth’s ceiling isn’t what’s bothering me. I have built up my hopes pretty high, expectations and plans have formulated in my mind, now to set them in motion. The best possible scenario is that the IVF lab will give me the unpaid work experience, even if it’s only for a fraction of the year. Worst case scenario – rejection – I will be crushed, pick myself up out of a puddle of disappointment and carry on. That’s the problem with being an optimist, you set your sights on something sky-high and if you miss it, it’s like being hit with a tonne of bricks. I’m not very good at settling for less than I feel I deserve or have worked for, not good at all. I’m also applying for work experience in other labs but it’s a bit like a consolation prize when you have a burning desire to be somewhere else. Something that makes me excited is seeing my boyfriend after 3.5 months apart, I get a smile just thinking about seeing him waiting for me at the airport.
Packing is a bit symbolic. It can represent many things besides travel and vacations – moving on, letting go, new beginnings, fresh starts, departure from your current way of life.
Packing also reminds me what a crazy amount of possessions I own. There is so many things I would love to take with me, but the size of my suitcase just won’t allow it. Belongings laying dormant til my return. I have packaged away the last two decades plus of my life, amounting to a pile of cardboard boxes and stripping what was my childhood room of any remaining identity. What also struck me was how monstrously large my clothes collection had become.
As if I didn’t need convincing enough but two charity bags had been posted through my door days earlier calling for unwanted clothing, maybe nudging me to take action. I glanced at the mass of clothes taking over my floor and made a promise to myself. I will get rid of everything that doesn’t fit right, make me feel great or could be classified as a museum artifact. Now I do have plenty of stylish tops that I love to piece together with my favorite pairs of skinny jeans and it gives me this jolt of happiness and a feeling of fabulous. Maybe even lookbook worthy. If I’m feeling particularly adventurous I might even accessorise! But often I find myself in clothes that have literally been worn to death – faded, misshapen, ancient – I have no idea why I want to keep a t-shirt where the design is disappearing or the black corduroy trousers from 7 years ago that make my dainty legs look like a sack of potatoes. Sure I’m inside, no one can see me in this abomination, but if I catch sight of myself in the mirror, I start wonder why I’m saving the things that make me feel amazing for only when the rest of the world can see or for those special occasions that are few and far between. Life is too short to feel anything less than bright and brilliant.
In the grand scheme of things often looking good can be the furthest thing from your mind, I remember delivering my dissertation before the deadline make-up less, in sweats and a rugby shirt, as far from the spectrum of feminine as you can go. I just didn’t care, I had bigger things on my mind at that moment. I still have some cosy sweatpants that make me feel snug and are great for flopping around the house in but I have said farewell to the ones that I should have said goodbye to many years ago. Part of getting rid of these oldie clothes was symbolic for me, it was to remind me to feel fantastic about myself, not to save the better looking/feeling me for another day and to make the most of who I was right now instead of saving it for later.