Do you travel alone? It is something I’ve done a lot. Especially after I met Justin and we juggled two countries and who knows how many states as he was traveling for work and I’d fly in to whatever airport he was closest to.
And with that comes lots and lots of hours spent in airports. When I traveled from Detroit to Copenhagen the other day I had the great, great pleasure (um, not!) to have a 9 hour long layover in Toronto. It wasn’t what I originally had planned, but you know, schedule changes. I didn’t particular enjoyed waiting as long as my second flight would be so that when we finally boarded I could pretty much already have made it to my final destination. When it had to be that way, I was happy that it was Toronto though because there was all these nice seating areas with actual comfy chairs AND free wifi and not the crappy bullshit hotspots they have in other airports where you have to pay an arm and a leg for a connection so slow that you can barely fetch your email.
Spending time in airports is just so weird and it puts me in a funky mood. You’re in this vacuum of time and space, of barely existing and being very present at the same time. I always get this feeling of a certain numbness and oversensitivity and emotional As I, embarresedly, admitted to my friend that I already missed Justin, who I had kissed goodbye less than four hours before he described the airport funk in a better way than I had been able to get into words.
You’re away from who you left, you’re not yet with who you’re going to see. Of course you’re missing everyone more.
I pondered over why I was already missing with all of my heart instead of just being excited for what was ahead. The anxious, uneasy feeling wasn’t just me dreading the takeoff and the moments where the plane speeds up and everything is shaking and it’s so loud and my hands get sweaty and my heart pounds and it makes no sense HOW this huge chunk of metal is actually going up IN THE AIR!(!!!!!!)
It was more than that. It was all the times I had to leave, when I didn’t want to leave. It was the counting of days. Always, always counting days. Counting days when I booked flights, making sure I wasn’t staying more than allowed. Counting the days until I had to leave. Until he had to leave. Until I would be back. Until he would come.
It was the many times I through clinched teeth said that I was just FINE when the truth was that I was not fine at all. That going back and forth wasn’t stressful. It was the uncertainty that was just so overwhelming that I couldn’t even acknowledge that it existed. Or that I was scared. So fucking scared. Of everything. All the time. Of the “if” and the “if not”, of the goodbyes, of the sleepless nights, of the “how”. SO.MUCH.FEAR. Always. I mean, I knew it would all work out. But working it out was no walk in the park. The constant feeling of being in limbo was so much harder than what I would admit to. Not only to others, but mostly to myself. I didn’t know when I boarded the plane to go to North Carolina the very first time that my world would split into before and after. Or how home wouldn’t be the same anymore.
And so I sat in the airport and cried for all the other times I had been sitting in airports and cried. For all of the goodbyes. For the knot in my stomach and the lump in my throat that were my constant companions. For being in transit for so, so long. And for the relief of knowing that when the plane touches down in Detroit and my husband wrap me in his arms, I’ll be home. Finally.