11:15 AM CST
Sarah and I are sitting on a bench in Terminal B at DF Dubya.
We spent about an hour waiting in the line to check in our 12 items of luggage. We were prepared to pay exorbitant prices to check in our extra baggage, but the lady at the desk made an error in our favor and we ended up saving about $800! I made no remark, paid the price she gave us and moved calmly but quickly away from the check-in counter as fast as I could.
We said our goodbyes to our families, reassured them that we would get in contact with them as soon as possible and headed to the security check.
Both Sarah and I were singled out for “additional security inspections” which we both got A+’s on. Our parents would be proud. I assume we were singled out because of our ultimate destination, but I can’t be sure.
We just ate some Starbucks pastries and drank some Starbucks beverages. Now we wait. The plane hasn’t arrived yet, but we’re not scheduled to leave until 12:45 anyway.
I’d hoped that this feeling of surreality I’ve been walking around with for the past two weeks would begin to evaporate once I was in the airport with boarding pass in hand, but alas, I am still watching myself from somewhere far away.
I am watching myself write this post right now, confident that I will soon shudder awake to the NEEP NEEP NEEP of my alarm.
Sarah sits next to me and writes calmly in her journal, recording details I’ll never remember on our way to a place I can’t imagine.
Here’s a thought that just occurred to me: going off to college, jumping out of an airplane and getting married all feel small compared to what I’m sitting here about to do.
Of course, all of those things also felt surreal to me up until the very last minute. I seem to be a procrastinator to the end, even with my feelings. When will it hit me that I’ve left all of my friends and family half a planet behind? When will all of this sink in?
Probably in two weeks, on the first day of school. When I realize that I am surrounded by screaming children I can’t understand with a wife I have never lived with before in a frozen wasteland of strange sounds, smells and shapes.
That’s when I’ll realize that ‘personal growth’ is tough, much tougher than the self-help books or Oprah want us to know.
But for now, personal growth be damned. I’ve got a video game and a three hour flight to Chicago ahead of me.