"Right. Well. I can't go any further now, you're on your own."
This time, I wasn't worried. I felt years older than I had a week previously, and the only thing standing in the way of me at Toronto airport, and me safely happy at home, was the new found happiness, freedom, and confidence sunk at my feet which once danced in front of me. I did not want to go home, and no matter how hard I tried to spend my last day like I should have, this bubblewrap that had surrounded me had begun to pop and there was no way I could stop it. I was quiet, and slow, and my packing was horrific. My packing is never horrific - hello, Virgo - but even my clothes didn't want to leave. Their arms stuck out of the case, just missing a white flag.
"Hi, how are you?" Yep, that was ME that time, actually making conversation with the security people. If I learnt anything that week is was that, in general, humans are pretty ace and interesting, so you should talk to them. The worst they could do is kill you, which is unlikely, and if they're a horrible person then really you should walk away feeling better about yourself. The confidence that plasters Canadians is admirable, and I fancy me some of that. There are so many opportunities you could miss by not talking to someone, or not saying yes, or not saying no, or not NOTICING what's around you. You may be set in your ways, and are happy with what you know and who you know, but CHEESUS there are so many fantastic people out there and there is so much to KNOW.
I'd bought my Cadbury's-that-isn't-really-Cadbury's-it's-just-disguised-as Cadbury's-and-made-of-the-runt-of-Nestle and compulsory Niagara Falls magnet for nan. I'd been to the toilet with the sensitive flushes that went off FIVE TIMES while I was STILL WEEING. I was now sitting at the Gate with 3 hours to spare. But I wasn't bored, like I was at Gatwick. I didn't feel like I was lacking in anything to keep me occupied, in terms of material or anything on me. I looked up. I looked up and around and started noticing things with others, instead of noticing anything to do with me.
The women directly opposite was quite young. She had bright turquoise tights on, and big hair, with a pen behind her ear. She's creative, I assume, and writes whenever she wants. She was sitting cross legged on the chair, bent over a book and chewing her fingers. Not even her nails, her fingers. A good book, obviously. You could tell by the crinkles in her forehead and her not realising the man next to her staring. He was a lot more relaxed, also reading a book, and had a black polo top on and black square glasses. They'd be good together, I thought, and soon enough she was giggling at a remark he made, swirling a section of her hair between her chewed fingers and ignoring the pen falling from behind her ear onto the floor.
There were 2 boys sitting behind them, probably the same age as me. One was tall and blonde, with a red cap on backwards, and the other as dark haired, shorter, with glasses. Both with thick black coats on, and creased over laughing. I wonder what about. Maybe they're laughing at memories of the past week, or at someone around them, or maybe one just said 'willy'. The dark haired one leaned back after a while, and the blonde held his head at his knees. Well, it WAS nearly 10pm and 3am in the UK. Maybe their poor little bodies were still suffering from jet lag. Bless.
One girl down the row of my seats hadn't got off her phone for hours. A black girl, slightly older than me, with a propa Laandan accen?. You couldn't miss her. Bright yellow hoody, jeans, UGG boots, a small patterned suitcase, and a designer tan handbag. A red streak in her hair and long acrylic nails. Shame her cared for look didn't match her stroppy, moody personality. I shouldn't judge, she may have had trouble, but she was rude, and there isn't any excuse for that. As the flight started to board, she was up like a shot and someone nudged her as they scrambled into a line. She gave him the once over and swished her high ponytail while rolling her eyes. I decided I wouldn't talk to her.
I didn't really like the couple in front either. Older couple, in typical travelling tracksuits. He had a phenomenal white moustache going on, which was an ace comparison to his baldness, and old skool big headphones draped around his neck. But whenever he leaned forward, with his eyes closed, she immediately massaged his shoulders. Not one word spoken between them. They seemed happy, nonetheless, but something made me uncomfortable and twitch.
As the Gate lounge emptied, and the boarding line shortened, a family in a kerfuffle tagged on at the end. Mum, dad, 2 boys, 1 girl. The girl must have been about 8 years old, and was decked out in designer clothing, clutching a big teddy and Hollister bag. Shouldn't judge that sight either, as I was sitting in my new Abercrombie & Fitch hoody, but I decided she was spoilt anyway. The older boys were totally different. The eldest, about 14, had broken his arm. Maybe he'd done it skiing. He was looking down, scuffing his trainers, while his younger brother, 11? was moaning at his dad about something. The poor parents looked tired and ignored everything around them; solely focused on 'getting on that bloody plane home'.
Finally, they called my seat, and maybe I was the one then being thought about. I wouldn't have minded. I always wonder how people perceive me from the outside. I see me in the mirror, and I see me in photos, then videos, then dreams, then opinions, and they're all so different. Maybe it'd be nice to have someone analyse you without knowing anything about you. Whenever someone says "You're so *enter quality here*" I either don't agree, or have never thought about me being like that. It's odd, the notion of someone knowing something about you that you don't even recognise. It starts that age old debating about whether you're destined and pre-set from the start, or whether you choose what you're like. I have no idea what I'm like and hope that somewhere someone has written something about me. Tabula Rasa. Blank slate.
It was only when I was sat in my seat, that I realised again what I was actually doing. Going home. I'd spent so long noticing everything around me that I forgot me. Which was pretty awesome, while it lasted. A rather attractive man sat down next to me and opened a book, so I opened mine. He helped me switch on the light above and I helped him figure out movie channels. Then I noticed red stains on his jeans and thought he must be a murderer so shot my fantasy down.
I didn't want to come home. But like every experience, it changed home. I want to know about people and have them intrigue me, because I'm fed up of being stuck around me. Yes, I'm insinuating that I'm selfish and self-centred, essentially. I'm walking talking human instinct, but what makes us incredible is that we can reason and socialise and use language. So I'm going to do it. Rack up the confidence my cousins have over the sea and go out and talk, and do stuff, and meet people. Maybe I'm stating the obvious with all of this, but sometimes we need to be reminded of the obvious because that's the basis of everything else.
Life Lessons with Louise over, you are dismissed.
"Right. Well. I can't go any further now, you're on your own."