Me versus My Calendar

I swear, my inspirational calendar is mocking me.

I’m not even sure where it came from—maybe the printer my company uses gave them out. It’s big and glossy so I hung it up in my gray cubicle. All year it has sat up there, giving me smug messages:

Focus: People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.

I know where I’m going and it’s away from here and that’s WHY I can’t focus you stupid flowery calender.

(refreshed) Kalender März 2010 , March 2010
F Off Flower (Creative Commons License photo credit: eagle1effi)

It’s getting harder and harder to be a good employee, when I know I’m leaving in just a couple short months. I spend a lot of time staring at that bastard calendar. A lot of time counting:

…3 hours until I can go home…

…4 days until this weekend…

…5 weeks until I can give notice…

…9 weeks until I’m done here…

I’ve never loved math so much as I do right now. I’m a patient person, generally. I can wait. I can wait a long time. I’ve BEEN waiting a long time for this travel experience to finally start. Besides the odd week here and there I’ve been stationary for two years now. Saving, working, plotting and planning.

Two years is too long.

This incessant restlessness is one of the worst side effects for sufferers of the travel bug. It’s a creeping antsyness that sneaks up your leg when you’re just trying to enjoy your Sunday coffee. It’s an almost irresistible urge to get up. Go. Somewhere. An urge to see new things, navigate new roads, to learn.

You can sometimes put off the urge for a little while. Distract your restless mind with a bar full of friends, or an afternoon at a museum. But for the real travelholic there is no replacement, and there’s only one way to soothe the restless cravings within. And that is to go.

So I try to fill my life here with distractions and things that I love. With friends and family. I am trying to enjoy the fleeting summer I have here (maybe my last summer in DC). Most of the time I can do this. But every so often, more often than I’d like really, the restlessness creeps back in and the counting game starts all over.

Sorry, DC

I also have a countdown clock on my laptop. It’s been counting down since sometime last year. I remember when it was in the 200s, and as I write this now it’s telling me I have 78 days until I fly to Japan. Whenever the strain of waiting seems unbearable I check my little countdown clock and it does make me feel a bit better.

Sometimes I worry about this recurrent desperation. Will it ever go away? Will I ever be able to just stand still and be content? To appreciate what I have and not yearn for new mountains to tackle? Maybe. Maybe if I were happier with where I’m currently sitting I wouldn’t be in such a rush to get going. But I feel like a snail that’s too big for it’s shell. So I’m anxiously hopping from one foot to another, waiting, trying to wait, for my life to get a move on.

I’m waiting for the day that I don’t have to wait anymore. I really hate wishing my life away, whether I’m wishing myself into next week or next year. I don’t want to always be the person waiting for something big to come, or for my life to begin.

I’m waiting for the day when I can stop waiting and start living.

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47 thoughts on “Me versus My Calendar”

  1. “I know where I’m going and it’s away from here and that’s WHY I can’t focus you stupid flowery calender.”

    I just laughed so much I had tears in my eyes and drool on my pillow! (ooops!) I realise this comment is over 6 months out from your post but I had to say it anyway. Thanks for the pick-me-up! You hit the nail on the head for me. Hope your trip was/is awesome!

  2. I so understand your pain! I am trying to write up my PhD thesis and all I want to do is get up and leave and travel for a year until I feel better again. Why do we get this sort of desperation? It really is desperation… like the frantic, can’t sit still kind. I don’t understand how most people don’t feel like this and I know they can’t understand that I do.

    It’s so exciting that you’re leaving so soon. I think you should shred the perky, motivational calender. It doesn’t seem to be helping :).

  3. I know how counting down time feels. but since I got back to Australia its hard to adjust and ive been back for 2 months searching for work now. I lived overseas by myself for the first time for 5 months in a country on the equator (I’m 21). I dont have another trip planned and its quite sad as Im such a different person overseas. Im a lot more fun and when i think of ideas i act on them. talking to the pretty girl. washing those clothes (hehe), smoking that cigarette and drinking that delicious beer. Im such a bore and a downer back home, maybe because Im living back at home but all this waiting for a job and then waiting till i can take leave for a trip is so frustrating…I hate waiting so much but thats all i do when im back home! you will love the culture shock that japan and most of asia brings!

    1. Coming back home after a trip can be so very hard. I’m pretty much immediatly counting down to the next one! Thanks for the well wishes.

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