I’m in between again. This seems to be my own homeostasis, the state of being to which I return the most often, by choice or by circumstance.
I’ve been in between things for a few months now, since I finished my internship at the State Department. I’ve got a new internship and plenty of hours at the gelato shop, but really, I’m just waiting for the Peace Corps to begin.
It’s hard to be “on the way out the door” because nobody understands how lonely I feel or even why I’m leaving. It’s incredibly isolating, especially because it is ultimately your own choice to be here. You learn a lot about yourself and how you handle loneliness, stress, isolation and frustration. If you’re like me, you also learn to talk to yourself a lot more often, usually in Spanish. Out loud. Sometimes in the supermarket.
When you’re about to leave, the push factors get stronger, trying to keep you in a comfort zone, whether its yours or theirs. The present is tangible, and going forward into the unknown feels just a little too risky, a little too abstract to justify at this point. And to those people who are staying, the worst feeling is to be left behind.
Why do you always leave? Why am I not worth staying for? Will you ever settle down?
The tension is elastic, until it peaks the day before your flight. That day, you say goodbye—the worst pull factor of all.
Don’t forget me. Promise you’ll write. Do you have to leave?
If there’s ever a moment to doubt, this is it! Turns out, life right here at homeostatis is pretty grand: people love you, this job isn’t so bad, your favorite coffee house is surely the only place in the world who serves exactly what you like, you have built a nice little life here.
The next morning, the rubberband snaps and the most remarkable push factor occurs at high speed: one uncomfortably cold plane ride, two impossibly heavy checked bags and three terrible airport coffees later, you’ve traveled across time zones, oceans and realities to arrive.
And then it’s a new present, a new challenge, a new life.