I always feel worst when I'm on the brink of doing something wonderful. Anticipation, nerves, fear - they all turn up like unwanted strays, scratching at the door for scraps. You open up and let one in, just for a moment, and suddenly your house is full of wild cats, yowling and making noise at all hours when you just want a bit of piece and quiet. The house being me in this case.
In round about 36 hours, I will be on a plane to South Korea. I have no idea what we're going to do in South Korea, except that we are staying in a hostel in Gangnam purely for the "Gangnam Style" jokes, two years too late to be funny (and also because it looks lovely). We are going to the De-Militarised Zone, because it looks interesting, and hopefully going to see some temples - but really, we have no idea what's going on.
That's what I'm looking forward to. The endless, non-linear nature of exploring. It's a real-life sandbox game, with all the exhilaration of having no rules to follow. At the same time, it's downright terrifying. We have no set itineraries or things to do.
My only rule is "come back with stories".
It was what my friend wrote to me. He sent me a card, bless him: he posted it to me at home, and informed me that I had to come back with stories to tell him. He said the best words came from the heart, and that was what he wanted to tell me. Funny, how people always compare our relationship to something romantic. We have a deep platonic friendship with lots of cuddling, and somehow people always assume we must be dating. Only our minds are dating.
So, I have 36 hours to my flight. I haven't packed, and right now I feel like any attempts to be witty and gracious and charming to the people I meet in hostels will inevitably end with me being laughed at. I can't wait for the new people, the new friends, the new ways to waste my nights under foreign skies, but I'm so so scared I'm going to balls it up.
What if it's not worth it?
What if I don't get any new stories?
Deep breaths, I tell myself. Breathe this world deep. Everything will be fine. The panic will pass, and soon you will be flying.
After all, you have too much to do to be worried.