I’m terrified. I’m the kind of terrified where you’re afraid to move at all because for some reason it feels like all your inner organs in your abdominal cavity are no longer attached to anything, and if you move they’ll all just tumble out somehow. The kind of terrified that dissolves all mesentery tissue. The kind of terrified that places a small nuclear warhead just behind your collarbone when you’re not looking.
I’ve never been without a contingency plan until now.
One week from Sunday my doom will be sealed. Acceptance emails for the French teaching assistant program will be delivered in the first week of April, and as the deadline approaches, I am becoming ever surer that none of those emails will be delivered to me.
It’s not that I hope to define my whole life through this one particular program. It looks like a hell of a lot of fun, but missing out on fun is not what paralyzes me with that flash-bolt of terror. If I am not accepted to this program, I will be completely directionless. I won’t be working toward any kind of goal. I’ll just be adrift here in the north, with all family members and friends located many hundreds of miles away.
I desperately need a backup plan. So far, the best one I’ve come up with is to go to Disneyland and develop a scheme to steal the Indiana Jones robot located in the Temple of the Forbidden Eye ride. Beyond living the dream of having my own robot who looks exactly like Harrison Ford to do my bidding, I’m not entirely sure what the long-term advantages to this plan are.
I never said I worked well under pressure.
Other plans involve hiding in small, dark spaces and pretending the world ended about 16 months ago. Or maybe I could collect a bunch of lizards. I really have no idea.
I don’t know why I’m so insanely petrified by being directionless for a while. Other people seem to accomplish it all right. It just seems to me that if you choose to simply exist, like an inanimate object or a machine, without moving yourself toward some kind of greater goal, there would be nothing keeping you alive. To live is to grow and change and move. I can’t already be out of possibilities by age 23. I can’t stagnate yet.
If, on the other hand, I can gain possession of Robot-Indy and a rag-tag crew of lizards, our possibilities together could be endless.