First time I’ve ever missed a flight.
It seems completely unnecessary in hindsight due to the fact that I barely missed my check in window and therefore could not board. Literally, five minutes shy of boarding with no issue. I was at the airport with enough time to actually get through security and get on the plane, but that damn check in window shut and no amount of huffing and puffing could crack it open.
Before you hit me with, “check in online,” or “use the kiosks,” know that I was unable to do so prior to arriving at the airport. This is not my first time traveling and I likely would’ve known about this mystical window of time had I ever checked in at the counter more than once in the last decade. So shush.
Last night I was lamenting about not being completely ready to leave Santa Cruz and the loved ones that reside there. Most vacations end in a longing for home, but not this time. I found myself feeling calm for the first time in too long to remember and wasn’t quite ready to leave that. As much as I missed my bed, I harbored a small fear that going back would reapply the anxiety I’ve been able to shed on the west coast. The universe must’ve been listening considering it afforded me this little disruption. However, the real question being; did California want to keep me or did Philadelphia not want me back?
So what are my options now?
Standby to Dallas and then standby to Philadelphia, arrive just before 1AM local time. Of course, there was a string of four letter word tirades happening in my head and via text to anyone that would respond. I let the frustration through me so I can just get over it. Let it pass through me as quickly as possible. After vocalizing my annoyance over the phone to my brother, I fell back on the thought that - what’s the big deal? I mean really? Best-case scenario, I’m inconvenienced two and a half hours due to my own mistake. No matter how poorly the airline communicated it, I’m the one that cut it too close. Worse case scenario, I spend another morning being woken up to my nephew jumping on me and watching an episode of Star Wars Rebels with him before he goes to school (side note - that he is into ANYTHING Star Wars makes me giddy). That’s not such a bad deal to be honest, Why bother getting so upset… home isn’t going anywhere.
I sit here on the flight to Dallas, sipping on what appears to be a Japanese Coke Zero (with rum) and thinking about how lucky I am. Despite getting unsavory looks from the ticket counter about my chances of getting on this plane, I’m here. I’m not lucky because of the flight, mind you. I’m lucky because of having the opportunity to have spent the last eleven days with some of my favorite people.
They reminded me that I’m doing everything I can and have everything I need for what happens next. Sounds cheesy, I know - it’s intentional. It is impossible to approach every stage in life with a hip, who gives a fuck attitude, so bear with me as I talk ever so slightly about the feels.
After dealing with the anxiety, stress, and uncertainty comprising this last stretch, not only am I starting to turn my demeanor towards the better, but I also don’t have the energy to fake indifference during the transition. That means that those around me are getting mainly what’s on my sleeve, for better or worse. Now, I’m not cured of bad feelings - I’m very realistic and not a robot. However, I’m finally coming around to the idea that I’m on the right track.
Now, ask me tomorrow, next month, next year, and I might tell a different tale, but right now… this feels solid. California appears to have provided me the kind of medicinal breather my mind needed to step back and take stock.
As I sip my sub-par coffee on the second and final flight of my trip, I aspire to bring what I’ve learned with me back to Philadelphia. As opposed to simply leaving vacation brain on vacation, I’m going to attempt to incorporate it into the home life, which I’ve permitted to become a living knot of stress over the last few months. With luck, I can merge the two into a healthier, more creative me.
Ok. Enough talk about feelings. Let's cleanse the palette with a video of my nephew owning the trampoline. Why - because it's amazing.