The dash of snow, the bright blue sky, the yellow leaves laden walkways, the red tile rooftops – the dreamy enchanted land was just a few hours away from me. But here I am, all confused and morbidly insecure at the international airport. The crowd is bustling – a family of four with the smallest member getting a mouthful from the mother for some unknown reason, the group of friends traveling to foreign land with beaming excitement, a few business executives oblivious to the surroundings and engrossed in their mac, a beauty queen surrounded by bee drones, a cranky sexagenarian surrounded by his family of five and a few thousand others.
As I proceed to get my boarding pass my eyes wandered outside the glass walls of the building. I saw my dad portraying relief that his son has not dwindled away his potential as he always feared. My brother was beaming with pride that his little kid brother is going away to chase his dreams. Then slowly my eyes got fixated on the most familiar sight – my mom. She was standing there with very little expressions, yet they spoke the loudest to me. I could understand that she was sad, scared yet happy and confident that I will achieve whatever I wanted to. She saw me looking at her and smiled – that magical smile assured me that though I will be all alone continents away, I will be fine and will always have a place to return to. That I will always have people who will believe in me and will be there to help me to get back up on my feet whenever I am knocked down by life.
After one last glance at my family, I turned and walked away as the clock stops for none. With my bags scanned and tagged, and the pass in my hands I went through the security checks and reached the immigration counter. This is it – my brain said, this is where I leave behind my anchored life and set sail in unknown territories. Xenophobia started to set in, as I have never been away from home for long. Always had my share of comfort and dependability knowing that there’s a safety net to catch me if I ever fall. Even when I reached the airport today, knowing full well I won’t see my family for a long time, it didn’t dawn on me. Sitting here in the lounge and waiting for my flight, it hit me. It hit me with all force and I started to panic. Memories started to flash and suddenly I felt sick. I put on the headphones and cranked up the volume. Linkin Park never disappointed me. Gulping down water and “Somewhere I Belong” helped me to get a hold of myself.
I look up and see two kids ricocheting about the entire lounge beaming with excitement. I guess the much anticipated holiday has made the parents lax the supervision. I suspect a playful druid has a hand in my emotional turmoil right now. A mix of nostalgia and chronophobia dipped in the excitement of seeing the magical land – what do you call that?
Oh, there’s the call for boarding.
As I walk down the aisle, I could feel the desolation fade away – the excitement is too big to be bogged down. Just like the over-sized bag which is not accepting being caged despite the uncle hopelessly trying to fit it in the overhead bin. I dodge past him and gravitate towards my seat. With dreams in my eyes and a hope that an epic journey is awaiting me, I settle down. I will break free off the shackles and my journey of ascension will begin. Soon.
The flight took off.