August 19, 2008

Some quality time at JFK...

The monotonous beeping of the security gate is easing my nerves as I type this. The beeping and the line of blank-faced future passengers with boarding passes and passports in hand are the only constants that I can focus on right now. Everything else is sort of a blur around me in this pseudo-reality that I have made for myself at this very moment. It seems like minutes ago (though it was 3 hours) I was in Matt’s apartment looking at the piles of clothes on the couch and thinking, “Whoa. I really hope all of my stuff fits into this large suitcase. Do I really need that many shirts?” It seems like just hours ago (though it was April) I was buying my plane ticket online from Aer Lingus and feeling my heartbeat race just a little quicker as I placed my cursor over the “accept” and clicked the mouse to make my purchase of a roundtrip ticket to Barcelona. It seems like just days ago (though it was in January) I was telling my parents and closest friends I would be going to Spain for a two and a half month trip of exploration. Well, all those days, hours and minutes have seemed to go by in a blink of an eye because here I am at gate A2 in JFK airport waiting for 5pm to roll around so I can board the green and white monstrosity of a plane that is sitting just outside of this glass window.

My most recent goodbyes were over the phone to Caitlin and my Dad. They both were great reminders to myself about what this trip is all about – exploration, fun, learning, and me. The longer I sit here in this lightly padded airport chair, the more the chairs around me are filling up with others who will share this flight with me to Dublin (the one layover on my way to Spain) and the more the reality of this is setting in. Even the kind woman with the Irish accent at the check-in downstairs marveled at my destination. Of course, at the time I didn’t notice her excitement for me. At the time my eyes were stinging from a combination of tears and mascara and my cheeks were still slightly wet from having just said goodbye to Matt – knowing I wouldn’t be seeing him again for five weeks.

I just looked at the clock on my laptop here and realize that there is still another hour and a quarter before boarding will begin. My breathing has steadied, my cheeks are fully dry and I have only chewed off one fingernail (I am not a nail-biter). I know that how I feel now is going to be different than the next time I am back at this airport. When I come back I will have had 10 weeks of Spain as part of my life. Just trying to imagine how that will feel sort of overwhelms me so instead I am going to put my computer away and do one of my favorite New York City things to do – this week’s New York Magazine crossword puzzle.

*For some reason Blogger is not letting me post pictures right now, but once I can I will put some up!
**Update, I got a photo up!!

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