I was recently talking to someone about my fears concerning the amount of emotional attachment I feel towards certain things, and whether or not this emotional attachment will somehow take away from the physical act. I was struck by the profound nature of his answer, in my scrambled brain at least.
The basic message was that an entirely different and more intense set of emotion is produced when accompanied by a physical act. Close your eyes and imagine that you hit your thumb with a hammer, and describe the feelings you have. Now, go get a hammer and hit your thumb. The feelings will be much different, much more intense, right? These might be similar emotions to those described earlier, and we can always imagine the pain. However, nothing except the physical act of hitting yourself in such a way can produce the same sentiments. This made a great deal of sense to me, and certainly relates to more than the original subject of discussion.
This applies in converse ways concerning the upcoming year. First, from the standpoint of one living in the United States and looking forward to this journey. The emotional anticipation I feel is nothing compared to the feelings I will experience when physically there. The mixture of joy and excitement and anxiety I feel now concerning my classroom will only be compounded when I am actually standing in it. This translates to everything I will come to know in this new place. Even imagining the intensity of these emotions is overwhelming at the moment.
Secondly, I am beginning to wonder about my feelings towards the physical I experience in the States, once these things are removed. The touch of a friend, the sounds of my city, the smell of home. Does this principle work both ways? Will my emotional attachment to these things be somehow diminished because of the lack of physical stimulus, or will the store of physical memories I carry sustain the intensity of these emotions?
I ache to know, and remain afraid of the answer.