Guys…I don’t think I’m smart enough for this.
For the last seven months I’ve been working towards paying off a trip. The trip takes me from New York to Vancouver over the space of about six weeks.
Today, I took myself to the bank to book an appointment. The appointment was to discuss me obtaining a credit card. This was something I had done once before, but at seventeen they didn’t seem to think I was a reliable candidate.
The lady behind the counter had a swollen belly, a mark on her sleeve from where she had rubbed her nose and an easily recognisable accent. I started telling her joyfully about my upcoming trip to her home country. She directed me urgently to the offical Canadian government website where this disturbingly blue tagline accosted me.
What she then explained was that because I’m a Canadian citizen, I can’t travel around Canada on a Visa I’ve applied for using my New Zealand passport.
You used to be able to, but apparently the laws have changed.
This terrified me, painting despondent pictures of a very little eighteen-year-old, very tired, very overwhelmed Trinity, being rudely turned away from the shiny clean Canadian border. In this picture I’m roughly manhandled onto the nearest flight home, in handcuffs. I don’t really think it would have gone anything like that. I wouldn’t have technically committed any crimes so the handcuffs would not have been needed and I’m sure everyone would have been very nice about the whole affair, but I like my version better.
I’m currently working on the application for my Canadian passport now and I think I will have just enough time to obtain it before my trip, but all this has inspired in me is an overwhelming feeling of being completely out of my depth.
I know that out of my depth is where I learn how to swim the best. But out of my depth has gotten a lot deeper recently.
It’s no longer solo bus rides to Palmerston North or semi-solo Auckland based living, it’s the other side of the freaking world. It’s the fact that I’ll be exploring strange city streets utterly and completely on my own. And I know deep down I’ll be okay and that the world is quite a kind place. The earth has always had an eye on me. Even today, I’m grateful to whatever gods decided to bless me with the knowledge that I now possess, in time for me to have a chance of selvaging my trip. However, it’s scary to realise that out of my depth is no longer some trick of the mind.
Out of my depth, used to be that silly place in the pool that halfway through drowning you realised you could just place your feet on the slippery tiles and stand up on them. Out of my depth now, is well and truely past the two metre mark and heading out for sea. It’s very scary to know that you can no longer just stand up. And that nobody else is going to be able to pick you up, because you’re out of their depth as well.
I know this is the right place for me. I know that I am one of the few people who get off on learning to swim in order to escape the sharks that I can see inevitably stalking me from my future. But realising I’m this far out, still comes as a fright.
So today I’m frightened and overwhelmed. I don’t want to even look at the passport application photos because all the words are blurring together and my brain stops working. Today is my deep breath. And tomorrow, I will sit down and teach myself how to swim until these new waters become shallow as well.