The Michael B. Keegan Traveling Fellowship
Stacey Worman, 2006-2007 Michael B. Keegan Traveling Fellow
Date: October 2nd, 2007
To: Undisclosed recipients
Re: And She's SAFE at Home Plate...
Arriving home...I displayed my unchanged tendency to make my presence known by sprawling out everything I own everywhere...I was dowsed with a can of air-freshener by my younger sister who also gave me strict instructions to wash my hair twice...I indulged in one large bowl of cereal and two pieces of the pumpkin pie that my mom had made especially for me...and I put on a pair of wool socks, slid across our living room's hardwood floor, and announced to my parents who were watching the Yankees game, " And she's SAFE at home plate!" Lord knows that they are quite relieved...and that I've given them enough gray hairs over this past year...although I don't quite understand why! For example, why on earth would a casual touch-base e-message saying something like, "A scorpion bit me on my butt, but don't worry Mom and Dad...I am doing great!" make them worry?! After all...didn't I say I was doing great?!! (Maybe it's a parent thing...and maybe one day...if/when I have kids...I will understand).
Anyway...this email is intended to let you...my family, my friends, and the rather peculiar cast of characters that has entered my life sometime over the past 15 months as a result of my journey...know that Brenda and I have made it back home to the U.S. and the state of Connecticut...safe and sound...and (more or less) in one piece...
On the road, I frequently joked that if nothing else...this experience has made me really good at doing nothing. In fact, I've become so good...and furthermore, so incredibly content with doing nothing...that I've decided that now is not the time to rush into anything! And so...three months of "nothingness" now lay before me on my plate and I firmly intend to milk them for everything they are worth...for starters, this is my current list:
Stacey's No-Things To Do List
I will also resume writing and will be working on updating my website, which has been largely neglected since I visited home in May. Echoing Kristin Fleschner's sentiments, writing has also been one of my favorite aspects of this fellowship. Said perfectly in her final email,"Writing the weekly update was something I looked forward to each week. It was my way to share my experience and connect the unknown world I was living in with the people who helped me get there."
As my trip played out, I grew a rather deep attachment to my computer. Afraid of losing 10 months of research, information, writing, and pictures...and with an urge to have a bit more mobility...I began wondering whether it was just better to leave it behind when I had the chance. After tossing a coin (because this is how all really important decisions should be made)...I decided to part ways with it for the remainder of my travels...and forged onto Mexico/South America with only the trusty, good ol' paper and pen...
But there are still so many stories I wish to share...certain things I still want to say, chronicle, document, and attempt to capture in order to do justice to the people, places, events, ordeals, ideas, and cultures that I have been exposed to over the past 15 month...and I need to do this not only for you all...but also for myself...
A dear friend wrote me in an email,"You will undoubtedly think of 'life before Keegan' versus 'life after Keegan' for the rest of your life." And I already know that this is incredibly true. Therefore, my intent over the next three months in not to wrap this up so I can conclude...but to wrap this up so I can begin...so that I am mentally, physically, and emotionally ready to embrace my next endeavor at the beginning of the new year (Graduate school back at "Vandy, Vandy, Oh Hell Yeah!").
You will be getting one more mass-email from me with final thoughts and reflections from my "year" abroad, after I've decompressed fully and have been able to actually make them...
In the meantime, I encourage the interested to check my website for updates...I invite you to come visit me in Connecticut and enjoy my mom's pancakes...and I'd love to see you in Nashville if you too will be around for homecoming weekend! In addition, I sincerely hope you will contact me either via email or phone (203-966-5353)...and don't be shy...I have nothing to do and I am never too busy!
Long live a life of motion, the trails in Waveny, and my beloved bicycle...
Until the next and final time...
With laughter, love, and pumpkin pie...
Stace & B