It’s 2AM on June 1. And I just finished packing.
I don’t really consider myself to be an anxious traveler. I actually LOVE flying on planes, exploring airports, and the general bustle of activity. That’s the fun part. Instead, all my anxiety/nerves/fears/etc. are crammed into the week before I travel. On this particular instance, they were all crammed into TONIGHT. I actually took photos of my suitcase and travel kits - they look nice and organized, but the extreme tightness (yes, the clothing is rolled instead of folded) and hyper-organization point to a level of anxiety I haven’t yet experienced.
You see, anxiety isn’t really something I let myself express in my household. I’m the oldest of three siblings, and the only one to attend college. Anxiety is kind of a big thing for us. My siblings and I are hyper-aware and sensitive (them much more so than me), and while that hyper-sensitivity is great for studying, analysis, and broadening our minds, it never leaves us. It is our blessing as well as our burden. Naturally, as the eldest child, I want to make things easier for my siblings, helping to guide and assist them. Unfortunately, that often means putting my anxieties aside in the hopes that others might mirror my behavior, or (more likely) to calm others’ anxieties.
And where does that leave me? How do I deal with my own anxieties? Well, I avoid things. Procrastination replaces productivity, and when things absolutely have to get done, they happen in a manic burst of frenzied activity (hence, packing being completed at 2AM on the day I depart). It’s not a habit I’m proud of, but now that I’ve taken the time to reflect on myself, it’s something that I need to notice and change.
I’m hopeful that Rwanda can become a place for that change to occur.
I'm also sleepy and not sure why I'm still up. Here’s to 2 lovely hours of sleep.
I am traveling to Rwanda with the intent of a sponge - I want to absorb as many unique experiences as I possibly can, and bring them back to share with my culture. I am a multifaceted artist, and Rwanda is a treasure trove of valuable experiences to draw inspiration from. As a visual artist, I look forward to seeing unique handmade art, and letting it inspire an artistic vision. As a musician, I look forward to hearing vastly different than what I’m used to, and letting that inspire music from my soul. And as a teacher, I’m looking to see teaching methods different than what I have known. I want to bring these gifts back and share them with my culture.