I’m sprinting down Terminal 3 of Chicago O’Hare airport. My flight has started to board and I am still a good half mile away from my gate. Although my hair is straight and I am wearing appropriately tight skinny jeans, I am far from looking Europeanly acceptable. I have changed into my Target moccasin slippers for a more efficient running experience, although I had previously been wearing brown heeled boots. In my rush, I hadn’t had time to put any makeup on. Worst of all, the unexpected cardio I’ve undertaken has caused a solid layer of sweat to envelope my body. Not only am I visual disgrace to my future European neighbors, but also to my current American ones. The lowest of the lows.
So I was a bit late to my flight. Luckily I made it on the plane, mostly unscathed. How did I allow myself to be late to the most important event of the year, you ask? Well. It was probably due to the straightening of my hair. I wonder what percentage of the tardiness in my life can be attributed to this same demon. I am going to estimate 89%, though that may be too generous.
Up until this point, the amount of emotion I’ve expressed was quite minimal relative to what I had expected. I said my goodbyes, which were sad, but I don’t think I have realized the weight of them. I am not going to see my family and friends for 8 months. Shouldn’t I be crying buckets 24/7? On the other hand, I am going to be living in SPAIN! This is all I’ve wanted ever since that torturous flight home from Granada last Spring. So, shouldn’t I also be exuberant? I thought for sure that once I was on the plane to Madrid the overwhelmingly contradictory emotions would have their way with me. I’d imagined that first I’d be sad to be leaving my home…maybe I'd even shed some tears during take off. But then, the sadness would slowly transform into euphoria. I would start doing cartwheels down the plane aisles. I would hug every flight attendant and passenger that would allow me to do so. I would even donate my entire MEAL to the hungry fellow next to me who was clearly not satisfied with his measly portion. Because the idea of LIVING IN SPAIN SHOULD FULFILL EVERY HUMAN NEED, INCLUDING APPETITE.
However, none of this happened.
The only real thoughts that came through my head during the flight were when we were finally flying over Spain. I literally thought to myself “Oh, thank God we’re no longer flying over open water. I could practically sense the sharks waiting underneath for something to go awry.”
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.
I AM IN SPAIN.
I feel like I’m acting like a jaded brat who comes to Spain all the time, and does not see the novelty in such an experience anymore.
UM. THIS IS DOES ALWAYS HAPPEN. GET IT TOGETHER, CYNTHIA. YOU ARE GOING TO LIVE HERE. WHY ARE YOU SO NONCHALANT.
I know there’s an inevitable meltdown awaiting me in these next few weeks, just a moment where the culmination of emotions gets the better of me. I will let you all know when that time comes.