I have never been more scared than I was when driving in the back seat of my family’s car on my way to the airport. I felt like I was 9 years old at Disney World, waiting in line for a rollercoaster that I had never been on before; but this time I wouldn’t be able to squeeze my dad’s arm when shit started to go upside down.
I have been waiting for the reality of this travel abroad decision to hit me for a while, to feel real. Even the night before I left felt like any other slumber in my bedroom. But yeah … I was hit hard as I pulled out of my quaint cul-de-sac neighborhood, and drove further and further away from my home … my safe haven for most of my life.
Am I really leaving for 4 months? It’s important to point out that I have never been away from my home, my room, my parents for more than 2 weeks, so coming to grips with the fact that I would not be back home for 111 days was basically impossible. Instead, I just felt like I was jumping into a black hole with no parachute, scared af.
I did everything I could to not appear as terrified as I was. But I’m sure it was crystal clear, especially to my dear mother who was trying – unsuccessfully – to keep it together herself. There was simply no amount of deep breaths I could take in to shake my feeling of dread. Doubts … just doubts … crossed my mind.
Why am I doing this? Can I even do this? Can my Mom book her flight to visit me next weekend? It took everything in me to not burst into tears as I pulled up to Logan Airport. I swear to God my legs were numb.
Now as I sit here on this Aer Lingus jet that officially launches my journey abroad, the sun is just rising over Ireland, obviously welcoming me my home away from home in stunning fashion.
And, at the risk of sounding cheesy, I think to myself that the beauty of this sunrise gives me hope; as though it’s telling me that everything is going to be okay … that I can do this … and it might actually be pretty fun.
I hope that dumb pretty sunrise is right.