I’m in Alaska, but I didn’t move to Alaska.
The decision was made over a week ago. An exact week before my contracted move in date. Not so much a decision, but a realization: I can’t move to Alaska, not now.
I kind of hinted at the issues in my earlier post, when I wrote that oh so awesome tangent about how in one day I’d decided I wasn’t moving to Alaska only to conclude I was moving to Alaska because fuck hesitations and fuck sane choices and blah blah blah and cheers to another maybe move! I wrote that and proceeded to feel sick about the decision, flip flopped and flopped and flipped, drove my family crazy, didn’t sleep, etc etc etc.
For the sake of simplicity:
I didn’t move to Alaska because my health isn’t what it should be. I didn’t move because the risk of my not making it through the semester was too high. I didn’t move because it wouldn’t have been fair to my professors or students or colleagues or the program as a whole. I didn’t move because every time I told myself I was going to go—that I WOULD move no matter what—I hurt, hurt so much. I don’t want to move and start grad school now, because I’m don’t feel like me and I know I need to pause and take care of myself before this next big thing.
Also! I must break my the habit of rhyming.
So I said goodbye to the idea of Alaska. Sent the email and called it The End, because I thought that by saying no to now, I was saying no to forever. But then my program emailed back and asked if I wanted start this January or next year instead and I said yes.
And that was that.
BUT, for some IDIOTIC reason, I still boarded my plane to Fairbanks, because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t accept the fact that I wasn’t going to be in Alaska THIS WEEK after all of those months of imagining myself in Alaska THIS WEEK and I needed to come here. I simply needed to be here. Well, there, Fairbanks.
Because though I’m still in Alaska, I’m now on a train, not in Fairbanks, already eight hours out from Fairbanks. Exhausted and aching and confused and idiotically missing the place I should be claiming as home but I won’t be for at least four months, maybe twelve, and I’m overwhelmed by the land and the green and that lake I idiotically assumed was unnamed and the people who were everything good and offered some of the most greatest hugs and even the mosquitoes that managed to bite through four layers of clothing.
So now I’m on this train, rolling south to Anchorage where I’ll be until Tuesday morning. And Tuesday morning I fly back to California, because I didn’t move to Alaska. I couldn’t move to Alaska, not now, now last Wednesday. In California I’ll try to make myself better, healthy, and I’ll see my doctors and I’ll hopefully take advantage of the unexpected time and writewritewrite (or revise my past rewrite) and be present and trust this feeling that I did the right thing. Deferred. Deferring.
I think the hardest part was letting go of my ego. The Big Fucking Deal of Moving to ALASKA. That was weird. That was hard. To accept that the scarier thing wasn’t relocating to somewhere so severe, but staying still. Since I turned sixteen, moving, going, leaving has been the answer. Right now, the answer is going back to bed.
So for at least a few months, I’m going to try to stay still. Because staying still is horrifying and because I think this fear is a pretty good indication that staying still is especially necessary at this time.
In Fairbanks, I was happy and I was tired and I promised I’d try not to die so I’m going to try not to die before I attempt my journey back. And that should be easy, as I like to think I’ll journey back sooner than soon, however you want to define soon.
So I didn’t move to Alaska. Not yet. But I’m here, Alaska-here, for a minute, so at least there’s that.