The most frequent question I got in the weeks prior to leaving for Korea was, “Are you nervous?”
To be honest, no, I haven’t been nervous since I made the decision to go months earlier. I know in my gut that it was the right decision for me, both personally and professionally, and it’s exciting to see an opportunity I’ve been pursuing for so long fall into place so naturally! I think the hardest part about answering that consistent question was resisting the thought, “Should I be nervous?”
People say “curiosity killed the cat,” but I think overthinking and anxiety were more likely causes.
There was a second after my mom dropped me off at the airport that I teared up and thought to myself, “Oh shit… I should be nervous right now. This is really happening.” That feeling quickly faded, though; I recognized that I had internalized the thoughts of everyone around me that I had been exchanging “see you soon!” hugs with throughout the past few days. My intention of disregarding their worries wasn’t to delegitimize the opinions of people that care about me; I just knew that they weren’t capable of fully understanding the intuitiveness of this decision for me. When you have a strong intuition to take a step in life, don’t let the toxicity of fear blur your thoughts and inhibit you from doing something that’s right.
So I stumbled into the airport with my trolley of belongings that somehow turned from two suitcases to four the morning I left, and I waited for an Air Canada representative to open the kiosk for the day and check my bags. Four o’clock in the morning rolled around, and as soon as this guy turned on his kiosk light, I waddled up and blurted out that I was moving to South Korea indefinitely, saying this mostly because I was embarrassed by having so much stuff. I’ve traveled in groups before and have seen people bring multiple large suitcases, and more, for week-long trips, which just isn’t necessary. I felt the need to make a point that I wasn’t “basic,” lol.
Either the coffee kicked in a few minutes into his shift, or the representative was moved by my sense of humor at that time of day. He realized that I hadn’t packed very efficiently, and I was about to drop a paycheck on my disorganization; so, he set all of my bags aside and said we were going to consolidate my four suitcases, backpack, camera bag, and various plastic bags of groceries (I get hangry) into three checked bags and a carry-on. He tracked down a suitcase in the airport to donate to me, and voila! Thirty minutes into my trip, I had already experienced the genuine kindness of a stranger and saved $300+. I couldn’t help but feel ecstatic about how this move had already started!
Whatever killed the cat, I don’t care. I’d rather bring my attention to whatever caused the cat to live an exceptional life. There are so many beautiful, little things in the world that can be easily missed due to a lack of focus or attention. So I guess I am nervous, to accurately answer that consistent question; I’m nervous to miss out on any tidbit of beauty this experience has to offer me. There will be so many things, like the generous act of a stranger, to appreciate. Cats might have nine lives, and we might only have one; regardless, every moment matters.