It was the best of positive times and the worst of negative times…
After being in airports for over 14 hours I have come to the conclusion that they bring out the best and the worst in people. Negative Energy VS Positive Energy. This story is one about my journey from Southern California to Boise, Idaho for a Women’s Conference I was booked to speak at.
My husband and I own our own business and it was already going to be tight having me gone for a couple of days and my hubby started to not feel well. The morning I’m flying out he woke up with 102 temp and flat on his back in bed. Just touching my hand to him made me draw back sharply because of the intense heat. He was my ride to the airport. I drove my daughter to early morning seminary calling a shuttle on the way. Luckily they could come and get me, but it was an hour earlier than I had anticipated so I rushed home, finished packing, made breakfast, walked and fed the dogs and smiled when my chauffeur came to the front door. I was sweating as I (very unladylike) got into the van.
On my way to the airport I am frantically texting to take care of things for the day. Texting our employees (who handled it magnificently by the way) to hold down the shop that day and what would continue to the next day as well, text a friend and neighbor to walk the dogs again after lunch, and call yet another friend to pick up my teenage daughter after school. I then go through my bag only to realize that I have my very cool Freska mango knife with me. The driver is grateful to acquire such a lovely trinket. At least it didn’t get thrown in the trash when trying to go through security.
I get to the airport an hour and a half before my flight and after about 30 minutes of waiting my flight gets delayed and then delayed again. I end up leaving almost three hours after the original time. This is where you start to see the true characters of those around you. While I am concerned and it’s a bummer, I decide to use this block of time to answer emails and polish my speech intro that I wasn’t totally happy with. Trying to be productive in what for me is this rare opportunity of nothing else tugging at me for my time. Unfortunate, yes, but not life-threatening. The flight attendant assures me that my connector flight has also been delayed due to the weather in San Francisco.
One lady is deciding if she should get a rental car and drive to Vegas which is her ultimate destination. I chat with her a minute about the price and time cost and she decides to wait it out. One gentleman with his wife is making a joke at every turn and I dub him the “unfunny” comedian. I listen to a young man on the phone with his mother in San Francisco and he is complaining loudly that he just wanted to watch a movie while on the flight but due to the crappy airport wifi that it will never happen as his computer tells him it will take 7 hours. He is irritated and has nothing positive to say.
As I wait at the “electronic” plug-in bar so I can charge my laptop and phone I experience positive, caring, even trusting people. Half a dozen people are trying to charge their devices. Each of them make room for the others and exchange kind words. One lady older than me asks if she can plug her phone in beside me. I tell her I would be happy to watch it while it charges and she trusts me! Her phone cover is leather and has a pocket on the outside holding cash and her driver’s license and she sits it by me and goes to read her novel two rows away. I renew my faith in humanity as people care about other people and she is so trusting of a perfect stranger.
And then there is the angry redheaded dude. He was the one in line speaking to the attendant at the counter, visibly upset. Everything about his demeanor suggested irritation, irritability and a terribly poor attitude. His actions were jerky and full of negative energy. I’m not sure what his rush is to San Francisco, but in his mind it must be urgent.
And then we board the plane and who is my aisle partner? Yep…the red-headed angry dude. He exuded the most powerful negative energy that I’ve had the opportunity to be so close to in a long time. Every time the captain came on with an update he would jerk the headphones off his head to eagerly listen. When the captain would then say there was another 15 minute delay or anything at all he would be slapping his hand on his leg or just into the air and uttering curse words under his breath. I almost said something to him, but felt that it might make him even more angry. It was an incredible reminder how negative energy can physically be felt when it is pouring out of someone in such abundance.
I get off the plane in San Francisco and literally run past everyone trying to go down the ramp off the plane and then up the ramp into the terminal only to find out that I had missed my connector flight and would then be in San Francisco for another 6 and a half hours. Yes, I’m sweating again.
After a couple of hours and finding vegan food to eat in the airport I glance up at the screen at my gate and it shows the next two flights out…neither of which was mine. I calmly ask the gate attendant if my gate had changed and she said it had changed to gate 70 in another wing from gate 79 where I was currently standing. I finish charging my phone and head across the airport. I get there and it it doesn’t have my flight on that screen either! That’s when I ate an entire bar of chocolate.
All of the big screens showing all the flights still say my original gate so I gather up my things and head back. That screen still doesn’t show my flight, but I feel like I’m in the right place. Now I start thinking about Boise and how I’m going to get to my dad’s house in Caldwell. My dad was originally going to pick me up, but that was earlier in the day and now I wouldn’t be arriving until 10:30 at night and after a nasty fall and hip surgery he just isn’t feeling up to it. I call a shuttle, turns out it’s just a charter, but they are friendly and give me the local taxi service. Called them, but WOW! Huge price tag. I considered getting a hotel for the night when my husband suggests Uber. I download the app, arrive in Boise, grab my bag and the driver arrives in 4 minutes. I reach my dad at 11:30pm. 7 1/2 hours after I should have arrived.
Traveling by plane, shuttle, taxi, Uber…ok, all traveling modes can bring out the worst negative energy in you or the best positive energy in you. I hadn’t traveled by plane in over 2 years and this was a gentle reminder that people are always watching.
There is simply no way to avoid bumps in the road. They are a part of life. Delays, setbacks, moments where you will be forced to wait when you really just want to take action, moments people send you on a wild goose chase that accomplishes nothing. How you REACT to those bumps is a test of your true character. What will people of observe of you when the next bump comes along?