No really, I do.
Now, I do want to acknowledge that you young folks don’t even know what you’re missing when it comes to airports. Back when I was a kid (yes, this is one of those stories about the beauty of life in a simpler time)…ahem…Back when I was a kid, airports, for the most part, were a place of joy and love and family. Your loved ones would hug you and wave as you departed. When you arrived, often, someone was waiting at the gate for you with an ‘oh my God! I’m so happy to see you!’ look. Even if you were traveling for sad reasons, someone was able to walk your sad self to the gate. And even if no one saw you off or greeted you, you couldn’t help but feel the love when you passed others having their moment. I still get teary eyed perusing through my memories of seeing cute little old people hugging squealing grandchildren as they got off the plane, lovers saying goodbye, and other pictures like that in my mind.
Airports were lovely back in the day.
Now, airports are rush, rush, rush, and ‘get me away from this kid, and ‘I’m better than you because I can get through security more efficiently,’ and “I’m here, pick me up at the curb.”
And yet I still love them. I love them because of their diversity. We get so caught up in our neck of the woods, we spend days, weeks, months, even years around the same people. People, frequently, very much like us. You get to the airport, and it’s humanity! Like a human zoo. Zumanity! And you’re one of the animals! My mind takes flight, and I just getting going wondering about the stories of all the people around me! It’s fantastic.
To enjoy this aspect of an airport, you have to suspend two things: you’re judgement and your ego.
If you’re walking around judging, you’re not loving, AND you’re not relaxed because you’re wondering who is judging you. Just relax and enjoy. It’s amazing what happens when you do. You’ll look approachable! People will approach you! You’ll get to stop wondering what people’s stories are because THEY’LL COME UP AND TELL YOU!
Suspend your ego. Yes, the security line is perhaps the most stressful 20 feet of real estate in the world. But use it as practice. Consider this the perfect place to practice checking your ego. You’re not better than me if you’re more efficient at getting through the security check, and getting upset at the slow poke in front of you who didn’t know, or recall, that you have to take off your shoes is a failure on your part. Check your ego.
I say this with a bit of a chip on my shoulder… I was just complimented by the business man behind me in the security check line. He said, “you’re good, I’ll security check behind you anytime.” Well thank you, thank you. (It ends there. Nobody gives major awards for security check efficiency.)
I got to practice ego checking later, when the little old lady behind me had a very loud, very long, cell phone conversation at our gate. I could have gotten pissy. But practice makes human. Instead, I just giggled and learned that she gave her college age grandson the third degree to figure out if he had a girlfriend. He was mortified, and she thought it was hilarious! So did I. Thanks funny lady!
And you attract what you project. Later, when I couldn’t get the carry-on bag I’ve travelled with countless times without difficulty to go in the overhead space, two cute little old men came to my rescue and helped get that bitch in there. The young girl behind me said, you need to check that. No, I don’t. Because my bag helped two cute little old men feel like bad asses today. It’s a beautiful thing really.
And there’s more. I use airports as open forums for love. Let’s stretch, people! Don’t like kids? I don’t like grumpy adults, but we all swim in this ocean together! Grumpy kids are in the process of working out their kinks… what’s your excuse.? Oh let me guess. You don’t have kids, and you don’t like kids, but if you DID, your kids would be perfect. Mhm. I know sweetie.
I’m the lady who waves the mother with infant over and says, “sit by me, I’m a mom.” When everyone else is giving her the eye. That’s not really a stretch for me though. The stretch for me is talking to 1. Business men (because I have to suspend my judgements about their self-important/insecure vibe…look, I’m being honest. And I’m working on it.) 2. Little old people. They intimidate me because I’ve had so little exposure to people over the age of 65. It’s the unknown. But I appreciate the opportunity to have some exposure!
There’s pretty much nothing I know for certain, BUT, I’m pretty sure life isn’t about how well you spin your hamster wheel. It’s about getting off the wheel, seeing what’s out there, meeting people, and lovin’ who they are. Airports make that easy.
Oh, and thank you to the ABIA announcer today who announced, “would the owner of the tow truck left unattended in passenger drop off please come and move you tow truck before we call a tow truck to tow your tow truck.”