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Saturday, February 25, 2012

And All the (Wo)men Shall Be Sailors Until They Are Freed

I am terrified of rollercoasters. It's a dreadful feeling, being strapped into those seats, locked in with your legs or your arms dangling, watching as you climb up up up the tracks, listening to every slow, mechanical step of the climb and knowing that as soon as it slows to a stop at the very top, the descent begins and you will have no control over it. I usually cannot remember what the giant drop of the roller coaster feels like, i can never remember if it feels good, or horrible, I only remember screaming and laughing at the same time. I remember in middle school, standing in line for the Medusa at Six Flags theme park, my head going crazy and my stomach a box full of rabid butterflies. I remember knowing that backing out was simple and not simple, because I had to know what it was like to ride this thing through--had to. I mean, by stepping out of the line, I could easily cure myself, feel like a normal human being once again, as opposed to a bag of untameable electricity, about to explode into a million lost molecules. But I didn't step out of the line.

Rarely have I felt this feeling outside of theme parks. This strange, potent mix of terror and excitement that can only come from the absolute unknown. I felt it today. Days ago, saying goodbye to my parents, I didn't feel it. Even landing in Santiago, it hadn't come. Not until I was on the bus from Olmué and I looked out the window to see a sign reading "Viña del Mar" did I feel it. That terrible feeling of "Why am I doing this?!" mashed violently to it's own answer, "Because I must."
I can't explain it to you. I can't explain why the idea of living with a new family for 4 months makes me terrified me in this way, when backpacking alone with no sense of direction in Europe gave me no such waver.
I can't tell you, but I feel like the next four months will be an opportunity to figure that out.

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