So, today I phoned and booked my place on the China Internship for August 2010 . . . I've done it, I've taken that first step. How do I feel - sick mostly!! And excited, and scared and thrilled and curious and nervous and . . . well at least 50 other emotions at the same time. But the underlying feeling is - that I've made exactly the right decision for me.
Its been a long time coming. See, it started in 1988, when my mum died aged 39 - at the time I knew she was young but I didn't realise just how young, not until I turned 39 in 2006. Then, as luck would have it that year I had a cancer scare myself - same type of cancer that took her from us. And I realised just how young 39 really is. Which then led to me asking all those questions about the meaning of life, why am I here, what's it all about? Thankfully, my scare turned out not to be cancer but it shook me to my core and I decided that just existing, doing the 9-5, taking one european holiday a year, having the nice house, car etc wasn't enough - this life is for living and I want to get out there and live it.
So in the last 3 years I've been working on completely changing my life - yeah, some may call it a mid-life crisis, that's their perogative. But I feel more free and content than I have done at any time in my life - heck, I can even look in the mirror and actually like the person who looks back at me now! And one of my biggest drivers whilst I've been turning my life upside down is the urge to travel. But its not something that I've done on my own and I've never been to anywhere other than westernised countries. I'll admit it . . . fear has been one of my biggest barriers to getting out there and experiencing different cultures, seeing incredible sights, meeting fascinating people and all the wonderful (and not so wonderful) stuff you get from packing a rucksack and heading out into the great unknown.
This internship gives me the support and security that I need to take that first step. Its still a little scary, and I know that I'll have some wobbles as I prepare to depart the UK. But there's going to be a great bunch of people, going through the same thing and we'll all gee each other up to keep the motivation going.
Flippin' eck I'm excited . . . and scared . . .
and so it starts . . . .