Posted by: cousindampier | 29 October 2014

Four Months Out

One of the Mosques

I often think of Istanbul. This is a little bit odd, because I was only in Istanbul twice. Similar to too many stories, however, Istanbul came to symbolize the gates to Asia. I flew to Paris, only to spend Christmas in Istanbul before heading home to Almaty; and when my final class was over, I flew to Istanbul to prepare for my journey back west.

So I think of Istanbul as it is the transition point.

Four months out is a frightening thought. I’ve done a lot in four months, but not enough to reach school. I got in, and then was faced with the prospect of pushing it towards next year, and prospect which I came to reluctantly accept. Home offers a lot of possibilities, but also presents one of the most basic and biggest challenges to me (or, I suppose, any person): getting over myself enough to get things done. Getting my priorities in order, my plans together; putting them into action, dealing with the sidetracks and the obstacles; keeping what I want in mind and moving towards it.

I’m certainly aware this is a problem everybody faces. In Coelho’s newest story, he speaks of the dual fear of everything changing and nothing changing. We all occupy a different space on that line, some of us fearing that nothing will change and we are stuck, and others fearing that too much change, too quickly will overwhelm our ability to handle it. It also is an immature problem, in a sense – shouldn’t a 29-year old have this together already?

And my answer to that would be that I do – or did; and I find myself in a different place now, one where I don’t need the grand plans, the move to New Zealand, the year in Almaty; the time spent creating infographics or learning about politics. No, none of that is needed right now because that end is looming – a move to London and a trip back to school. What is needed now is the ability to push everything into place to make the most of this looming year I spend getting there. That discipline, I may or may not have.

Even with that prospect of school, the thoughts of what happens after still come. This year is leverage to get there, an opportunity to write and study and run (a lot) and learn a bunch of stuff I’ve wanted the time to learn. It’s a fantastic opportunity. And then the next year is leverage to get somewhere else.

I may not quite know where that is yet, but much like Mel Gibson at the end of Maverick, when Annabelle steals half his poker winnings…sure will be a whole lot of fun figuring it out.

You’re welcome, America.

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