Leaving On A Jet Plane

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go…
Chantal Kreviazuk, “Leaving On A Jetplane” (cover)


Sunday, November 2, 2008

I’m going to be perfectly honest here and let you in on a little known secret: I’m scared out of my wits about this trip. I can pretend that I’m fine and act as if I have everything together, but the truth is that the butterflies in my stomach have increased tenfold and my overactive imagination is racing with what ifs. What is it exactly that I’m so worried about? I have absolutely no idea. But that feeling is there, nagging me, whispering words in a language that I can’t understand, but that I know all too well.

I’m worried about traveling by myself — with so many connections, I’m afraid that I’ll lose my way. Seems I’m always afraid of losing my way.

I’m worried about leaving my dog behind, although I know he’s in the loving hands of my family. Still, that goodbye to a sad face is always the hardest.

Don’t believe me?


Told you so.

I’m so excited for this opportunity, this chance, this trip. And yet I’m afraid that I’m going to miss things. I’m going to miss having a dog curl up beside me at night (eventually sprawling out and shoving me into a tiny corner of it). I’m going to miss my family just being there whenever a new thought pops into my mind, miss having dinners with them and relaxing as we watch Dancing With The Stars or movies with my Dad.

I’m going to miss things, and yet I’m going to gain so much out of this experience, I just know it.

As long as I push through my fear and get over these hurdles. As long as I take a deep breath, clear my mind, and remain in the present (with the help of some Xanax), I know I’ll get through this. It’s just that initial first step, tempting fate as you dip your toe in the water. I need to take the plunge, go full out, dive right in, and remember that I’m not as alone as it may seem.

So kiss me and smile for me
Tell me that you’ll wait for me
Hold me like you’ll never let me go…

I’m in the airport, waiting to board my flight. This is always the hardest part for me — saying goodbye and watching my parents walk away. It’s even harder this time knowing that I’m doing this on my own. I’ve never felt more of a challenge before — and if what I’m feeling is any indicator, then I’m failing quite miserably right now.

The sucky thing about waiting for a plane in an airport, surrounded by strangers and still in a country you’re familiar with is this: you have plenty of time to think. And thinking is the most dangerous thing for me. Because thinking brings panic and panic brings tears and tears means you’re not thinking straight.

My mom says that I always do this before something big — I panic. I have an anxiety disorder, so this is really no real revelation. But the thing is, I panic, and then I’m fine. But will I be fine now? I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen, and that thought has always terrified me. And not only that, but I am absolutely doing this on my own. Am I strong enough? Am I independent enough?

The only thing that I can do is wait and see, I know. The only thing I can do is push forward through this fear…to not back down and run home, but to run towards something else, to chase down a dream. This will be the truest testament to myself, the greatest challenge I’ve faced yet. This will tell me everything I need to know — about myself and about my future.

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