I’m sitting in an airport food court area at 4:30 a.m. surrounded by depressed-looking single travellers and even-more-depressed-looking pairs of travellers when the feelings hit me: the creeping, deep-in-the-black-hole-that-is-your-gut sadness that repeats to your brain, over and over again, and echoes throughout your entire being, “You are alone. You will fail. You should give up.”
I’ve just begun my first ever one-woman travel reporting trip for a project upon which my Master’s degree depends. I should be excited and nervous, like on the first day of school, but I’m not. I’m (and I’ve considered these terms carefully) sad and puke-y, like when you’re in grad school. I don’t really have enough energy to spend on being sad and puke-y, given the importance of this project and the lack of time I have to complete it, so I’ve decided to just face my fears. Below is a list of the worst things that could happen to me on a travel reporting trip.
I could just immediately die.
I could interview everyone and then realize my camera was off/the lens cap was on the whole time.
My camera could break.
I could miss a plane or bus and have to call a source and be like, “Uhhh, I missed my bus.” And they could be like, “Wow, you’re a massive failure and I hate you.”
I could lose my belongings and then have to use a makeshift tripod for every interview.
A variety of places I go to eat and rest could just not have coffee.
I could just spend all my travel time thinking about how life is really just a long process of dying and how small we are and how really, nothing we do matters and the people we call our own will leave us in a variety of ways and the chances of each person finding people they are compatible with is slim to none and how, for most of us, in just 80-100 years, no one will remember who we were or what we did.
I could get back to school and find out my audio sucks a whole lot and it isn’t usable at all.
I could get a call from Berkeley while I’m out reporting and they could be like, “We just checked our records and realized we were actually trying to accept the other Nausheen into the j-school, not you. Lol sorry!”
I could get a call from my mom and she could be like, “Oh hey, I don’t love you anymore. Hope you’re well, ttyl.”
(I know the last two are highly unlikely, but admit it, you’ve thought them, too.)
Reporting and life are both for the brave. I will try to be one of the brave.