A Year in Seoul - video by Maddy

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Upon Leaving Part II aka Leaving is the hardest part

I don't have to be doing this. I think this over and over again. This was all me. I dreamed up, instigated, and executed this entire plan. What if I made a mistake? What if this was all a big mistake? Okay, breathe. I am in control here. If I make a mistake I correct it. But this is no mistake, this is my life.

Okay, I think, I can handle this. The plane begins to roll away from JFK... slowly like my pulse. What? Clearance already? The engines are roaring in my ears and the plane rapidly gains speed along with my thoughts. I'm losing it again... the horizon is a blur, the plane is so loud. Its definitely lost now as I feel that unmistakable transition from grounded to airborne. I am on a sixteen hour flight to Hong Kong. This was all me.

I am a crazed pendulum. Swinging back and forth out of control. I feel giddy. This is my adventure. Not only that, this is the beginning of my adventure. But here comes the swing: there are six plane letters in my bag. I don't think the writers of these letters understand their own perverse cruelty. I read all six in a row like some kind of nostalgia junkie. I am crying and sniffling all over myself. The people around me look uncomfortable, so I search for a tissue and somehow manage to knock orange juice onto the woman next to me. There are orange pools standing atop her black pants and I don't even have the tissue to offer her. I am mortified. I need to get a grip.

Or, rather, I need to get out of the grip... of fear. This is where it happens. Every time. When you are traveling alone and you know your journey is long, that first plane ride is an intense emotional obstacle. The wonderful thing about experience, however, is that the fear and confusion have become familiar if not easier. I know its going to be frightening. I know I am challenging myself. I know I will meet new and amazing people, see beautiful sights, and learn more than I can imagine. I know I will be happy.

And then, magically, I've arrived and the fear gives way to wonder. There is no more time for apprehension once I've left the time/space vortex of the plane ride and it is time to start living. So here I am and we shall see what dreams may come.

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