It’s a gorgeous Christmas Day in Wellington: sun is shining, birds singing, all of that. My bag is packed, my house is clean, and all there is left to do is skype my various family members on the other side of the world, put on my travel outfit, and get on the first of three planes that will eventually deposit me in Malaysia, around 8:30 tomorrow morning, Kuala Lumpur time.
Yesterday was pretty cruisy—my work shut down at two and I did a bunch of errands (because what people in two southeast Asian countries requested from New Zealand was not kitschy Kiwiana stuff but Mojo coffee beans) and came home and made some cranberry brownies to send up to the Bay of Islands with some friends who are spending New Year’s there. I packed up my trusty green pack with my maxi dress and my dive log and the aforementioned coffee beans. I opened Christmas presents with my mom via Skype—she was awesome and hilarious and made a big deal of the stuff I got her, just like she did when I was twelve years old and gave her macaroni art or something. When everything was sorted out and I’d double-checked that I had everything I needed in my carry-on (deodorant, electrical chargers, fuzzy socks, iPod) I just sort of sat on the couch and listened to Mirah and Belly and looked around the house. I kept having to remind myself that it was Christmas Eve. I didn’t mind being alone—I have been so over-the-top social lately that it was just really nice and chill to do nothing.
Everything all seems so unreal at the moment—not just the trip, although even that seems implausible, my various emails and reservations and tickets notwithstanding. It’s hard to understand that I’m really going, that I am really just going—that the trip that came out of my winter’s intense anger and sorrow and shame is now my summer’s delight and anticipation. It’s not just that, though—it’s that this year is just about over and that so much has changed while nothing has changed. I seem to have skipped all that, the introspection that the end of the year usually brings; not much thought about What It All Means or What Will Next Year Bring. I have no idea. I never have much of an idea but this time I really have no idea.
But I don’t really care right now, to be honest. I have a couple more skype calls to make and a few last-minute adjustments to my bag, another cup of tea to drink, and then that’s it, I’m off for a little while. I’m going to see some amazing friends and do some cool stuff and maybe think some new thoughts. I’m going to eat as many delicious noodles I can hold. I’m going to…I’m going to just go for a while. I’m oddly not even bothered—and trust me no one is more surprised than me about this!–that I haven’t had much of a plan for this trip, it’s so strange. Is this practice for something else, is this a way to try to live with not knowing what the future brings; what I will be doing at the end of next year or the year after?
I think I’m ready. It’s a beautiful Christmas Day and I have been so lucky in so many things. Off I go for a little while, to see what I can see.