April 2006, Chicago: First Stop – O’Hare

so in writing about my trip, i’m going to pretty much just share my journal with a few sidebars here and there. i wrote this in the o’hare airport:

“here i am on the first leg of the trip. i’m at o’hare – which has been surprisingly unconfusing this time around – and the next stop is frankfurt, germany. whoa. i’m flying overseas. amazing. i started to panic a little bit this morning, i realized that i put on an aloofness or distraction and that’s how i don’t freak the fuck out. i was feeling the weight of it all in the car with my mom on the way to the airport. some kind of nostalgic chorded tune came on the radio and i had a moment where i was once again surprised by what i was doing and the tears just started streaming down my face. what i’m doing along with the thought that my mom made this trip thirty years ago and it changed her life forever… i’m not so open sometimes and so when my mom questioned my tears, i didn’t know what to say. everything was going to change now. my dad is going to be real, three dimensional. i’m going off alone… halfway across the world… and the thing most people tell me is that i’ll see some things i’ve never seen before. what things? and my mom gives me all these backhanded safety issues, travel warnings, things that seem offensive, stereotypical, unnecessary. but i know she’s just urging me to be careful. but i don’t want to be timid in those ways. my dad and my family will take care of me. it will be fine. i wonder when i’m going to flip out. flip out again, i guess i should say. i’m so nervous…”

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