and so it begins..
10:34pm, January 7 2008.
Am sitting on the plane next to auntie anne, our air Canada flight 876 out of pearson having left about 10 minutes ago…in air en route to Frankfurt, final destination: cape town.
Wow. Cape town. Its happening. Its really real, isint it? Ever since the beginning, when the seeds for this adventure were planted, after the initial conversation with bonny, the meeting/interview in Vancouver…talking of the possibility of what could come of this…nothing really seemed real. Even when the wheels began to be put in motion…the word was put out, the fundraising begun. Even when my ticket was purchased and notice was given at work. Come to think of it, even now…it still doesn’t feel real.
But it is. It most certainly is. The big question now:
What comes next?
A million thoughts somersault and back flip through my brain…
Sadness at the endless goodbyes I have just said. Saying goodbye to my grandmother of course the hardest..my mom..my tough-as-nails stone cold killa mother…breaking down on the phone in tears after we had parted and telling me that it only hit her when she returned home and realized that I really was gone..ouch. hard. Saying goodbye to my aunt of course is going to be insanely tough but we wont think about that for now…
My friends...my wonderful wonderful beautiful hilarious supportive caring gorgeous friends. So blessed I am. As if I didn’t already know this, over the past few weeks it has become all the more cemented.
Its always the anticipation that kills you, innit? The build up? The goodbyes..the what ifs..the scrambling to get everything done…the packing…which of course was going on until the minute we left the house for the airport..
How does one pack for an experience like this?
Moreover, how does one prepare? Mentally? Emotionally? Is it even possible to do so? What lies ahead of me? Do I want to know? The fear of the unknown. Although..is it fear? Cannot honestly say that I feel afraid. I don’t fear what comes next. But I do wonder. I suppose that all will begin to become clear in a very short while. Recognition of THAT reality however..a shiver raises the hair on my arms.
My mom and I were talking about preconceived notions…and about what I imagine my experience will be like. Is it strange that I don’t really have any? That is to say that I do envision my experience being just that – an experience – but beyond that…the details?
What will it be like to be among the minority? To stand out because of the colour of my skin? I am a 28 year old white-skinned woman and for the first time in my life I am going to experience, or at the very least have some semblance of the experience of, being the ‘other’.
My heart keeps watching…through the skin of my eyelids…
The arcade fire plays its mournful tune while I clickitty clack clack away, and stare out the window of the plane into an impossibly dark sky.