Second Guesses 11.17.07

I’ve begun researching my trip, and tonight, with Africa on my mind, I can’t sleep.
I begin to second-guess this whole thing. No money. Foolish. Mostly third-world countries. Dangerous. A long time gone. Homesick. And quite honestly, I’m afraid of leaving my best friends for the loneliness of a silent train ride, leaving my well-heeled route around town for a stroll through a market, clutching my purse, afraid of foregoing my Temperpedic for a waffle-thin, bed mite-infested excuse for a mattress. And then I think, Am I this petty? God I hope not.
But I went to private, all-white schools; at least I’m aware I’m sheltered. But for once, I will be the minority. Feel out of place. Seriously fret about money and how to make it home safely. About how many miles I am away from all I know, am familiar with. Will the Big Bad Wolf of the world get Little Red Riding Hood? I remind myself that I have the same odds of being shot by some rebel tribe in Africa or being held hostage by some Maoist in Nepal as I do of getting in a fatal car crash on the way to school tomorrow. This does not help me sleep, nor does it make me want to go to school tomorrow.
I ask myself why again. Am I trying to prove something to myself—that I don’t need all this material bullshit? That I’m adventurous and purposeful? That I’m larger than the bubble I’ve been floating around it? It scares me more, then, that I am sacrificing a livelihood, a stable financial future, the possible publication of a novel, the relationships I’ve worked so hard to cultivate, for some silly gallivant. But I know it’s more than that. It’s living. And that, I’ve got to do.


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