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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Visa response and flying time

My 6 month visa to India came through! Yes yes yes… My passport arrived in the mail on Sunday, signed, sealed and delivered, with my visa attached… There’s no turning back now…

The relief I felt when I saw my ‘ticket to freedom’ was unreal. Once I’d taken a moment by myself to open up the envelope and see if it was actually approved, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I ran into the office, on overdrive. All the teachers were just sitting around, waiting for class to start. Suddenly I started jumping around like a mad woman, holding my passport and shouting that I’ll soon be out of here and that I’m on my way…!!! Oops… it probably wasn’t the thing I should’ve done in that moment, but I just had to let my excitement out… The response I got… hummm… there were a few colleagues who were happy for me and then a few who cursed the fact that I was leaving. The rain COULD’VE started to fall on my parade, but I refused to let it. It was my moment and nobody’s cursing was going to steal it! So I childishly cursed them back, and said that nobody was going to bring me down. I wasn't going to hide my happiness for the fact that I’m leaving…

At the moment, I’ve still got to teach until Sunday. 5 days left. I’m not too sure when exactly I’ll leave Jinzhou, either the 29th or the 30th. Counting down the days may seem as though I’m wishing my time here away. But I realized I’m not wishing it away, I’m just seeing how long I’ve still got left to tie up loose ends. I actually wouldn’t want it to be happening right now. Because I’m not ready! Haha… However, when Monday comes, I know I’ll be ready and then it’ll be time. For now, I know exactly what I still need to do, who I need to meet up with and what other small details I have to sort out – such a transferring funds, getting train and bus connections, packing things up, passing things on and sending things home. And this week of teaching, I have to approach with the mindset of: my job is already done, the pressure is off and there’s nothing more or less I can do now… Except enjoy my classes with the kids and perhaps be obliged to explain my unexpected leave to the parents. This is the most important thing at work, this week.

It’s strange, but the closer the move comes, the calmer I’m feeling. To others around me, this has proven to be something they can’t comprehend. “Niamh, EVERYTHING in your life is about to change… your home, your contacts, your job, your environment, your diet, your finances… EVERYTHING is going to change so quickly! How can you be so calm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????? When will you have time to process, when you’re moving and being distracted by the chaos in the world…”
These aren’t questions I’ve asked myself, but they’ve come from people around me… And my answer is simple: This is something I’ve done before, and I feel so strongly that it’s the right thing, so there’s no need to be nervous or stressed. It’s going to work. I NEED to change EVERYTHING, so the places I go to and the people I meet are in accordance with the visions my mind has been holding onto for months. It’s so simple.

In regards to ‘processing the process of change’, this is something I do as I literally travel. I consciously make the actual journey into a longer one by choosing flight connections that are drawn-out or train journeys that last for days… I don’t care if I’ve to wait for 12 hours at the airport… or sleep 2 nights on the train. It always gives me the chance to find a place and write about where I’ve just come from and where I’m heading. It means I’m totally experiencing the journey. And I actually love the waiting. Some of best moments of writing have been done in between flights, or on planes. On stop-overs, time flies. After one flight has physically landed and before the next one takes-off, time is nowhere, time zones are irrelevant and I loose myself so happily. When making a ‘drastic’ change, I make each journey into a memorable one, because of the writing I do, whilst being in transition. And that’s the ‘processing of the process of change’. It’s releasing the experiences, step by step and so, when the time comes to step-off the plane and into the new part of the world that will be my place for as long as it feels comfortable… then I’m totally recharged, fresh and ready for the experience.

This actually makes me feel totally fine to know that I’ll have 12 hours in Shanghai airport next Thursday, and 40 hours on a train, once I land in Mumbai next Friday morning while making my way down south to Kerala. Happy days await 

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