I said before that I'm not sure that I'm courageous simply because I'm going to live in Italy by myself for seven weeks. My grandmother and the millions of others who left the only life they knew to come to this unknown and different place were courageous. Those men and women who conquered the wilderness that was America and civilized it were courageous. Those brave souls who worked so hard so that we might have it easier were courageous. I'm, well, fortunate I can do this.
I'll let you in on another secret: I'm anxious right now. (anx•ious... [ˈaNG(k)SHəs/]... adjective ... experiencing worry, unease, or nervousness, typically about an imminent event)
"Are you getting excited?" Mike asked me last night.
"I'm anxious, " I replied. "I'm starting to think maybe I'm a little crazy to do this."
"You have insurance," he said after a few seconds. "You could cancel."
"Only for illness." I think maybe I answered a little too quickly (And, I'll admit that the short exchange did make me feel a little guilty for leaving him and Riley to fend for themselves for a bit. However, I cooked and froze a bunch of meals.).
Truthfully, anxiety overtakes me no matter where I travel and no matter whether I go by myself or with him or someone else. (It's another one of those great qualities that I inherited from my mother, the worrier.) Once I step into the airport, though, I should be fine. Of course, spending almost 10 hours crammed next to someone I don't know as we hurtle through the night sky toward London might be a little challenging.
Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry and Elaine are flying home with Jerry in first class, and Elaine is stuck in economy between a gum chomper and a slob who carried on half of his worldly goods. The slob is sleeping and Elaine has to go to the bathroom. She worries that her kidneys will burst and debates waking the guy up while the passenger on the other side of her continues cracking her gum very loudly. It's true life, I tell you. True life.
A few years ago, I was flying home to Nashville on a sold-out Southwest flight. A man sat in the seat next to me, and I had a loooonnnngggg ride home. I ended up writing a poem about the experience. (You can read it here.) I've also sat next to a tall guy who decided he had the right to rest his knees on mine (moving to the far left did me no good).... in front of a kid who repeatedly kicked my seat even when I asked him to stop and then asked his dad to make him stop... in the row in front of a guy so drunk I got a little high from the fumes.... next to a guy who spent three hours constantly moving in his seat.... in front of a gal who brought a very stinky dinner with her.
At any rate, I think I'm going to write a list essay about my flight experiences. Maybe I'll start while I'm on the plane next Wednesday. It should kill a few hours if I can't sleep.
T-minus six days...