The suitcase lies open on top of our breakfast table. I take things out and put some back in. It is pretty heavy. Saathi reminds me that I could make do with far lesser clothes. I waver and decide to lug all of it with me.
I have checklists in varying stages of completion. My heart beats a tad too fast. I can’t tell if it is the anxiety or excitement.
My critiques are printed, stapled and packed. My textbook for the workshop is in my suitcase as well. I read and re-read the instructor’s email to see if I am missing anything. I am positive I will forget something.
I ran a round of laundry. I washed all three of my daughters’ hair. I look at their school schedules to see if I should set reminders for Saathi to make sure he gets to it. I went around to both schools this morning to say bye and thank the teachers. I went bearing gifts and came back still feeling the warmth of hugs.
I am only gone for twelve days. It feels like it will be a lifetime. Amma will more than capably care for my children. Saathi will happily come early, make time for the kids and hold the fort. I know this.
I am grateful. I am overwhelmed by how much support I have. I am excited about the prospect of living in a dorm even if briefly. I am enchanted by the idea that I will actually be wearing a Yale lanyard. Most of all, the idea of spending this many days thinking, writing and talking about writing is exhilarating. I have a basic idea of what I want to gain from the workshop. I have a rough roadmap of where I want to go from here as a writer.
At this point, they are just ideas floating in my head. All of my grunt work is done. All that is remaining is for me to let go and soak up the experience, for me to discover who I am sans labels.