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Once again

There isn’t a train I wouldn’t take,
No matter where it’s going.

—Edna St. Vincent Millay, 1921

Anxiety protects you from reality. It keeps you on the edge of a cliff, the force of a million fluttering butterflies preventing your fall. But the feeling of impending catastrophe is unshakeable and eventually the real world—no matter how much you’ve been trying to avoid it—becomes preferable. It guarantees some kind of end.

Next week I have to make a trip that I’ve been dreading for months. An average person with extravagant power will decide my fate within one hour. Much of what I’ve been doing since last year has been leading to this and now I’m overcome with dread. What if it doesn’t happen? What if it does. Am I wasting my time pursuing a life that’s almost impossible? Perhaps it was always a fantasy and not a dream. Fantasies are desirable as long as they seem unattainable.

And my writing. The endless put off. A dream that I’ve treated like a fantasy. In a few weeks, a few months, one more year, tops! So here I go again. If this doesn’t happen, it’s back to writing, or rather, my writing will finally begin. Real writing unlike anything I’ve published, much of which I’ve hidden because it’s so terrible. Even this paragraph fumbles.

Listen. I have spent the last two years traveling. Ten homes in 6 countries. Art, politics, living idols met and shattered before my eyes. Love sought, love had, love lost. Friends who came and went and the one who was never there. Mistakes—I made too many. Some were dangerous, but I survived. I’ve gained more than I’ve lost because experience is priceless.

What does my life look like now, during a brief pause in the embrace of people who love me? Two suitcases can hold all my possessions. Yet I walk like there’s a locked metal chain around my neck that hangs down my spine and stretches for miles behind me. I don’t want to know what it’s attached to, or how long it will be before it stiffens and doesn’t allow me to take another step. That’s because I want to keep stepping towards another trip that’s as likely to take me anywhere as it is nowhere.

How else does one go everywhere?

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