It’s December. I move to Alaska in 22 days. My original flight was January 7, but apparently I can’t let plans remain as they are when it comes to that state, and so some night a few weeks back, around 3 am and on a Skype call I don’t quite remember, I changed my travel plans. Surprised? Antsy doesn’t cut it when it comes to my urgency to get to Alaska, and I think maybe it’s because it’s like I almost lost it back in August, and maybe because I’ve been in Orange County since May and that’s the longest I’ve been here in one go since 2008, and maybe it’s because there are so many New Extreme Things within this single move, and probably because a variety of reasons that I feel no obligation to explain.
On Thanksgiving, my family danced after the prayer. It was for my aunt, her idea, and I made fun of it in the moment and before the moment and after the moment. But the truth is, it suited me well. The dancing. I have a tendency, a compulsion, a something: I often (almost always) laugh during grace. The everyday dinner prayer between my parents. A rare moment when I’m back in a church. The stumbled words of my younger brother at the request of my father. With strangers. With extended family. Alone. All styles. All religions. Doesn’t matter. I will laugh. And laugh some more. This has been a thing for years and years, and it’s not just a prayer thing, but a life thing, once I start I can’t stop–a visceral reaction to quiet moments I can feel. I have to laugh.
It should also be noted that I’m known for random hysterical laughing in class and workshop, during massages, in movie theaters between trailers, at the dinner table, in the car, on the phone, etc etc etc.
So cheesy dancing and clapping and communal embarrassment? It worked for me.
And it’s absurd, this might have been my last Thanksgiving in California for three years. Or maybe not. Maybe only two years. Or maybe I’ll be here next year. Maybe maybe maybe maybe. I need to quit it with the maybes and the planning and the looking back and ahead, but what would I do with all the space if I quit obsessing?
Space. I could use the space. I’m kind of freaking the hell out about everything and more. If I’m not laughing, I’m crying or rolling on the floor or making lists that really won’t make a smack of difference in the end. I’m kind of freaking the hell out, so I’m laughing more every day.
Three weeks from tomorrow, I fly north. Between now and then, I’m going to soak up every spare minute with my family and my pup and the gloriously paid hours at work (almost done with the corporate world!) and not being in school and under deadline and California and its bristled hills, because I have no return flight and no idea when I’ll come home.
My solution to the panic is random bursts of dance and inconsolable laughter.
It’s kind of working so far. Kind of.