Anticipation has two faces

My favorite part of any vacation or event is the anticipation leading up to it. I imagine myself already home for Thanksgiving break and reuniting with family, friends, and my dog, who I haven’t seen in months. Anticipation gives me something to look forward to and immersing myself in that feeling gets me more excited and energized.

I also think about how the most nerve-wracking part of anything outside my comfort zone is similarly, the anticipation leading up to it. Before any major presentation, I get in my head about how I will look in front of my audience, and get myself anxious over something that hasn’t even happened yet. It is so crazy to me how anticipation can both be a source of excitement but also dread.

Update: Now that I have returned from Thanksgiving break and have three weeks of school before I start winter break, I am starting to dread school again. At the same time, I am excited to go to India in a week! I am wondering if I can use what I just wrote about to hack into the dread and channel it into excitement.

I don’t know if I am particularly excited about learning 1000+ new flashcards over the span of three dreary winter weeks when daylight savings time has made the days extra short, but I DO know that the most nerve-wracking part of this dread is the anticipatory part of it. Meaning, the worst part of this feeling happens in the time leading up to the start of classes. Once classes actually start and I get my feet wet, it won’t be that bad.

So for now, as I sit in LaGuardia airport writing this post, I can be at peace knowing that the worst part of dreading a new block will be over tomorrow when classes start, and the best part of looking forward to my India trip is happening right now.

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