Pre-Departure Traffic


I’ve waited for so long to receive this little sticker in my passport, and now that I have it am I ready?

I’m currently sitting at my dining room table in my humble abode in California. Next to me sits my passport with a freshly stuck visa for South Africa. The feelings are mixed, but I’m more than ready to jump on the plane for a 20+ hour flight to my new home.

There are a series of moments that build up to the moment where you really leave. There is the acceptance into the program or new job, there is the paperwork where you have to write your name and birth date several times more than you ever thought possible, the physical and immunizations, the small talk and goodbyes with the community around you, and then the waiting.

This change of pace is like being stuck in traffic and then everyone suddenly wakes up and you accelerate up to speed. Everything feels great, and then you realize you’re probably going to arrive before you thought. This moment, where the traffic is slowly breaking up and I’m having to accelerate forward before I thought I was going to is a wonderful but frightening thing.

As a post grad, it’s a dream come true to have a job or an opportunity straight out of the gate. You’re ready, anxious, idealistic, and not defeated. But having to wait an entire three month period in traffic I had become comfortable in the stillness. Is it a coincidence that my computer broke and I just got it back a day ago, and my visa arrived in the mail today? Is it fate that I would have to wait this long to leave, or is it all a part of a divine traffic plan where I can’t see the accidents I avoided by waiting in the gridlock?

Author: allihoff

An asthmatic ginger searching for justice & peace in the redwood trees with coffee in one hand, a pen in the other, and Switchfoot playing in the background.