Strangers on a plane

I've always thought that it was amazing that at just the right moment, people are brought into your life. I was on a flight to Boston last week. I was nervous and anxious, and not just about the flight. In the next few days, after this trip, I was going to be faced with a pretty big decision. 

I get on the plane, right foot first of course, and I am just a sweaty, nervous ball of energy. Side note: for some reason I am always sweaty when I travel. I'm going to chalk this up to my tiny, but ever-so-powerful, but in all reality HUGE fear of flying. I sit down, my bangs that have never grown back to a normal length (thanks 13 year old self), now just shriveled bits of frizz. I have back sweat. Why? I wasn't carrying a damn backpack. I think you guys get the picture. I was a hot mess. And on my way to interview to boot! 

I reached up to twist the knob that controls the air. I knew if I waited a second longer for cold air to reach me, my entire head would have become a fro. I placed my purse on the floor, and pulled out my usual flying trinkets. The morning of a flight my ODC tended to come out, which wouldn't be all that annoying if my superstitious side wouldn't flare up. I don't want to get into the absurd pre-flight, and in-flight rituals, because that is a whole other story. So, let's continue, because this is the real story.

I guess I should say that when I get nervous, I have a tendency to talk...a lot. And what better person to chat with when on an airplane, but your seat partner. I strike up a convo with the woman next to me. We talk small talk at first, but quickly get into the nitty gritty of life. I won't go into too many details. But, this is what I learned...

We talked about hard times, and falling down into your own personal rabbit hole from them. And what it is like to come back out and see the sun. We talked about the difficulties that people have, and what it takes to push past your comfort zones. Let's just put it this way, the conversation wasn't in sequence, in fact it was all over the board, and it wasn't as specific as I am writing now. It just touched the surface of these topics, but it made me think, and it made me realize exactly what I wanted in life. 

Some of you may know that have been working on a manuscript for some time now. It is to complete my MFA, but it truly has become a cathartic way to handle the ups and downs of the last few years. I'm right there, on the edge, and I want to be able to finish with the my whole heart and soul, just like when I started. But, I knew that this potential opportunity could have put it on the back burner, albeit for an amazing career opportunity, but I felt torn about making the leap. Until talking with a stranger on a plane. Not that I am expecting anything to come from this manuscript (although one can hope and dream), I know that I have a story to share, that could potentially help others, or at least make them laugh. And you know what? I have got to give it a try! 

So moral of the story. Be kind to each other. Strike up conversations. Listen to people's stories. Laugh with them. Cry with them. Turn strangers into friends. Because people are placed into chapters of your story for a reason! 



Meg Zotis1 Comment