It’s been a very eventful past couple of weeks. I’ve experienced Paris and Lugano (Switzerland), and I’ll be on a plane headed directly toward Alaska in the next seven hours. On top of all the traveling, I turn twenty-five on Friday. I’m still working through my feelings about this big birthday. Right now, I’m sitting at my computer just taking a break from the frantic unpacking and repacking that is going on in my room right now. No joke, my bed and floor are both littered with articles of clothing and bags and everything else a traveler might need. Have I mentioned it’s almost 4 in the morning? Apologies if this rambling is mostly incoherent.
This is the first all-nighter I’ve pulled in quite a long time. I’ve taken a couple of naps throughout the day and evening, but I feel like there’s no better way to prematurely combat the jet lag than to stay awake all night before a flight and then crash on the plane (this works especially well when your flight is a long one and the time difference means you’re actually gaining thirty minutes or so when you land).
This visit will mark my first time back in the states for six months, and my first time back to Alaska in ten years. My parents and I moved from Alaska to Texas twelve years ago, and I got to go back and visit the first two summers, but then the traveling pretty much got placed on the back burner. There is no way to fully explain how much I miss that gorgeous place. Alaska has a way of seeping into the deepest parts of your soul, and if you have the opportunity to spend any time there at all, you will thirst to be back there as soon as you leave. I know that not everyone feels as strongly about the state as I do, but I think there’s probably another reason I have such a tie to the place.
It seems every time I really sit back and reflect on my reasoning behind my thoughts, more often than not it somehow comes back to the adoption facet of my identity. I was born in Alaska, my biological family (on both sides) was located there when I was born, and there’s a high probability that my father’s side is still up there. It always gets back to wanting to know where I come from. That burning desire to know everything there is to possibly know.
It’s been almost exactly a year since the last time I heard from my biological mother. She emailed me last year to wish me a happy birthday, and although I tried to contact her to try and get some information about my father’s family so I could try and get some more questions answered while I was back in my home state, my efforts went unanswered. It might just be the way that I relate to things, or it might be pretty common in the minds of adoptees, but even being back in the same city that my biological family came from gives me a sense of connection, like we could have experienced the same thing if you ignore the time lapse.
To say I’m anxious to be back in Alaska is an understatement. I’m anxious, excited, joyful, anticipatory…I just have the sense that this trip could be a pivotal moment in my life journey. I’ll be there for twelve days. I’ll be turning another year older, reconnecting with friends I haven’t seen in twelve years or more (some of them who I’ve known for almost twenty years), and making sure I soak in every single moment of the wild beauty Alaska has to offer. I’m interested to see where this trip will take me