Ready? Set? No.

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Elizabeth Holleigh Christie        So I was thinking last night… You know how thoughts in your head are just kind of static? Flashes of ideas— ever so often a word or two, but mostly they’re just a voiceless shifting mess in your brain. Until, of course,  a spark hits it. It finds all its parts and translates itself into real words— a sentence. Something you can say and then… it’s real. In an instant. Just like that. It was nothing and then, materialized into something meaningful.

Right now, that’s how this experience feels. It feels like I’m just a piece of the voiceless mess, frantically trying to link things together. But I know, once my plane lands in Berlin, that’ll be the spark. Everything will fall into place, for the inspiring better or the comedic worse.
I’m hopeful. Of course I am. But I’m also prepared for the worst. “The worst” is my specialty. In fact, I’m pretty sure “Murphy’s Law” is etched in my family’s crest. Even still, I hold on to idealistic daydreams of what it will be like.

        But you know how I mention it not exactly being not real yet? That really throws a wrench in my ability to agonize over it, day and night. No, instead I tend to agonize over what I’m leaving behind. My family, my job, and most importantly, my dogs. They’re all pretty much the same thing. My family (my mom and two older sisters) and I run a pet care service. We walk dogs and take them to the park. We post pictures to Instagram and send silly “pup-dates” to their owners. I see those happy tails every day. I desperately try to make my sisters laugh every day.  That’s my life. The chaos of it all doesn’t change much, but I worry about missing a moment of it. I love my job. I smile and laugh every day because of it. I wonder if not having a golden retriever climb on top of me every day will affect my overall mood. I wonder if I’ll be noticeably more solemn without a lab pulling my arm out of its socket on the way to the park. It’s silly, I know. But thinking about things to come, I guess that might be the hardest. But now that I’m sitting here thinking about what could happen while I’m there, I’m finding it easier to fixate on unhappy possibilities. So, in the spirit of “What could go wrong?” I made a list. 

My list of concerns is as follows:  

  • Prez the Boston Terrier and Charlie Rooz the German Shepard not getting enough hugs.
  • Not knowing enough German and the local residents yelling at me.
  • The food being terrible
  • Blanking on what German I do know, and flunking the placement exam causing me to retake a course I’ve already taken and the entire endeavor being for naught.

  • Not being able to keep up.

  • Not having packed the right shoes.

  • Losing socks and having to wear mismatched pairs.

  • The weather being bad.

  • Longing for S’mores, but not being able to obtain or consume S’mores.

  • My classmates thinking I’m an idiot.

  • Getting lost and ending up in The Czech Republic.

  • Trying to get to to The Czech Republic and end up in Poland.

  • Finding Nemo 2 coming out and not being able to avoid spoilers before I can go home and see it in English.
  • Crying myself to sleep and my roommates hearing me…. or joining in.
  • My suite mates knowing less German than I do and no English, so we spend our days communicating through awkward and elaborate charades.

 

  • My adapter plug not working for my hair drier, resulting 4 weeks of uncontrollable medusa frizz.

Maybe I’m worrying for nothing. But at this point, simply seeing the words “placement test” make my stomach knot. I know I’m gonna get that test and forget every conjugation I’ve ever learned. I might just go into a panic-induced trance and do the whole thing in Old English. Who knows.

I have a whole week left to stress out about convoluted circumstances. But here, in the U.S., it’s a holiday weekend, which means dogs, dogs, and more dogs! Maybe even hotdogs!  I’ve still got a lot to keep my brain from spinning too fast around the possibilities. The spark isn’t here yet. But I spend more and more time with each passing night, lying in my bed, marinading in uncertainty… What? I’m sorry. That was weird way to say that. Uh…. I still have time to deliberate over the forthcoming unknown…. Ugh. That wasn’t much better. Okay. Well, then without a proper ending. I’m gonna call this one quits. The next post will have lots of pictures and… I don’t know, probably some funny stories. Stay tuned! I’ll catch you on the other side of the Atlantic!

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