I finally got my Visa! It's all official--stuck in my passport and everything. My first thought after the initial feeling of immense relief as I attempted to read it was, kind of a lot of work for a little sticker, half of which I can't even read (yet!)? Ah, well, I'm very relieved to have it.
As I gazed at my visa, it really hit me; I'm leaving...SOON! I have one more week here in Texas before I leave for three weeks of visiting people I love in Michigan and Chicago, then I'm off to Akron, Pennsylvania for orientation.
When I tell people that I am going to Viet Nam, I usually get one of two responses:
1) "Oh, that's great! That will be such an amazing experience...I'm a bit jealous." etc.
2) "Viet Nam? Why would you want to go there?" accompanied by a shiver and look of mingled surprise and horror.
Today, however, I got a different question from the man who helped me at the post office. He asked, "Are you or your husband in the service, then?" For those of you who know me well, this question is funny for two reasons.
The other day, my supervisor at the library asked me how I wasn't more nervous about the prospect of Viet Nam. Then he answered his own question, "Well, I can tell you're just not the worrying type."
The funny thing is that that's really not true at all. I'm the queen of worrying. I worry that I will never get a job, that I will lose touch with all my friends, that I'll never get married, that I will get married, that I am out of shape, that I won't be able to walk in 20 years. After I order the chocolate peanut butter ice cream, I worry that I will wish I had gotten the raspberry sorbet. You name it, I've worried about it.
But somehow, I'm just not that worried about Viet Nam. I have had my moments of anxiety, for sure. I am quite nervous about learning the language. I'm afraid that everything I have bought in preparation will be wrong. I'm afraid all my friends will move on without me. But my general feeling about the trip is mounting excitement.
The other day I began to worry, wondering whether I should be more worried about my trip. I wondered if I have skated over the imminent hardships--loneliness, heat and dripping humidity, new job, strange food, unfamiliar everything--and have lulled myself into a false sense of security. I came to the conclusion, however, that I really don't need to find more things to worry about. I think there is a reason that I am not overly apprehensive about my upcoming adventure, that reason being that this is what I am supposed to do. Maybe not forever, but for now. I am sure that there will be times when it will be difficult. I will be lonely, confused, and overwhelmed.
However, regardless of all that, I think that my sense of peace about this venture comes from the fact that I am convinced, as was Julian of Norwich, that, All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.