I'm a planner. Always have been. That stems, I think, from the fact that I am also a worrier, and that from childhood I've been plagued by these episodes of spiralling what-ifs wherein I envision every dark and nightmarish scenario that could play out in my life. That's why I maintained full auto coverage on a twelve-year-old car everyone told me was a clunker. It's why I insure every single flight I take. It's why I double-check locks, memorize phone numbers, and make those doctor's visits sooner rather than later. It's why I plan. The planning makes me feel better; it provides contingencies and, what's more, it provides purpose.
But I've also learned, amply, that the plans sometimes have a way of falling off as life paves unexpected paths. Who would have ever thought, for instance, that I'd be in Alaska? Certainly not me.
I spent most of the spring semester laying carefully constructed itineraries for a summer spent living and working in a tropical country many miles from here, only to have my hand forced by flaky landlords and evasive prospective employers. Unwilling to book air passage across an ocean with neither housing nor work lined up, I instead paid for a flight headed the other way.
Home, which I miss so much.
"I'm excited to see you," I told my grandmother by phone.
"You are not," she teased.
I laughed, but was surprised to find my eyes misting with tears. I'd been facing the prospect of not seeing her, not seeing my siblings, not seeing any of my family and friends or the land of my birth, until Christmas. I hadn't realized how much I was yearning for all of it until the moment I gave myself permission to go back.
"I'm so glad the trip fell through," I continued. "I didn't even really want to go. It just felt like the right thing for me professionally."
There may yet be another trip, a briefer one, that will replace my aborted equatorial junket, but I'll let you know about that when and if it happens. It, like its predecessor, is planned in the service of a career transition--that may or may not occur.
I don't know much of what the future holds. But I know that, come May 25, I'm going home. Which is great for me, but will provide the readers of this blog and the followers of my Flickr page with dividends as well, in scenic photography if in nothing else.
After all: Alaska is beautiful, but there's nothing like Virginia in summertime.