I have one week left on my contract, and I’m not looking for a new job. After that I have about a month and a half off before I intend to leave for Senegal, where I will first be doing French immersion and then who knows what (for who knows how long).
This liminal period feels startlingly akin to my last semester of high school after I had been accepted to college and knew that only a few short weeks of classes and two months of summer separated me from a freedom-filled new life in New York City. The things that used to bother me didn’t bother me, and I walked around in a dream, filled with infinite possibility and muted excitement – muted because I knew that if I gave in to it fully the anticipation would kill me.
Now, work is no longer work. New York is no longer New York. Annoying people are no longer annoying. I don’t have senioritis in the traditional sense that I’ve checked out of my responsibilities, but I have it in the sense that I am delighting in the present without being at all concerned by it – instead putting all my energy into my next step, which is so close I can taste it.
For the past few years, there has been meaning and purpose and challenge in my life, but not nearly enough. On some mornings it’s been difficult to get out of bed, and I’ve chalked up my exhaustion to not getting enough sleep. But now that I’m popping awake every day I realize I had just been bored into depression.
Same thing with my taciturn stomach. It did a million times better in countries where you’re not even supposed to drink the water, because I was a million times happier there.
I’m pretty sure at this point that I’m going to make it to Senegal, but even if I change my mind and end up staying here for the foreseeable future, I’ll have benefited from experiencing the me that I am when I’m excited about life. If I stick with New York I’m going to have to figure out how to do it more on my terms, so that I can keep this fun-to-be me around.