“Are you excited to go to Australia?!”
“Australia – what an adventure!”
“O man – Australia – that’s on the top of my bucket list.”
Well, anonymous quoters of the past 2 months, I’m officially off. Actually, currently snuggled in bed because I was unable to sleep anymore, but as soon as my toes get the courage to brave the cold air of my room, I’ll be up and moving! There’s so much to do this morning!
Like, umm, well… there should be, shouldn’t there? I mean I’m going to Australia! That’s a super big deal! And everyone else is so excited, so there must be anxious, exciting things to do this morning, right? The anonymous quoters of jealous excitement are probably picturing me waking up to GLEE’s Halo/Walking on Sunshine mash up, singing into a hairbrush as I throw colorful clothes into a Mary Poppins carpet bag where they magically fold themselves. I’m dancing with my parents down the hall on my way to breakfast, spinning and doing the polka (us Maassels do like ourselves a good polka!). I’m eating a pancake with strawberries for eyes, some scrambled eggs as a beard, and a chocolate chip mouth, with my little glass of orange juice on the side. No coffee -who needs caffeine when you’re as excited as I am?!
But I’m actually just here in my bed. From here I can see my big new purple suitcase that I packed yesterday, when I slowly rolled each piece of clothing into a tight little bundle. I can see my hiking boots sitting on top of my grandma’s old sewing machine cabinet, ready to be worn to the airport today (pro tip – they’re quite heavy, and there’s no weight limit on ME to get on the plane, but there IS a weight limit for my big new purple suitcase to get on the plane). I can see my “HEY, Don’t Forget!” giant post-it hanging on my closet door where I stuck it last week as I thought of things like my calculator, bobby pins, a towel, and a belt. The only things making noise are my keyboard and my heating vent on the other side of the room. And I will have coffee with breakfast.
It would seem as if everything is ready to go, and yet somehow I’m not quite ready yet. Shouldn’t I be as excited as that dancing girl with the hairbrush? Don’t get me wrong – of course I’m excited – I DO understand that this study abroad experience is going to be amazingly unbelievable and awesome beyond what I can imagine. But I think my excitement factor is still quite low because it just doesn’t seem real. I’m going to be on a plane later today? No, that can’t be right! Tomorrow I’ll wake up in this bed again, snuggled up in a familiar hoodie under 2 blankets and a set of flannel sheets, trying to find my fuzzy socks that squirmed off my feet the previous night as I dreamed I was meeting my fellow UNSW study abroad students, who all happened to have red hair (weird dream…), but I won’t actually be meeting these people – it was just a dream!
Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been motionless for the past 2 months as I waited for this moment. Rather, in slow motion I suppose. A person living in slow motion doesn’t simply wake up one day and get on an airplane to Australia. But, as life relaxed for me in that time, the world kept on turning time just like it usually does, and here I am. Me and my big new purple suitcase.
Maybe it’ll be when I hug my mom goodbye, maybe it’ll be when I’m asked to put away and turn off all my electronics on the plane as we prepare for take off, or landing (except I’ve heard a rumor that they don’t make you do that anymore? What’s that about?), maybe it’ll be when I take that first step outside in a new, unknown country. But when this DOES finally feel real, I’ll be back in motion, and that is what I’m looking forward to in Australia.
Well, I suppose it’s time for my toes to brave the cold! Here we go – one, two, three! And with that, ladies and gentlemen, she’s up!
Have a great day!
(or Nan, or Ann – you know who you are, nicknamers