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The Countdown

4:06 PM – PST

Pasadena, California

I had that same feeling again for the first time in a long time. As the realization that my “Soul-Searching World Journey” was a mere 11 days away, I started to feel that lovely angst of not quite knowing what I was getting myself into.

What sparked, or rather, resuscitated me from that other state of perpetual worry I’d felt as I packed up my life from an enjoyable stay in Pasadena the past year was a familiar sense of unease.

The day before I hopped on a plane for Nepal in the summer of 2014 for volunteer service, I remember plopping myself square in a chair between the Flat Iron Building and Madison Park. I must have gazed at the south end of the Empire State Building for an hour convincing myself to stay put. I must say it was a pretty nice afternoon.

This might not work out the way I’d planned, I kept thinking. I was nervous as hell. But it was a good sense of misgiving if such a feeling exists.

Admittedly, uncertainty had never stopped me from taking bold action before. Whether diving into a relationship or setting foot in a new country, I’ve always tried to live by the words of the great, Robert DeNiro. “Be brave, but not reckless.”

Still, as I glance at my mostly packed suitcase in an apartment that has remained virtually empty during my one year stay, the reality that it’s time to hop on a plane with much of my life uncertain just has me wondering if I’m doing the right thing. Whatever that even means.

I’ll be walking away from my pursuit of acting professionally, something I’ve wanted more than anything since the age of 11. I must also decide if I am going to move back to the Bay Area, mainly so I can be closer to my aging parents, or if it’s time to let go of the ghosts of my New York City past and bid farewell to a place that I have lived, happily, mostly, for over a decade. I have the sneaking suspicion that after all this silliness with traveling comes to an end, I will end up returning to the City of Angels; a place I once swore I’d never allow myself to hang my hat.

I worry about my mom, dad, and aunt getting older. I worry about my next career move. I worry about what's in store and perhaps what isn't. Suffice it to say, I’m just doing a whole lot of worrying these days.

Good time to travel? Who knows? I’ve planned this journey for the past 9 months and one surprise after another has peeped its mostly unwelcome head into my absurdly organized itinerary. But, the hell with it. I’m going.

When I asked Shima, a 30-year old writer from Iran for the best advice she’s ever received she said: “If necessary, start from the beginning and live your life over again.”

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