In a month I will be on a plane out of here and in the air, somewhere over the Atlantic, on my way to Toronto. For weeks now its been this abstract date, telling people that ‘Oh yeah, I’m flying out on the 17th of September’. It always seemed like such a long time away. But I woke up this morning and it just hit me like a brick wall. This wave of fear and nerves and excitement (At this point nervousness seems to be the overriding emotion) just washed over me and I allowed myself a little moment to freak out. I can’t believe how fast the time is going.
It’s not like I was unprepared for feeling like this. For the last few weeks I’ve been having what I can only call stress dreams. Missing my plane, opening my suitcase and finding only socks and perhaps the most horrible, not being allowed onto the plane until I’ve sat my Leaving Cert which causes me to wake up in a state of sheer panic. I mean we all remember that feeling of LC stress right? And what’s worse is, it’s always bloody Maths that I’m dreaming about. And I’ve never studied. It’s awful! I was never really sure what a vector was in the first place so dreaming about them is just a complete nightmare. I’ve never felt anything like it so maybe it’s my mind subconsciously using the most stressful time in my life to let me know I should be more worried? Slightly depressing if my amateur psychology is right.
Everyone usually asks me the same three questions:
“When are you off?
“Got everything sorted?”
“Have you got a job out there?”
The first question is fine, “Yeah I’m leaving in a few weeks, can’t believe how fast it’s coming round” is my usual stock answer, but the other two I usually just hedge around, because no, I don’t have everything sorted (I may have pulled the zip of my suitcase) and definitely no, I don’t have a job. And somehow I feel bad saying that.
People get that look in their eyes, like, ‘Oh you don’t have job? Then what are you even doing going over?”. To be honest, I think it’s a rude question to ask. I would never ask someone who is emigrating have they got a job, because I know that it is a stressful and scary time and sometimes to opportunity to job hunt from another continent is quite difficult. And whenever anyone asks me and I say, no, nothing sorted yet, I feel bad about myself. It’s not a rational feeling and I may be projecting my own issues with it onto people but still, it’s like when someone asked you what results you got in exams. So in the nicest, I know you mean well voice, basically back off, it’s none of your business!
If I was more certain of what I wanted to do, career wise, then looking and job hunting might be a bit easier. But I’m still as confused as I was when I graduated university. I’m passionate about a lot of things, but having to pick one and do it as a career is proving more difficult that I would have thought. I see loads of my fellow graduates who seemed to just know what they wanted to do. They got a job in that field and have been working ever since. I was always so jealous of their certainty. I don’t have it yet, and absolutely one of the main reasons that I’m moving to Toronto is that I want to figure out what I’m good at and go for it 100%. I used to have this idea of what my life would be like, making 5 year plans when I was 18. I mean, it was ridiculous. I had no idea of the real world, or what kind of person I wanted to be. It’s sounds so cliché and so self-indulgent but it’s true, I need to go away and figure my shit out. Try and become someone, and I don’t think Ireland is the place for me to do that.
But other than people asking the same three questions every time I leave the house, I have all the major ticks on the list done. Flights, insurance, somewhere to stay for the first few weeks, lots of socks and some snow boots. I am fairly certain I have forgotten stuff but luckily I have my mother adding to my list daily. She seems determined to get me a hat with ear flaps and/or earmuffs. I am determined to not get any of these things near my head, ever. Although I’ve heard Toronto winters can be seriously brutal so maybe I’ll cave and wear the owl shaped earmuffs my sister bought last year (hipster or just idiotic?). I think taking my mothers advice about what I need to bring is proving difficult for me. Basically because it makes me want to cry. Every time I think about leaving my family, the constant low level of emotion that I’m at, will spike and I either need to go and have a little cry or end up listening to some sad music and wallowing for half an hour.
Because that’s my main fear, leaving my family. And not because they are such amazing people and we are so close, because we’re not. In the sense that we don’t hug a lot and don’t have a lot of deep meaningful conversations. But it’s more of a unseen bond, one that goes deep and while we don’t always show how much we care, we are ride or die for each other. Although, I don’t think my mum counted on having three of her adult children back living with her along with my nine year old sister, but that’s what happened. And the massive amount of horrible crap we went through has meant I have serious anxiety about leaving them. I won’t go into why I am, some people have rough home lives and I was one of them. And I had to step up, or I chose to step up. But it has left me with that residual worry for them. It’s not like I can come home and help, I’ll be across an entire ocean and that’s my one true fear about going, not about not being able to find a job or finding somewhere to live, but worrying and hoping that they’ll be ok. I’ll have to find some way to make peace with it within the next four weeks or else I will have a meltdown on the plane.
It’s half the reason I’m not letting any of them go to the airport with me. I’m staying with my best friend the night before my flight. I remember when my brother went to Australia and I was in college handing in my thesis and calling them to see how it went at the airport and my sister just said they all cried and cried. I know I couldn’t take that, especially from my youngest sister. So my best friend Gina is gonna take the bullet and make sure I get on the plane. (Thanks, G!)
I mean, I’ll get on the plane. I will. I have four weeks left at home to prep for getting on that plane. I’m getting on the plane.
*I should point out that I am seriously, deliriously excited about going and having serious fun in Toronto, but I just seem to write a bit depressingly about the experience, I don’t know why. It just happens! But if you can’t talk about how much of a scaredy cat you are on the internet, then when can you?