Every time I fly I start to feel anxious. I'm not melodramatic enough to worry about the plane crashing. That doesnt phase me even slightly. If it crashes, it crashes. Its the checking in and security. Its all those lines and the crowds and crowds of people. The expectation to be on time - and conversely that if you're late your travel plans are completely screwed.
Maybe my anxiety stems from the first time I flew by myself. I got hauled off to be questioned in a room because my parents forgot to write me a permission note and they saw a teenager and went "Oh teenage angst - this ones definitely a runaway". Foolish security people.
But even if I know I couldnt possibly be late, I still worry. I sit in the taxi on the way to the airport, willing it to hurry up. I take one look at the security line and can only see it as a stand still, worrying the whole while that I wont make it through in time. Every minute has me racing against a clock. And every minor setback at the check-in counter sends me reeling.
Maybe I just havent flown enough. Maybe.
The flight back home is usually worse. Because my airport anxiety combines with the irrational fear I have of coming home and everything being different. Of all the expectations - expectations I cant possibly measure up to. That the people I go to visit will be different, that I'm different - and our two differents are an impossible match. I worry that all the effort and class cutting, will reward me with nothing but a slap in the face, that resounds that the life I've held onto in Alberta doesnt exist anymore. And if I were to be perfectly honest with myself, I'd have to admit that my life in Alberta doesnt exist anymore. I'm not real there. I'm a vague memory that is slowly replaced by change. And as much as I initially want to come home, as the time nears I begin to dread it.
Of course I am not changing my plans. Anxiety or not - I do love being home. But its the moment before I get there that I cant stand. This moment (and the next seven hours) in fact.