I have to renew my passport before I go to Australia this December. I got this one in 2007 so I could go on a cruise with my family and it expires next July. I know they are going to send it back to me. I know I have enough time to get it renewed before I leave. I know that my next passport could, one day, be just as well stamped and stickered, just as worn and worldly around the edges. It might even be more so.
But there’s something disconcerting about it, something unnerving about the timing. I’m at a place in my life where I’m set for the foreseeable future. I have an apartment, a job in a field I’m looking to stick with, a city I’d like to get to know better. And I’m handing over this document, with its student visa for the UK, it’s visitor’s visa for India, it’s stamps from Italy and Ireland, Serbia and Greece. This is the passport that was on the train with me when I got hustled in Slovakia, when I missed my flight in France. This is the passport I used to get back from Rome when an Icelandic volcano grounded me. This passport took me to Australia for the first time after my parents moved.
I know the next one is going to take me to Australia too. I know that it can take me so many other places, that even though I’m no longer a student, I can make my own opportunities, take my own trips. If I actually get my finances under control, I could start building my new collage next year. I know this. I do.
My roommate has decided that this is the week to start having loud conversations on the phone after eleven at night, while simultaneously watching TV at top volume. So it’s been taking me longer than I’d like to fall asleep. An unusual complaint for me, to know what is keeping me awake at night, for that something to be outside my own mind.
I don’t particularly want to live here anymore, but I really don’t want to move. I don’t hate my commute, and my apartment itself is beautiful. I have one really nice roommate and one really terrible one. But I don’t really see myself staying here forever. I don’t feel like I can settle into this place. I don’t know if it’s the cold war hostilities or if it’s me. Is it me? Am I looking for something I’m not prepared to find yet?
I haven’t listened to Kings of Leon in a long time. The last time I listened to them with any kind of intensity was while I was freewheeling my way across Europe on night trains, using their intensity to block out the ambient noises around me. But they popped up on Spotify today and I remembered just how much I loved them. How I waited in the rain on Governor’s Island to see them while Feist called Poseidon down on our heads and got the whole concert canceled for fear of electrocution. Cold wet and covered with mud, dehydrated and exhausted and so very alive.
You can all tell how invested I am in this election, in doing everything I can to make sure that Hillary Clinton gets elected. It’s the number one thing keeping me up at night. It’s pretty much all consuming. And yet, still, every time I get a DNC email with a subject line like “WE’RE SCREWED!” My first thought is always “oh my god, no you’re not, simmer down…”
I need to go to the dry cleaner. I need to stop eating so much pasta. I need to buy rain boots. My liquor store has a terrible wine selection. I need to write my book.
Photo credit: Me, proving to my parents that I had my passport as I made my way to Australia. Yes, I was 26. Yes, I would probably make you text me a picture of your passport too.