Final Pre-Departure: Numinous

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Basically, I found this word and the definition on Pinterest, and was particularly struck by how true it rang for me and how I am feeling about studying abroad. 

I am currently sitting next to a plug-in station in Dulles airport in DC (#plughog #sorrynotsorry) while writing this post. I'm not even sure what to think at the moment, just because I'm overwhelmed by the immense opportunity, the virtual blank slate, and the newness of it all. I've visited Paris before, and I've travelled out of the country without my parents before, but for some reason this all feels so new to me. So basically, I'm fearful, fascinated, awed, attracted, overwhelmed, and very much inspired. 

I can imagine myself walking down the cobblestone streets that I have pictures of hanging in my room back in Denver. I can just hear myself speaking flawless French like I have dreamed since I first started learning the language (this one may take a little longer than walking down cobblestone streets). 

I will land in Paris at 11:00pm Denver time, which means that I will only have spent a little bit over 12 hours traveling (thank goodness). Then, of course, comes customs and baggage claim, and finding my way through Charles de Gaulle airport (Lord help me) to meet my group. When my parents brought me to the airport this morning, they both got misty eyed. The strange thing is, I didn't. It never even entered my mind to be sad, or to cry. I basically had to control myself enough so that I didn't just run to the gate agent and start bouncing up and down like a little kid shouting "TAKE ME TO FRANCE! TAKE ME TO FRANCE!". 

I felt bad leaving my parents behind. I know my dad is planning on visiting later on in my time in France, but still. I didn't even look back once I hugged and kissed them goodbye for the final time. Going through security was a breeze. I am a huge fan of being randomly selected for TSA expedited security (which also happened to me in Los Angeles). I didn't have to take anything out of my overstuffed bags or take my shoes off (although I did wear sandals for that precise reason). Even sitting here now, I'm at my gate just waiting for them to start boarding my flight! 

However, part of having a numinous experience is the element of awe and fear, and there are plenty of things that I'm somewhat - Sorry, I just saw Mariska Hartigay (I'm basically just a huge fan of SVU) and I never see famous people anywhere, and we made eye contact. I can't even handle myself right now - so what was I saying? Oh yes, there are plenty of things that I'm somewhat nervous about... especially when it comes to the language barrier, at least for the first few weeks. I'm also nervous about my host family, mostly because I haven't heard from them, and I'm excited to meet them. 

I'm afraid that I'm going to miss my parents. It sounds stupid, but I am really scared of just missing them so much that I can't function. I'm an only child, and I'm really close to them. I've definitely been away from them before, with traveling, and college, but even at college I always knew I could go home if I needed to because I'm from Denver and my parents live about 20 minutes away from campus. It will be weird and scary to think that I'm in a different country, even if it's only temporary.Right now, that is my biggest fear. 

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Anyways, I think that's about it for now. So this is my final pre-departure post. I leave DC in just over an hour, and I will be in Paris before I know it. I will post about Paris once I get to Caen, which will be on Monday. 

Here's to a new adventure, a numinous journey, full of wonder, inspiration, and learning. Cheers!

Thank you all for reading. I'll see you soon. 

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