I’ve been carrying anxiety around with me in my belly for the last couple weeks. Unrestful sleep. Too hot. The noise of storms at night. It settles like a hard knot, dissolves, coagulates again. No longer do I feel untethered, drowning in responsibilities and lists, but rather robotic, on cruise control. The emotions well up, overflow, are gone. Are replaced with over-structure and resolve. My anxiety has not been all for naught. But mostly it’s surreal: watching myself go through the motions. All these complicated motions to tie up loose ends and move myself across the seas. Well, I’m not there yet.
I’m bad with finality. Ending relationships, all sorts, is hard. Especially difficult when there’s little chance of ever seeing these people again. America is always there. My friends in America are always there. But will I ever be in Kazamaura, Aomori-ken again? Likely not. Japan- yes, Kazama – no. And here live people who I lived alongside for a year. Who touched and changed my life, somehow. Am I a changed woman? I don’t know.
I’m beginning to think that I need this sense of displacement, in a way. My desires for deep settling and roots conflict mightily with my wanderlust. I believed that one year outside of my own country was enough. It’s not good enough to visit places. I want to learn and live them thoroughly, deeply, widely.
Am I Una or Ahab?
There is ease and comfort in the traveling. What will it feel like when I’m there, for good? Real? Weighty? Will there be substance? In transit, I am weightless. Suspended between the realities of my life. The responsibilities, plans, next steps. There is a delightful sense of uncontrollability on the move. In limbo, I am exempt from the figuring. But landed, arrived – it’s all fair game. Here comes America. Or rather, here I have come, America.
I didn’t expect leaving to be so sad. It blindsided me. Handing in my gaijin card was like closing a door on my life. Or a chapter. America so far is harsh, loud noisy, fat. First thoughts.