I’m quiet on the drive to Dulles from my house.
I’ve already cried saying goodbye to the pups, and now, staring out the window as the suns rays just begin to kiss the tops of the trees, I hold back tears.
I’m leaving America. I am leaving the life I know.
I don’t take my eyes off of my surroundings as we drive, but my mind wanders back through the past few months. Through my Las Vegas life, my road trip, coming home to spend time with my friends and family in Maryland, my last night in America … moments flash before me as I tuck the memories, the images, into the back of my mind to pull up when I feel my heart ache.
The original plan is to drop me off at Departures. But now, after an entire day spent sorting and packing and unpacking and sorting and then vacuum packing (and tears), I’ve managed to convince my parents to park the car and head into ticketing with me.
I’m just not ready to say goodbye.
We head to United’s international ticketing counter, hidden on the other side of the ticketing row and I check my 70-pound bag (yes, it’s heavy … I’ve packed everything I could ever want for a year into it), and then slowly, slowly, my mom, dad and I walk to the security check point.
I feel the sobs bubble in my chest, my vision gets blurred with tears.
Just come with me. Just move to Thailand with me.
And, then, I just let go. I don’t care who sees me. I cry. Hard. In the middle of Dulles. Early in the morning. My parents hug me, wrapping their arms around me and squeezing, squeezing, squeezing.
“We’re so proud of you,” they both whisper into my ears. “We love you so much. Go and cherish every moment you have.”
We pull away, exchange looks and laugh/sigh at our state: watery eyes, smiles on our faces.
Celebration and sad at the same time. Bittersweet.
And then, I head through security and begin my exit from America.