An Experimental Life

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The joy of crossing things off lists

I am in a much better mood this afternoon than on Sunday night. I don't know what came over me as I was writing that long post the other day, but I went to bed feeling down and not very positive about a few things. There were a number of factors, probably: general time of the month moodiness; not enough sleep the night before; being a bit overwhelmed by how much stuff I have to do before I go overseas (and wishing I'd done a lot of it ages ago). Plus, I watched the final of West Wing that morning, taped on Saturday night. Guaranteed to make me sad that one of the best shows ever (yes, ever) has come to an end. It's quite possibly a bit tragic that I get upset when a favourite show ends, but West Wing offered something far more than most crap on television these days - this was a show that was always engaging, never treated its viewers as though they had the mental capacity of a cardboard box, and was constantly challenging from an intellectual, ethical and emotional point of view. Watching West Wing is like reading a great, soul-enriching novel that you don't want to end. It's that good.

Anyway, overall I am in a much better frame of mind today. Going for a walk with Lisa first thing helped. Having a public holiday helps. Having crossed 4 things off my Ɯberlist in the last week has helped! The list itself is updated below, but to summarise, the new things were: going to the optometrist (#17), booking my flights to Perth in July for NYCA (#31), having friends round for fondue on Saturday night (#66), and finally learning all 9 New Vogue dances at Star!(#10). I had been hanging out for the last week in April because Barclay Blues was the only one I hadn't done at all. The dances go on a 9 week rotation, so it's hard to remember all of them between classes, and most of them I'm not at the point where I can do them well enough to dance them in the social. But a goal is a goal, and I love that feeling of accomplishment when I can cross something off a list.

Also, my Letter of Introduction for the Canadian Working Holiday Program came through the other day, which means my US non-immigrant visa can start being processed. Apparently they need to see my Canadian WHP too, as well as evidence of funds. I thought the WHP would take a few more weeks so I was getting frustrated at how long it would be before I could book flights, but I will now do that as soon as the US consulate sends back my passport and I know everything's fine. I also need to apply to work in Ireland which takes up to 6 weeks, but until I have my passport I can't make any headway on that. Why, oh why, was I not doing this 6 months ago?

I think that with all the places I'm going to (US, Canada, UK, Ireland and half of Europe) I need to organise myself a big folder with info for each place and lists of things I need to do before I go, otherwise I'm just going to forget things. In Spain I'd like to take part in Vaughan Town, which is an English-language immersion program for Spanish speakers and they call for English-speaking volunteers to come and spend a week there talking with the other participants (a lot). They don't have dates up for 2008 yet but I should probably contact them anyway. It sounds like so much fun. In Canada, I need to contact some people I'm hoping to catch up with - same for San Francisco, Houston, Germany and the UK. Then there's organising travel insurance and Eurail passes, and a few nights accommodation in major cities before I get there. And buying anything I'm going to need while I'm away... Planning a trip this huge is like a full-time job!

But I'm so excited to be going. I've been talking about doing this for years, and it's finally happening. The reality of being away for so long probably hasn't hit me yet, but I'll just have to cope with that when the time comes to leave. I'm quite sure I will spend the 20 hour flight across the Pacific going "OH MY GOD! What the hell am I doing??" But then I will land in San Francisco and all will be fine. How can it not be? It's San Francisco!

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