I fly to Edinburgh from Toronto tomorrow.
For the past sixty-odd days I’ve been counting down by “sleeps”. I find it less ambiguous to go by “sleeps” than by “days”, since in “days” one has the issue of exclusivity or inclusivity. I’m now on the Final Sleep. If I once felt bravado, I feel rather less right now. I’ve said goodbye (for a bit) to lots of friends and family, and I have probably had more hugs in the past two weeks than the past decade (I’m not a huggy person). I don’t mind, though.
I’ve mostly been stuffing my face in the past couple of days, it was great, and I had roast beef and yorkshire puddings tonight. For some reason I thought there was going to be a cake, and there wasn’t, so I was a bit sad. It’s not that I wanted personal fanfare so much as the cake from Bread and Butter is amazing, and I’m not celebrating my birthday at home this year. I’m going to go ahead and assume that there exists cake in Scotland, though, so I daresay I’ll survive. My dad went mad and bought me an iPhone, which was great, but it wasn’t as delicious as cake. My sister also got an iPhone, and I told her it was to replace me, since I’m going. Everybody laughed, and she was absolutely thrilled with it, so that went exactly as planned.
The issue of nationality reared its head again. Though if you cut me I would bleed maple syrup, I also hold a UK passport, and it was with great reluctance that I selected “British” from the drop-down window on the Air Canada nationality kiosk, because I’m going on the UK passport. I feel like I should go as Canadian on principle, but if I selected Canadian anyways, the UK passport might confuse them. It’s already confused officials once, when I did my registration forms I had to go “yes, I’m Canadian. Very Canadian. I really wasn’t lying about being Canadian. Here’s a scan of my UK passport, because visas are for mere mortals”. However, pretending to be Scottish is something of a national pastime, especially in Ontario, (and in the Atlantic provinces they pretend to be Irish), so I doubt that’s anything they haven’t seen before. Most people probably don’t think about it that in-depth.
Also, though Air Canada is apparently one of the safest airlines in existence (albeit with miserly service), I’m probably still going to imagine dying in many different ways involving an airplane. I said there was one sleep left, that’s if I’m lucky…
In closing, it’s hard to shake the doubt. I think I absolutely picked the right university, but maybe I picked the wrong residence, or the wrong courses, and maybe it’s all going to fail and I’ll starve to death or something. I’m also getting funny feelings about leaving. I put all my keys in my desk drawer at home, because I’m not going to need car keys, or house keys, or my lab key, and I left my city library card and auto club card here, because I’m also not going to need that. My room is still a mess, but somehow I’ve decided that 50 pounds of stuff is all I need to take with me. It’s also really, really weird, because I feel like there is no gradual transition – I have my usual life here, and then I incubate like a little pupa in an airplane for seven hours, and then I am magically transported to a different life. I am not sure how I feel about that.
I feel like I’m forgetting something.