While I should be frolicking the streets of New York right about now (Does one actually frolic in NY? I know I frolic along the sugary grains of sand along our shore etched into the gulf, but in NY my stride usually resembles the quick pace and long strides of the rhythm of the city, and undercurrent of tempo that doesn’t change), instead, after 2 and half hours on my flight I’m sitting cozied up with my belongings in the corner of the airport in Tampa, because my flight never left the ground.
Yes, I went through all the stages of grief one would expect with the loss of my own well laid plans. Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Not that I’m making light of these stages or of loss at all, because I’ve experienced it myself in many varying degrees, but there is still something to be said of our human nature. Change doesn’t come easy. When the stakes are high or when the cost is low, emotions themselves are something that remain constant (because we all have them no matter what), and yet our emotions are exactly the thing constantly changing. There is a desire in us for spontaneity and yet the urge to fight when our stasis is challenged.
Like a well oiled gear we clink and turn to the rotation we’re used to, according to the path we’re set on, and when something obstructs and changes that path, we can resist and explode or take it for what it is, change.
Today, my plans were changed. A few times over. Yes, I’m still headed for NY and excited to be a part of Blogger Bash this year, but there are just a few new gear rotations in my path first.
My phone buzzed in my hand this morning while my adorable little chauffeur and his handsome daddy drove me to the airport, flight delayed, the first little chink in my gear. Thankfully we had time for a rendezvous with H&M and a bite to eat before my new departure time and so with full belly and grateful for the extra time together, they kissed me and said goodbye.
I arrived to the ticket counter, the time for the flight had changed again and this time it was earlier! Five red frocked agents were flustered, the sign behind them reading Delayed more than any other word on the board and the mob of customers in front of them was growing. Second chink in my gear. Run to the gate she told be as she slid my ticket over the counter (usually I could bypass this, but there was a problem with my boarding pass, of all days, and she had taken the necessary time to correct it, save the fact that it still didn’t show my TSA Pre Check status, meaning longer lines at security). The tram doors were waiting open for me and I took solitude in a few moments of panting breath before my quick strides to the security gate began again. My emotions must have shown on my face, because even without any status at all on my ticket (Priority or Pre Check) the agent let me through the short line and soon I was boarding my flight. As I settled into my window seat in the last row of the plane (meaning NO window) I inhale-exhaled a few deep breathes to relieve the claustrophobia mounting in my chest and flicked on my iPad to get lost in one of the books housed on my six inch library. Fast forward two and a half hours of reading, water-sipping, seat adjusting and we were ready to deplane… right where we began because our flight never left.
“You’re the only happy ones,” a flight attendant said as another couple from the rear of the plane and I stepped off onto the waiting platform, the last people left on the flight, laughing about what to do next, since there wasn’t much else to do but laugh. Yes, I went through all the stages, and now I’m at acceptance. I’m also at grateful.
It is not joy that makes us grateful, it is gratitude that makes us joyful. ~David Steindle-Rast
Sure, the Sky Club (When stuck at the airport for more than a couple of hours, always make your way to the Sky Club… food, clean restrooms, quiet, need I say more?) wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be right now, but also, it is so much more than where I could be. I’m still not sure when I’ll be leaving, but I’m grateful for a couple of quiet hours to myself before the hustle of the Big Apple settles into my bones. I’m grateful I’m not in a plane lost in a storm and for smart people that know how to fly airplanes and tell me when they shouldn’t. I’m grateful for so many things, and in that gratitude comes the grace to be joyful.
Right now I feel like I’m in a moment of in-between, and in it I choose to be grateful. New York, I’m not sure quite when, but I’ll see you soon!