On the leaving-for-the-first-time panic

To mum and dad, for everytime I leave.

Here you are, ready. You won your scholarship, you got your job, you bought the tickets for your world tour lots of time ago, but it feels like yesterday because you had to tell everyone, fill in forms, get visas, plan, buy stuff. And now you are counting the days, the hours, the seconds left to the moment you will be on your way to the airport. You can’t sleep, you can’t help thinking about everything you did in the past months and wondering what is waiting for you. You keep on repeating your baggage list, thinking back to the last time you hugged your best friend, planning every single move you’ll do next morning, and in the end you force yourself to silently sing a lullaby because it’s 3:00 AM and the alarm clock will ring in three hours and you won’t be able to sleep until the day after tomorrow. But it’s useless, because this is not a holiday, this is your very first travel experience, you’ve been dreaming about it all life long and, to tell the truth, you’d like to go to the airport right now, no matter the waiting lounge boredom.

Do you still remember the famous words? Here you are, ready.

Ready, aren’t you?

Of course you are. Ready as your mum was right before giving birth to her first son.

You leave home being sure you forgot something, and by the time you reach the airport you checked your passport almost ten times, because who knows?, it could disappear in every moment, maybe there’s a big rat in your bag and it will eat your documents for sure. But this is nothing compared to the fear you are feeling in real terms: something keeps you sit in the car, while your mum stares at you smiling sadly and says “My little little girl, ready to leave her mummy and go way too far from home”, and you keep silent because the reply would be “I’m going nowhere, I’m staying with my mummy forever and ever, I won’t go to the supermarket never again if she’s not with me”. You grab the suitcase to prevent you from running away and walk to the check-in counter looking to the floor, because you are about to throw up and all those people going everywhere won’t help at all.

Fortunately you see your travel mate, and you feel a little better. You are not alone, there’s her with you, for the next few months she will be your anchor every time you’ll feel bad, nostalgic or scared as hell. You run to her and you hug her like you hugged no one in months, grateful to have someone to give you strength. “I’m sh***ing myself”, she whispers in your ear.

That’s how you know you are f****d for real.

But as soon as you cross the metal detector (crying), fear disappears. Something has changed, you crossed the point of no return. Just a step, and you will never be the same again. You did it, and you are a little more… something than your mummy’s little little girl.


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