Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Goodbye Austin

I hate crying. Even when it’s reasonable, I hate crying.

Breathing is labored, you get all snotty and you can’t see anything clearly. Stupid tears.

Unfortunately, while I seldom cry, those tears have been welling up pretty often lately and today at the airport was certainly no exception.

I’ve already been kind of an emotional wreck for the past week or so. The closer my departure date got, the more I started stressing out. Stress always makes me crazy. Usually I just get irritated, but there is a distinct sadness involved with it this time around.

My mom did really well at the airport today; I expected her to be a complete wreck but she managed not to completely break down which really helped. Hell, just thinking about it makes me start welling up again.

Honestly, what did it was when my dad started crying. My dad doesn’t cry and I’m pretty sure the only time I’ve seen him cry before today was at his own father’s funeral.

It wasn’t like it was a full out balling and wailing, but tears in my dad’s eyes are just a little shocking and made it all seem like the big deal that it really is (and I’ve been attempting to pretend it’s not).

They stuck around and watched me get through security. I looked back once and instantly started crying again. I avoided looking back again through the rest of security because it’s really hard to take off your shoes and organize your things when you can’t see through your tears.

Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t freaking out and thinking that I don’t want to go anymore. I was just sad. I love my parents and I love Austin.

When I got to the gate I sat down and just cried for the next 10 minutes. I had to make myself pull it together though. There were small children around and they get kind of freaked out when people cry, even complete strangers.

But the plan was never to go somewhere that it would be incredibly difficult to see all of the important people in my life.

The plan was to go to D.C. where it’s a mere $400 round-trip plane ticket to come home (funny how that’s suddenly a small fee). I probably would have been able to make it back for Christmas and one other vacation at the very least. Maybe more if I saved up properly or found good deals online.

While I will be making a significantly larger salary in Taiwan and have virtually no bills, that plane ticket skyrockets to $1,500, which is obviously slightly more prohibitive.

Everyone makes conversation about coming to Taiwan to visit. While I would absolutely love that, I’m not holding my breath. I would like to think I’m enough of a reason to get someone to come to Asia. But, again, that’s an expensive trip. Though, even without the excuse of going to see me, I imagine it’s a trip that’s well worth it (I’ll let you know after I’ve been there for a week or so).

Hopefully I will be lucky enough to have at least one visitor (though I hope everyone who has made a comment about traveling out there makes it).

All I know is, I’m sad and being sad and stressed at the same time is never a good thing. I tend to blow stupid things out of proportion.

For instance, I don’t know why, but it really bothers me that my sister doesn’t intend to take me to the airport when I leave Seattle for Taiwan.

I guess when I was booking the tickets I had this romanticized version of how it would go down in my head:

I would leave Austin and the last people I would see there would be my parents. We would, of course, break down.

Then I would leave Seattle and my sister would be the last person I see there. I would inevitably begin to freak out and she would give me some sublime wisdom about how I am a capable and competent woman and this will be one of the best experiences of my life. (Side note: Obviously I know this already, but it’s nice to hear it out of someone else’s mouth, particularly someone who I know wouldn’t just tell me what I want to hear.)

Now, it seems as though some random shuttle express guy will be driving my sobbing soul to the airport at midnight next Tuesday so I can get on a 12.5-hour flight to Taipei at 2:40 a.m.

I have no idea why I assumed that my sister would drop everything to take me to the airport, which is an hour away, at midnight when she has work at 6 a.m. the following day. When I think about it logically (and by logically I mean without crying) it doesn’t really make sense. But being the emotional freak show that I am right now, I suppose I thought this for the same reason I figured my mom would not go to work today so that she could see me off.

Apparently, I only have the luxury of being correct about 50 percent of the time.

But, while it’s disappointing, I get it. And given that I do, I need to get over it so I can have a good time with my sister and her family for the last time for a year. I would hate to ruin that.

Hello Seattle.



  1. So, I'm going to be reading this blog all the time FYI. A, because you are a good writer, B, it should be interesting, and C, I effing miss you already. Good luck in Taiwan--YOU ARE A STRONG AND CAPABLE WOMAN!!

  2. at the end of your year you're going to be so strong and you'll be speakin chinese and you'll know so much about another culture. there will be kids who you can't imagine not seeing every week and who will cry when you leave. you'll have friends and a fruit market lady and people who will drop you off at the airport and fix your scooter for free.

    i'm definitely setting my alarm so i'll be awake with tea in hand when you arrive at the dorm. it's going to be great!

  3. Aw, thanks guys. Today has just been kind of a rough day.

    Mags, I really appreciate the encouragement.

    Megan, I can't wait to get there and I am SO glad you'll be there waiting for me on the other side. That's making this that much easier.

  4. i'll be following as well. You'll do fine! And hey, you'll be average height over there !

  5. Good luck. I can't believe you're finally about to go. I'm so excited for you. And I know you'll be fine and have the time of your life over there.

  6. I miss you sweetheart and although it has taken me a full week for it to sink in it now has and yes I am a mess right now trying to type this.
    You are strong and can do anything you set your mind to do. I know you will love it there, yes it will be hard not seeing you/us but we will make it somehow and look forward to seeing you again. Dad is going to get our camera tomorrow so we can talk before you leave and when you get there.
    Remember we all love you sooooooooooo much and miss you lots!


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