Number 9 – The Nine of Clubs
I planned to cross off a lot of things from the Apocalyst over the next few months; visit Thailand, see the killing fields, live in Tokyo, amongst many other things. Right now I’m sat on the train to London ready to fly to Bangkok tomorrow, after an extremely emotional ‘see you soon’. And I realised something. The one item from the list that I could never have planned or predicted has ended up happening.
There’s a line in a song by Train, ‘life is good, but love is better’ and I couldn’t agree more. I have a confession to make. The Apocalyst was in part an expression of escapism. I know I said this in my first ever post, but I don’t think I fully realised that myself until recently. I found myself in a position where I didn’t really know where I belonged; my whole life felt like it had been reserved for other people and I found myself questioning what it actually was that I wanted. The Apocalyst was my answer and so I started planning. Japan was the big one, and originally, the idea was to go there for 6 months; make sure I was back by my 30th birthday. As I began planning though, I found myself extending the trip. I didn’t realise at the time but I think I was running away; I had no reason to come back, nothing here for me. And then something strange happened. On the 25th of September, I received a text message from an old friend. It was because of the list that she got in touch and it was immediately like we had never not spoken. Over the next week something awoke inside me and as clichéd as it sounds, the rest is history.
I’m not going to go into all the soppy details of the last few months, you’ve seen some of them yourself; meteor hunting, a drive in movie, singing a duet, and generally the change inside of me. We have literally had the best dates ever, sorry if that sounds big headed; it sort of is! Every day became an adventure, even doing nothing was enough. I can’t explain what it is, other than I have never been so sure of anything in my life. Perhaps that is strange after such a short time; if you’d asked me before this I would have said the same, and I’ve had to question it myself. But I keep coming up with the same answer: when you know, you know. It isn’t about time, it isn’t about any certain factors, it doesn’t have to fit a checklist, it just has to be.
Then we come to the question of timing. I’m pretty certain we can all agree that this is the worst timing ever! Meeting the person of your dreams 3 months before you leave the country. And then perhaps people will suggest that the limited time is what has caused these feelings to get so deep, almost like a holiday romance. I’ve thought about that too. But I also know this isn’t temporary. Like I said, it doesn’t fit a checklist. I’m ok with that.
But it has made the last few weeks harder. We’ve both been fully aware of what is coming, and at times it has taken its toll. It’s strange sitting here, at the beginning of a trip of a lifetime with such mixed emotions. Not just because of this; leaving my parents, my home, my family, Luke, Luke, Sean, Rachel, and all my other friends has been super hard as well.
I am excited about this adventure, it’s going to be amazing, and I’m finally seeing things I have dreamed about since I was 8 years old. But in planning this, and starting the Apocalyst, I have found something that I could never have planned. I have found a reason to come home. I found a partner in crime. I found something that changes everything. I know that I will still do justice to the things on the list, after all I made myself a promise! And if the last 12 months have taught me anything it’s that what I want matters as well. So Tokyo, I’m still coming for you. But The Apocalyst has also shown me what’s important. And I think I’ve found a much greater adventure.
For Me, It’s You.