Row 30. ‘G’ to be exact. A blanket over my shoulder and the seatbelt fastened; not too tight, but tight enough to get the slight nod of approval from the air hostess.
My 10-year-old self would be so proud of how far she’s going; jumping out her skin and staring out the window to catch the first glimpse of her dream. A real dream if you ask me.
I’m not seated by the window, I mean, if I stick my head out enough to the right, I would get a sneak peek of the blue skies, which, from where I’m seated, appears to be more white than blue.
New York, New York! I’ve always been so attracted to that city and I’m not sure why. Is it because of how it’s been portrayed and romanticized as the city of dreams ever since I laid eyes on a television screen? Is it because of how seemingly multicultural and diverse they say it is? Is it because of the countless songs that sing its praises or the colourful lyrics that are voiced as an ode to the great, great city? Maybe it’s exactly all of the above and more.
I want to see it all, I want to take it all in like it’s the first thing I’ve ever seen. I want to explore the streets and avenues with wonder and curiosity like I’m crushing on a boy I set my eyes on for the first time.
I want all of it to make sense; all the songs, tales of glory, meaningful stories of lovers and losers and bystanders.
I want to get it is what I’m saying.
But I’m not 10 anymore. I’m not naive to the reality that possibly, the picture I’ve framed in my head might not be captured in the streets I might walk or the bridges I might cross.
What if I hate everything about the only place I’ve wanted to my feet to touch? What if instead of gold, it’s rusty without any chance of recovery. What if it’s a disappointment?
I’ve tried so much to keep my cool and maintain expectations at a low volume inside my mind to avoid any chance of total let down, but truth is, it’s a very difficult thing to do. There’s still a 10-year-old girl inside of me, wide–eyed and jumpy, anticipating what is to come; she’s never been let down by the world before and views everything from the bright side. She sees it all in black and white and is a self-proclaimed happy optimist.
At 22, expectations are what I’ve known to be a bane to existence. I have watched them fall into place, but I have mostly watched them fall apart. I have gone into rooms with a big smile on my face and exited them with a big pit in my stomach. I have let people down and I have certainly been let down. I have seen life take over and take under without mercy and I have heard true stories sound like complete absurdity or fiction.
What I’m saying is, I’ll just have to wait and see, like everything in life. I’ll just have to take the chance as well as the risks that come with taking flight. I’ll have to take the hopes and dreams I carried with me in my boxes and allow them to go through the motions – all the motions.
I’m sat here: it’s totally different from the usual low-budget flight I take to Italy and back every year, and we still have about three hours to go. Food was served earlier; I had mac and cheese for launch and I’ve already had about two cups of hot chocolate since we boarded. My Netflix series are also keeping me company and my sister on my left is seriously annoyed with the lady next to her who is taking up space on her seat.
I’m ready. I’m not ready, but I’m ready – I think.
Your restless romantic roamer