Friday, July 26, 2013

Waiting for my plane to take off

Have you ever been in the airport, prepared to start your journey to an island or long anticipated vacation, only to find out that your flight has been delayed? Even worse, has it been canceled? Maybe you've experienced the sinking feeling of having the airline crew come over the intercom of the waiting area informing you that, "This flight has been cancelled. We will find you all alternate flights or accommodations." Uh, huh...sure you will.
Until that blessed moment where a new plane arrives or an alternate flight is booked, you are stuck.
Sometimes life can feel a lot like that airport terminal. Things come to a screeching halt. You think you know where you're going, when the next step is supposed to take place and then everything is put on hold. You are suddenly stuck in the terminal of life and the plane is no where in sight.
In these moments life looks hopeless. You have no agenda for the future. There is no time table for things to change. You wake up each morning stuck on repeat. Where is the light at the end of the tunnel? Will this waiting end and the task of living begin?
It can be overwhelmingly lonely to be in this transit period. Inside you are busting to make something out of your life, be something to somebody and accomplish great things. But the reality is that you are stuck in the terminal, just waiting for a grounded flight to take off.
When will the pilot and crew arrive?
When will they start the boarding process?
The screen tells the story. Delayed until further notice. Stay tuned.
In transition it is frustrating to have to be glued to that screen, just wondering when the words will suddenly change, giving you a time, something to count down to. But there is no guarantee. There isn't even an estimated time-table. It could take a year, it could take a month, it could all change tomorrow with the simple act of someone walking through the door at the coffee shop. You just don't know.
Inside you are dying for a different environment, some sense of purpose and normalcy that seems to be lightyears away. Your family isn't there. Your friends are off on their own paths, journeys of their own. Your daily agenda doesn't look remotely like it used.
The cold, hard chair in the terminal waiting area is nothing like home.
Everything is changed and now you must change, too. Your expectations of what will make you content and fulfilled must change.
When you discover that you are in this stage of life, figuring things out for the first time truly alone, everything around you will look like one big question mark. You will feel directionless and lost. There won't be a map and the departure screen won't give you any reassurance.
But this too shall pass. I can't promise you when or how. I don't know if it will be a person that will change things or simply the passing of time. I don't know if it will be a steady process or if it will all happen in the blink of an eye. One thing I can assure you of: this time in life, difficult as it may be, is a passing season. Fall always gives way to winter. Spring always gives way to summer. Sometimes it takes longer then we'd like, but the course of creation and its seasons never fail.
So, too, in your life, you are not stalled out without any hope of a different future. There are brighter days ahead. The darkness that you now feel will give way to clear, blue skies. Your plane will come. That trip may be bumpy, possibly turbulent. But you won't be grounded. You won't be stuck looking out at all the planes taking off wondering when it will be your turn.
Until that day comes, enjoy the view from those big glass windows. There is so much to see while waiting. There is people watching. There are planes taking off with a thunderous roar. Don't miss all the excitement because you are too impatient to appreciate the life surrounding you while you wait.

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