Saturday, 24 December 2011

Reasoning with Anxiety

Tomorrow I leave for the other side of the planet, where nearly all of the paternal side of my family resides. Hong Kong was my childhood home; although I would not like to live there full-time, I miss it and think of it often.

I should be excited about going back for a visit; I always have a great time. Yet it's 3 a.m. and I'm awake, stimulated by a dull buzz of generalized anxiety. I have nothing to be anxious about; my dog has a great time at my friends' house, I have several neighbours and friends taking care of the house, I don't have any issues with flying (I get motion sick, but I don't really worry about in-flight incidents or anything like that). 

I'm always like this before a trip, even though I know there's no reason to be spazzy about it. I've been trying to reason with myself all evening: "Lily, you have nothing to worry about; in reality all you really need to get on that plane and get out of here is your passport." Although I know this to be true, I'm still mildly uneasy.

Then I moved on to attempts to rationalize in a way that blames the situation, and the broader socio-political-cultural contexts of my life. This is mostly about the impact of colonialism and the splitting up of families. Again, true, but not effective in resolving my current state.

It's like what Bilbo said in LOTR: "I know I don't look it, but I'm beginning to feel it in my heart. I feel... thin. Sort of stretched, like... butter scraped over too much bread." When more than one place feels like home, every time you leave one location for another you leave a piece of yourself behind, and after 25 years of this, I think it's really starting to wear on me. The excitement of seeing family far away is always tempered by the knowledge that in a few weeks we'll be saying goodbye again. 

I don't really know where I'm going with this... other than that I really wish we had Star Trek style transporter technology. Perhaps I should go back to school and become a physicist. 

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