WEDNESDAY 17TH NOVEMBER

I’m writing to you while lying in a very cozy bed (with very amazing memory pillows!) while CNN is on the background here at Holiday Inn Express Manila Newport City. My stuff are all over the place, including the empty noodle container by the study. I ate the noodles with a teaspoon because I’m resourceful like that.

My family dropped me off at this hotel around 9-ish PM today because tomorrow I’ll be flying out of the Philippines. My journey was quite stressful. I had very little sleep the night before because I crammed my packing and emptying my phone and camera memories. I had a class at 11AM then at 1245PM. I was still in the middle of cramming for buying my transport tickets and booking my hotel accommodations in advance, including cramming with my travel insurance purchase.

I struggled so hard fitting 35 days worth of essentials in one carry-on luggage, one backpack, and one tote bag. I never missed this part of traveling.

Meanwhile, my GoPro is currently recording a timelapse of the airport (because yeah, my hotel room has an airport view).

I had a panic attack in the car and I can’t tell any of my family about it when it was happening. I was spiraling, thinking about what could possibly go wrong in this upcoming journey, thinking about missing my family, especially my parents, because this will be the first time in a long while that I will be away from them this far, and I was scared of checking-in at a hotel for the first time since the pandemic.

I was sweating, stressing about my super jam packed bags and luggage. I was palpitating, I feel like I want to jump out of the car. I can’t figure out if I’m feeling claustrophobic, hungry, or jittery, or all of them. I want to blame it on the triple shot espresso I had (from Cafe Amazon, btw, and I looooove this coffee shop to death). I can’t afford feeling like this when traveling.

I told my sister about if after I settled in my room. I’ll be flying tomorrow night, so I will have time to rest here in the hotel. I’m very thankful about her support and comforting words. Eventually, the panic subsided. I was better.

Humanity has been very kind to me today. Students have been thankful to me by adjusting some requirements because I was really happy with the performances of all of my classes in terms of class participation. They deserve it. I’m happy to know it meant a lot to them and they appreciate it. They even wished my cat Luna luck because the vets had a hard time neutering him. I booked a Grab rider to get me some meds from the drugstore, and he took the extra mile in visiting three branches just to look for my meds. Of course I gave him a tip because he’s such a guardian angel and he has no idea how much his effort meant to me. I have him a tip, of course, and my heart melted when I saw the genuine happiness in his face. I need to give back in situations like this.

Coming from an episode of panic attack, I had to drink a lot of water. I felt very exhausted. The room has 4 bottles of complimentary water. I used two for my noodles, one for taking my meds, and one because I’m just thirsty. I asked the reception for more bottles of water and they gave me 20 more water bottles. Wow. I love humanity.

As we speak, CNN is reporting how some EU states have started re-implementing partial lockdowns because of the spike in COVID-19 infections despite high vaccination rates. Deep inside I’m panicking about being suddenly barred to enter the EU. A lot of my money will be put into waste. But whatever happens, happens. Fuck it, I’m turning 30, I have to take this chance. I’m also scared of COVID despite getting fully-vaccinated.

Now, I have to sleep. I need to wake up by sunrise to take another timelapse of the airport with my GoPro. I have to have the first dibs in breakfast. I need to catch up with a lot of work, including recording lectures, checking papers, responding to emails, and a lot more.

I’m scared. I hope everything goes well tomorrow.

But nonetheless, I will always tell everyone to live their best lives. Also, never ignore your mental health.

xoxo,

sher

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