I had pictured this day in my mind for many moons, prepared for a rocky take off I was astonished at how I moved through the moments with ease. Although nerves twisted through my veins violently my heart remained calm. My goodbyes were hitting deep and the feeling of missing my family had already begun. Tears would peek out of my eyes and silence would hold me hostage every so often. I was told that there would be a moment where I would have this screaming realization of crushing panic thinking what the fuck have I done? For me, that moment never came. I was ready. I was tired and failure was intimidating but my soul was craving flight.
My last goodbye was the hardest, letting go of my Dad’s embrace felt like that moment when you step over a cliff and you’re not so sure if your wings are going to catch or if you will free fall for eternity. But, I soon found myself nestled into the emergency exit row and allowed wine to settle within my bones easing me into a faux slumber while listening to outdated movie lines with some California sunshine in my pocket.
When my eyes opened next we were in France and I was stumbling through customs. My heart nearly visibly beating out of my chest as I walk through expecting some hard questioning. How long will you be here? For business or pleasure? What school are you working at? Where is your working visa? I had this irrational fear of just being denied with a blunt ” AND NONE FOR YOU, ERIN”. Luckily a moody French lady stamped my passport silently and a sigh of relief later I found myself officially inside the European Union, unscathed.
Two more hours. One more flight. No more wine. I arrived sleepy-eyed and jet-lagged into Warsaw dragging my two suitcases and backpack to the exit sign within Chopin airport to meet my director and I swear it every damn word around me looked drunk. There was so much green blazing past our windows I was in awe, cyclists decorating the edges of the road dressed in work attire and a sun that was blazing high within the afternoon sky with no intention on slipping into the horizon any time soon.
I was here. I made it, the director was a real person. The school actually exists. I am staying in a nice hotel with a bed and an air conditioner. I have not a clue what to do but no sense in trying to figure it out right away as I am all out of sorts. Tomorrow we will take on the seemingly drunk city.