I started up on anti-biotics the other day and realised that my final dose will be on Thursday evening just as I’m checking into Logan Airport. Talk about tangibility.
I was getting my typhoid shot on that same day and the nurse asked me where I was going. When I told her, “Jordan,” and explained what I was going to be doing there, she called me brave. (If you’re laughing at that concept, that’s fine because I was too.) I don’t feel brave at all. I’m going to Jordan because I want to get better at Arabic, and what better way to do that than to go to the source. I’m going to Jordan because I want international work/internship experience. But that’s not to say I’m not absolutely tweaking out at the prospect of having to communicate entirely in Shaami for 4 months. There is a very huge part of me that genuinely doesn’t want to go. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t looking up Turkish Airlines’ refund policy the other night. Nothing in that screams bravery to me.
People say being brave is being afraid–but doing it anyway. Of course I’m going to do it anyway. I can’t not go: I would be letting down far too many people, myself included. But I don’t think that’s being brave I think that’s being obligated.
I’m excited, I promise. I’ve been very cool, calm, and collected up until this point and now everything is just happening and I can’t rationalise as quickly as I can feel so that’s where we’re at.
Logistic updates: I still haven’t packed or figured out how to get from the airport to the apartment or even looked up the USD/JOD exchange rate. I’m doing great, y’all.
I’m going to Jordan in 10 days. This is still such a wild concept. It’s something I’ve been thinking about and planning on and off since last June. Even as I sit here with my plane ticket in my hand, my Jordanian cellphone number memorised, and an equal mix of nervousness and excitement: it still doesn’t feel real.
Everything has essentially fallen into place. All that is left to do is pack. But I still feel so distanced from it all that I can’t bring myself to. Maybe it’s the lack of ultimate panic: I’ve never been the type to pack for anything longer than 24 hours out. In 9.5 days from now expect another post that will most likely be titled, “WHY DIDN’T I START PACKING EARLIER?” or “WILL I EVER LEARN?”
Overall, I’ve realised that I don’t like not knowing what to expect. The ability to be able to carefully prepare every single event and interaction has proven helpful to me for the past 21 years so this upcoming experience will take a lot of letting go and allowing whatever may happen to happen. Just like Charlotte mentioned, there are a lot of things about the next few months that I have no idea about. I’m a wealth of Jordanian/Amman-related trivia that probably won’t help me while I’m in-country but might prove useful if I ever happen to be on an episode of Jeopardy on juuuust the right night.
I’ve pestered everyone I know who has ever been to Jordan or spent a considerable amount of time in the Middle East and I always received the same warnings of “relax, you’ll be fine” and “my experience may not line up with yours.” Which I know to be true but have yet to internalise it. Relaxing is just the first step out my comfort zone that I’m going to have to take and definitely not my last.