Back to the Future

15 Aug

You must do the things you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt

Today marks one year since I boarded the plane to England. I thought about some cheesy post related to all the things I love here, or an ode to family and friends who’ve made my adjustment easier (both old and new). But in the end, I settled for an honest account of 14 August, 2010, the day I boarded an Air Transat plane in Toronto.

That day my Dad drove me to Pearson. My mind was on two things: I) Do everything possible to distract said father from the fact I am leaving, so he does not get emotional and II) Do everything possible to distract self from fact I am leaving Canada so I do not get emotional or reveal to father that I am scared shitless as he will try to convince me to stay.

Thus, I valiantly (slight exaggeration) battled every surge of emotion with talk of world events—don’t ask me what was going on in the news at the time, as I don’t remember—or logistics about my temporary place of residence (thanks Coen family).

I thought I did quite well to suppress emotions, throughout a two hour strained drive and a tasteless airport meal, but as I neared the security line I saw my father’s eyes well up.

Shit, I thought, as my heart suddenly began to thump in my chest, what am I doing? I wanted to yell at my Dad that this was a whim, an instinct that I stupidly followed. How could he let me do this? My heart thundered louder. I wanted to turn back and run. But I didn’t say anything. I squeezed my Dad goodbye and burst through the barrier onto the other side, where I could be alone with my fears, leaving a teary eyed father in my wake.

Eleven months later, my father would tell me how he couldn’t remember where he parked the car after he’d dropped me off and ended up wandering around the parking lot. He’d also told me he thought he’d held it together pretty well. I had to laugh.

Once through the barriers, I read all the letters and cards my friends had written me before leaving. Some I’d read before. Others, I had not. Honestly, though, Oscar, Esther, Colleen, Meghann, and everyone else who wrote to me, those letters were (and still are) precious to me, as they reminded me that I had friends and family who would support me in my adventures no matter what – whether England turned out to be a failure or success. For that, I owe a lot to you. For those that wrote to me while I was in England (Kaja and Shanice) it meant just as much.

What I remember is boarding that plane one year ago anxious, frightened, and excited for what awaited me. What I also remember is knowing, in my gut, that this was the right decision for me. A year later, I’m still here, and I don’t regret that terrifying journey for a minute.


One Response to “Back to the Future”

  1. Kaja Jorgensen August 15, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    Such a brave adventure to embark upon Maiya! So proud of and happy for you xx

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