I should be showering right now. And finishing packing.
But instead, I am here. Writing this down.
I’ve looked forward to this day for over a year.
The day I finally get to fly back home to Florida and see my family and best friends.
I watched, as the rest of the country did, when Florida reopened too soon. When COVID cases spiked again and the disease ran rampant.
I worried about my elderly grandmother (whom I adore) living in a retirement community, at-risk and living on her own. My cousin, aunt, and uncle have been so wonderful, not just taking care of her and loving her (as they always do), but going above and beyond to ensure her health and safety.
I worried for my parents, in their 70s and fully capable, but still older and at risk of the deadly virus.
I missed the absolute hell out of my best friend, who I haven’t seen in over 2 years.
I haven’t flown back home since the birth of her 3rd child! We’d planned to meet up again in 2020…but well, we all know how 2020 went.
I cannot squash the anxiety.
The day I scheduled my second shot, I added two weeks and looked at the calendar to see when I should book my flight.
And today is that day.
The cost was more than reasonable — only $100 round trip from NYC to Florida and back!
I’ve been excited and anxious since the moment I clicked “buy now.”
My first real travel since COVID rocked the world.
It’s the first time I’ve been on a plane since fall 2019 when my family and I went to Alaska together on an amazing family vacation.
Though I wasn’t as a child and young adult, I’ve become a nervous flyer over the last few years.
And this is the MOST nervous I’ve ever felt.
My chest is tight, my stomach in knots.
…and I don’t even leave for the airport for another couple of hours.
It’s not just the flight, of course.
I am nervous about traveling and whether people will be in masks, and crowds, and well…people in general.
I knew the day would finally come that I’d dine in at a restaurant again or walk through a crowded airport and wait in line for TSA.
I am just super anxious about it.
And honestly, even after going through it today, I know I’ll still be anxious about the airport, flight, and crowds upon returning home to NYC in 10 days.
I haven’t really thought about what it will be like to go back into crowds.
I know we will all go see concerts and go to festivals and comic-cons and stuff again someday.
And I’ve been wanting it for over a year.
Now that some semblance of normalcy is returning, I find myself almost paralyzed with fear and anxiety.
What if I get COVID while down south? What if I accidentally bring it with me and infect my loved ones?
What if I get into a fight with an anti-masker or anti-vaxxer because I can’t keep my mouth shut?
I don’t know, man. I am excited. I am going. I am doing this intentionally and on purpose.
But damn, I am anxious about it!
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