30,000 Feet & Climbing; Thoughts from Above
Alone in the night sky among strangers
323 MPH and somewhere between 32,000 feet and landing, I let my mind wander. I allow myself to reflect on my experience over the past two weeks (I have been away from home opening a new location for the company I work for). I can look back and know I killed myself for this. I went above and beyond. I took my skill and knowledge to another level. I jumped through hoops and fought battles that weren’t mine. I gave my all, yet I can still feel the lack of appreciation, even so high above the clouds. Are my expectations too high? Unrealistic? Perhaps I am the issue here? What’s the appropriate way to say “Thanks for saving my ass, over and over again?” Could it be the brief, two-sentence email sent haphazardly from an iPad? Maybe expecting too much has always been my issue. I expect from others, as much as I always give. So in reflection, the question becomes... Where do I start to draw the line, lower my expectations and therefore give less? When is it time for a change? How to you know? Are there neon signs, signals, divine intervention? I don’t know the answer to that; I do know that when you (I) start asking yourself (myself) these questions, it’s time to start weighing options, pushing boundaries, exploring different avenues and always operating with eyes wide open.
So that leaves a ton of time for introspection. 363 MPH and climbing in altitude; what else is there to do? A year ago, if asked, I would’ve picked up my life and gone wherever needed. Why not? Nothing keeping me in Jax. Family is always there. What’s changed? A relationship in which I often question the true motivations of my “significant” other. Not due to his actions, just his lack of words. Tricky isn’t it? His actions speak volumes... but without the accompanying words occasionally, actions fall flat. I digress.
A nephew, whom I already don’t see enough, possibly moving closer. That kid is enough to make anyone stay put. So why is something tugging at me as I stare out of the window at the city lights 32,000 feet below? There’s so much world I’ve yet to see, so much culture I’ve yet to experience... why am I settling? Powerful sentence I wish I had the answer to. Familiarity? I don’t even know if that’s it... I’m no stranger to “leaving it all behind,” yet I suppose, no I know, it has never been by choice. Life has ripped me out of familiarity time and time again only to move me forward. That’s what’s scary. I actually have it together this time. I’m 100% responsible for myself, my actions and my decision making. Who, consciously, decides to throw caution to the wind and go where the path leads with no ultimate destination in mind?
Then along he came... out of nowhere, when I wasn’t looking. When all I wanted was a distraction. I didn’t expect a nice guy, a gentleman, a guy with his shit together. I don’t know when it happened, or how it happened, but somewhere along the way, my “ultimate” destination became different. It looks oddly familial (No that’s not a typo). Is that me? Can that be me? In another lifetime, that’s all I ever wanted. That was taken from me, so again, I had accepted my fate. Suddenly there he is... with his three children, who don’t even know the capacity of which I exist in his life. Hell... will I even be given that familial chance? Something with us is easy, right. It fits. Well at least I think it does... his thoughts will forever remain a mystery. Maybe not forever, but closely guarded. So when someone unexpected comes into your life, altering your ultimate destination, how long do we settle in our current situations before you we draw lines, ask the hard questions? Finally; figure it out.
This leg of my flights, I’m sitting on the wing. Looking out the window, I notice something... if you focus solely on the wing of the plane, it appears to be standing still. The cities and people below continue to move forward while the wing appears still. Riddle me that. Why is this a metaphor for my life right now? Treading water, or air as it may be, watching the world move by at 300 MPH. Every single light I see has a story. The electrician who installed it. The cars that carry the people from place to place, living their lives. Every single being has some type of story.
Observations at 32,000 feet are overwhelming. Thought processing is so quiet, so all-encompassing; the results? Nothing short of confusing.
As the crew prepares for landing and the plane begins its descent, the cold reality of these thoughts settle in. Just like the wing, I am readying my landing gear & dropping the wheels to move on to my next destination. The people I carry change, the cities, the weather and even the pilot are fleeting. When do these wings finally take flight on a path of their own? Not guided by stability or another’s wishes. Not repeating the same, monotonous trip; but really fly solo? That is another question I’m not ready to answer...
Knowing what you want and expressing what you want in regards to the “ultimate” destination are often at odds. What the mind thinks and, ultimately, what the heart wants. At what point on my journey do the two meet? As the passengers disembark, I watch. The hurry, the rush and the chaos of getting back to everyday life. For 2 hours and 57 minutes, I was completely alone, with 300 passengers, 30,000 feet in the air; flying high on hopes of adventures and family. Being grounded; sucks.