I just received an email about a spiritual conference near San Francisco that months ago I promised to attend. I wanted to be one of the presenters for the conference but they already had a full slate, so I contented myself with agreeing to attend for nearly-free and volunteering to help out. There are a number of networking opportunities there, and I am a firm believer that nothing is ever wasted (even though I am a champion self-time-waster).
Then it hit me.
To get there, I will have to leave Canada. Cross the border. Enter the real world.
I’ve been using this feeling of semi-unreality as a way to remain safe. It’s like living behind glass. A world-within-a-world. Time here stands still, while outside it [presumably] continues. I like it here despite how disorienting it was when I got here. It’s so much a different world. Everything that connected me to my old world is gone, sold, given away, or in the few remaining boxes that traveled 4000 miles with me and got immediately stashed in a closet when I got here, still packed. In the place of all those things and all the memories along with them that connect me to the life I used to live and to the people who lived it with me are new things. New clothes. New hair. A new look. A new focus. A new rhythm. New energy, new routines, new people. It truly is a different world. Nothing is the same, except for me. And even I have changed, now a reflection of the newness I stepped into here across the border and all that came before to get me here.
I’m a little afraid to leave. I have found things here to hold onto. Crossing the border means crossing back into that old world. The feeling of surreality I have been living, one lengthy vacation from reality, will be shattered.
There’s no answer to this, beyond breathing. Continuing to breathe when you are immersed in slight panic is about all you can ever do.