With Love, From Gate D12

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I pride myself on being a very, very efficient traveler. I don’t pack lightly by any means, but I always know where everything is, I respect the rules, and I give no reasons for anyone to second guess my luggage or me.

“Bag check!”

Hah. What a schmuck. Probably has full-size shampoo bottles or something. Glad that’s not — and then I saw it: my bulging pink carryon straining the arms of a tiny TSA agent. My face flushed and I lowered my head, but I knew that soon I would have to identify myself as the culprit, likely validating the glares coming from the businessmen standing beside me, waiting for their bags. Their bags which MY BAG had held up.

“Do you have any idea what this could be?” the agent asked me, pointing to a long metal object on the screen. Oh no, I thought. Not that.

“It’s njlksdnkjjhf,” I muttered. Maybe I wouldn’t have to say it any louder than that. But the look on the agent’s face told me otherwise. I took a sharp breath in and said once, clearly, audibly: “It’s a selfie stick.”

—-

If you have spent any kind of time with me at all in the past three months, or if you’re friends with me on Facebook, or if you follow me on Instagram, or if you happen to work at any Atlanta-based, immigration-related office, you probably know that I am headed to grad school in London. I’ve posted about it an obnoxious amount, I’m sure. I’m actually writing this post from gate D12 in Charlotte Douglas International Airport, so I’m literally headed to London right now.

This has been a dream of mine for years; since I was nine, specifically. It’s not an easy thing to do, but I had felt myself being prepared for a big change for a while, and this opportunity, something I had explored earlier in life to no avail, was presented to me practically on a silver platter. It’s a year-long program in London, England, and I’ll be studying creative writing with an emphasis on publishing.

The thing is, I’m not nervous about this step. I’m nervous that the program will be really difficult, but I’m also kind of hoping that it will be. I’m nervous that I’ll be the obnoxious American, but I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I probably will be. And, of course, I’m worried about leaving behind some great relationships in the States, but I know that I’ll be so busy that I probably won’t even notice. The reality is that a year feels like a nanosecond, even when it seems like an eternity before it starts. I’ve been preparing for this in a very specific way for months and in a more general kind of way my whole life. I’m anxious, but I’m not nervous. I’m thrilled.

I don’t have anything super exciting or wise or entertaining to share with you guys in this post, but I think that’s okay. I’m going to have lots of adventures coming up, and I will be sure to update you frequently. So, for now, I’m off. No, really; I have to go get my documents verified at the gate. Whoops. Talk to you soon!

(And you know there will be pictures, because, if you recall, I brought my selfie stick.)

With love, from gate D12,

Sam

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