A Case of the Nerves.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fair warning: This is going to be a very text/gif-heavy post. You'll be thankful for the lack of pictures later. 

"You've always been the adventurous one" Has been the best compliment I've received from friends and family over the years. Throughout my life I've done my best to jump at every opportunity that came my way. No matter how crazy, far away, or alone I was: I did it with a smile and the stars in my eyes.

The day I left for England was one for the books. Never in my life have my nerves just gone haywire and out of control – I've always been able to calm myself down or put on a brave face for my parents.

Friday night, after a great dinner of steaks and Blue Bell ice cream with my family and friends followed by smiley goodbyes, I crawled into bed and suddenly my mood took a 180. Physically it felt like I was coming down with a fever in crashing waves while my head was racing in a million different directions. I tossed and turned and hardly slept a wink, I literally got the point where I was frantically telling myself "I need to go to the doctor in the morning and get prescribed Xanax".


That morning, I felt calm again - whew! All I needed was a few hours of sleep, right?

My parents, being the awesome ones that they are, cooked bacon and waffles all ready to greet me.
What did I do with some of my favorite foods?
I nibbled. Barely.

Which raised some serious eyebrows.
I just don't turn down bacon.

To put it in my mom's words "Oh WOW are you actually nervous - you can't be nervous! You aren't eating BACON?!"

I sipped my coffee and laughed while explaining how I can't eat when I'm excited or nervous; for example that one time I ate half a taco before seeing One Direction in concert.

The morning quickly slipped away and my body began feeling weak and I was shaking so badly that had to hold onto the counter to stand without my legs buckling (yes sorry mom, I obviously lied when you asked if I was shaking). My face was a sickly yellow color and I was barely speaking, my mom handed me some anti-nausea medicine and I said my goodbyes to my sister and dog.

The car ride to the airport wasn't exactly the special, touching ride we envisioned in our heads. It was more along the lines of me trying to keep crackers down and failing quite epically (TMI alert - oh yes, I got sick). When we pulled into the airport I was seriously debating whether or not I could get on this plane. Mentally I was telling myself "You can DO this, this is your DREAM, you planned this for MONTHS and not once did you feel nervous! Get a grip!"

Once I got into the fresh air and received a mini pep talk from my parents, I started to feel better. Not my normal self, but better. What's ironic is that I was all prepared to help comfort my mom and giggle at her being a blubbering mess (her words, not mine), and instead she and my dad had to get into "parent mode" and comfort ME - quite the opposite of what we predicted. What's even weirder is I never actually cried or did anything outwardly emotional - I had just literally made myself ill. So my departure had no pictures, no tearful goodbye, basically just "let's shove you through security before we have to buy you another new shirt" (I warned you, TMI). Goes to show moments like these aren't always how you played them out in your head.

Eventually I made it on that plane, had a great flight, got off that plane, breezed through immigration control, and onto several train rides. At every stopping point, the weight in my chest grew lighter. We pulled into the station and I clumsily made my way out, breathed in the English air, and said hello to my new home for the next year (and maybe more).

Ahhh a cliche sunrise/airplane wing picture – it was a long day, this scene was very calming to me okay?!

How are you before you leave for a big adventure?

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