Thus begins the countdown to the beginning of the end. Everyone I see has been asking me the same questions: "When do you leave?" and "How do you feel?"
I leave on Thursday, take Amtrak down to LA (yes, it's long, 28 hours of long), and leave LAX on Sunday for a non-stop (that's right, no stops whatsoever. at. all.) flight to TLV (Tel Aviv-Yafo). The TLV airport is not actually in Tel Aviv, as LAX is in LA and PDX is in Portland. The airport is actually called Ben-Gurion International and is named after Israel's greatest pioneer and first prime minister. It is just outside of Tel Aviv, on the main highway from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. But, who cares? I'm just splitting hairs, nitpicking, insisting that everything be perfect, or at the least accurate. I'm such a stickler. The thing is, Israel is so small (think New Jersey or smaller - about a one hour drive from West to East) that 'just outside of Tel-Aviv' is not Tel-Aviv at all, and moving a green line one mile to the East is the difference between fomenting hatred and violence, and families and children living in the midst of violence and hatred.
The answer to the second question is more complicated, so I will give a shorter answer. I feel great. I feel happy, sad, bold, scared, ballsy, terrified, shaking in my booties, excited, nervous-excited, anxious-excited. I imagine myself standing on the edge of an enormous precipice (sp?), about to leap off and soar into the unknown. I feel as though I am leaning over the edge, trying with all my might to see what's going to happen, to get some glimpse of the future. It is both sunny and bright, and covered with a think pea-soup-like fog at the same time.
Furthermore, I am on a schedule. I am ready to jump. I am in the crouching position, muscles tensed, my mind focused on one thing - taking the leap. BUT I CAN'T, because my ticket says Thursday, 5:10pm. Frustration!!!! Will it never end??!!
And I know that I will look back on this time and miss my parents and my friends and (gasp!) Eugene and the pets and my family. I already do.
But I am ready. It is time. I am ready to follow my dreams.
By the way, this is the one I am going to miss the most:
This is Gracie, my cute, little, adorable 1 yr old cousin. She is the only person (don't tell her) for whom, if she asked me to stay, I would. This photo was taken at her birthday party last weekend.