The Beginning

Five hours before my flight to San Francisco. I’m sitting in a quiet restaurant at the airport. I found a nice corner where I am quite hidden from everyone else. I left home about 15 hours ago, and it’s funny to think that I am not going to see my parents and my three little brothers for the next eight months. Funny as in scary. Funny as in I can’t believe I’m actually doing this. Funny as in I am so excited about meeting new people and making friends, but I also know I will miss home like crazy.

You would think that since I’ve lived away from home for the past two years, this would be so easy for me, but it doesn’t quite work that way. Emotions are such funny things, one moment you’re bubbling with excitement at the thought of spending the next year in a completely new community, the next you’re staring blankly at a wall thinking about how much you will miss home, and then on again.

What will San Francisco be like? What will Florianópolis be like? What will my host family be like? In my mind, I picture sunshine, dresses blowing in the wind, selfie sticks, little children laughing outside, colourful dancing women, red dust in the air, and lots and lots of ice-cream.

Why? I don’t know, I guess when I think of happiness these are just the things that come to mind. It’s a bit of a romanticised image I do admit, but it is the only picture my mind will give me right now.

My most perfect year would include these things, a published poetry collection, and an acceptance letter from that one school I've wanted to go to for a while now. And maybe this is the reason my excitement is tinged with a bit of nervous anxiety. So many dreams and so much uncertainty about how many of them will actually come true, and how many will always be just dreams.