Countdown to Borneo: 13 days to take off.
Anxiety Level: Increasing
Organisation Level: Low to Moderate
I keep reminding myself- I’ll only be gone for nine days. In my mind it feels likes some kind of forever, an indistinguishable eternity of change.
Fueled by my children’s obsession with death, perhaps, or maybe the other way around (whichever). The thought of dying in a horrible plane crash or ingesting some variety of flesh eating parasite exists in my mind as though it’s already happened. There’s a nagging, uncomfortable anxiety at the edges of my consciousness.
I really don’t want to die. That’s a thought is both unfamiliar and comforting. I find the universe’s inherent sense of irony alarming in it’s extremes- it would fit, horribly, if I were to find some kind of happy, begin to feel ‘normal’ again, only to cease existing altogether at the crux of it.
I put that thought out of my mind, away in a compartment marked ‘Impending Doom’. There’s not much else to do with it.
I’ve never been away from my children for such an extended period of time before, and I will miss them.
I’m existing in a heady mix of terror and excitement I’ve never felt before. It’s as though every time I inhale I’m reminded of how very scary this is (this is my first time overseas, I’m effectively going all by myself, I am far too f*cking old to be doing this for the first time…). But for every inhale, there is an exhale. And every exhale is a fizzing excitement akin to rapture (I am doing this, I am going overseas. I am terrified and I’m doing it anyway).
My bigger-picture consciousness runs on the same undulating, up and down waves. I bounce from maniacal organisation- packing, sorting, photocopying, planning; to lazy apathy- smoking cigarettes, drinking copious cans of V, randomly surfing longform reads on the web. I’m thinking it’s a kind of self-regulation; my mind effectively shutting down the Big Preparing To Go Overseas process at regular intervals. Lest it overwhelm me and I begin to feel as though I’m drowning in it completely.
Deep breaths. Just seven days to go.
Sometimes weird stuff just happens.
It wasn’t until the end of the climb that we really got chatting to our instructor, Nicole. As it turns out, Nicole’s dad runs a tour company in Borneo. Working with orangutans.
Nicole’s dad is Garry, the owner and organiser of Orangutan Odysseys, the company that’s taking me to Borneo.
I like to think these things happen for a reason. I’m not sure what that reason is, as yet. But what are the chances, of a coincidence like that?