I bought the ticket on a whim, just a few weeks before departure. After dreaming of a trip to England for most of my life, I saw an opening, felt the chill of winter at the back of the wardrobe, and ran after it.
I like to know things. I like to know what is coming next. But I also cherish the unknown, the mystery of how a whole universe spins around us every day. I crave adventure.
At first, in the days after my ticket purchase, I felt like a badass. Like a woman who takes charge of her own damn destiny. But of course that quickly gave way to fear (we'll come back to that in a minute).
And then a conversation with a new friend, in which I found myself making excuses for my passions and how I haven't been pursuing them. I am made to write, I said, sipping at a pint of Porter, but there's no time.
There's always time, though. And also never time. We only have now, and in the now, we have all the time we need.
I bought the ticket because I'm thirty-five years old and if not now, when? I never believed I was immortal, but lived as if I had no end. There was always plenty of time, endless time, until, like the rest of us, I learned the hard way that that's not the case.
Life ends and begins in a moment, and if I have the time and the willingness and the dream to do a thing, a thing that brings joy and that challenges and delights and grows the self -- why am I not doing it now? Why am I waiting for tomorrow, which may never come?
I bought the ticket.
I haven't begun writing again (unless you count this post), but I feel the words calling.
I am afraid.
Afraid that the flesh and blood adventure I'm taking, the trip that has turned into something of a pilgrimage, won't stand up to the one I've dreamed of for decades. That I'll be crippled by anxiety or laid low by depression (these fears are not unfounded). Afraid that the words will come out stilted and broken, that they don't matter, that nothing matters in the end.
I am writing this from the airport, where the unknown stories of the travelers traipsing, the different skin tones, the slow dance of the planes outside both soothe and excite me.
I am here, taking the first steps of the adventure. I am writing, perhaps stilted, perhaps broken.
In the end, I will have gone on the trip and returned. I will have picked up the proverbial pen and used it. I will not have to wonder "what if," and although the fear is real, my gut says that even if this is all that these ventures give me, it will be enough.