It’s a funny little week I’m having.
It’s my last week in Europe and instead of going out and experiencing things for the last time, saying goodbyes to places I’ve grown to love, checking the final things off my list of “to-do”…I’m sitting on the ship thinking about how I SHOULD be doing all that. The distance between thought and action is a canyon.
I didn’t see the David. There are about 11 Caravaggios I wanted to stand in front of and contemplate that I missed. I didn’t buy a leather jacket. I never went back to find that crazy Mad Madam Mim bag. I didn’t make it to Cinque Terra.
I’ve managed to have so many adventures that I haven’t even had time to write about them. But now, when it’s down to the wire, last minute, crunch time, my goal-oriented nature has abandoned me and I’ve already checked out. It would be so easy to finish up some things on my list but I just can’t bring myself to do it.
I can’t even make myself get off the ship to eat Napoli pizza one last time. And you know there’s a problem when food can’t motivate me…
At a certain point you just have to accept that it’s enough. I did enough. I could have done more. But I. Did. Enough. I saw so much, learned so much, ate so much. I have some tremendously beautiful memories, which I gratefully accept as inspiration to write, to purge my brain, to really dig into what all this actually meant.
I have this problem with seeing the end coming so far out that it’s all I can focus on. I can’t live in the moment right up until the last moment because I’m so aware that last moment is nigh. I hate endings. I don’t handle them well. So maybe that’s why all I want to do is sleep this week. I want to lay in my cave and think bittersweet thoughts about all I’ve seen and done and all I haven’t seen and done. I’m gearing up for a lot of goodbyes in the next few weeks, with some people who’ve been the best to me on the ship, and I’m so torn between the joy of getting ever closer to going home and the sadness of leaving people who, for better or worse, are part of my daily life now.
I’m an emotional pinwheel right now, blowing around and around, feeling it all, unable to stop spinning.
I wonder when the time comes to sign off if I won’t feel a little like Morgan Freeman in Shawshank Redemption. This is certainly not home but I honestly don’t know if I can survive in the real world anymore.
Luckily I have five weeks after my un-Titanic experience to lay on the beach and do more contemplating. Thinking about the ways this experience has stretched me to my limit and made me better. And ways I’m still so clearly the same it’s time to accept and embrace the fundamentals of me-ness. No rushing around trying to see and do. Just melting into a tan puddle and enjoying an entirely different kind of experience. And hopefully rejuvenating myself to return to the mad dash of New York.
I’m sad that my European adventure is coming to an end. I love it here, and there truly is still so much to experience. But I’m also ready to go home. I’m ready to get back to real life. I’m ready for forward momentum into the future. This has to end in order for me to get back to that.
Still. I feel funny. I feel raw, and on the edge. In a good way. It’s only at the end that you get to see how far you’ve come. And it’s better to have the bittersweet pain of missing things and people than not, because it proves you’ve experienced something, hopefully meaningful. People and places have touched me, and it stabs at my heart to let it all go, but yeah. That’s the pleasure/pain kiss where I know I’m really, fully alive. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.