On the flight home from Minneapolis, I noticed two women sitting across the aisle from me. When the plane barreled down the runway and lifted into the sky, they talked the whole time. They carried on with their conversation like none of it was happening. Meanwhile, a woman sitting in front of them covered her head with a magazine, in what appeared to be a moment of fervent prayer. I breathed and relaxed into the force pressing me into the seat and noted how I rested somewhere in the middle, between carefree and freaking out.
The trip was wonderful. As I mentioned in a previous post, I was there to celebrate the launch of Kate Hopper's memoir, Ready for Air. I'll have more on that part of the trip when Kate "visits" my blog on October 24.
But today, I'm thinking about a conversation I had with one of Kate's friends on the night of the launch party. She asked me if I travel often. She wondered if I'm the kind of person who gets on planes and goes places.
"Not really," I said. "Not that often." But then I recalled the time when I was four months pregnant with Blake and I flew cross country to a writing retreat in California. Like this recent trip to Minneapolis, it was a "yes" I didn't really question. The timing worked out. I had sky miles and hotel points. Kate's awesome and I wanted to meet her in person.
So much of my professional world is virtual, and it's nice to give someone you've only swapped emails and phone calls with a real hug. It's nice when the face in the photo comes to life, when you're listening to the voice across the table.
And even though the whole point was to go and see people, I was reminded of how much I enjoy traveling alone. I like hanging out with myself. I appreciate the way I unpack my bag and "move in" to my hotel room. I enjoy the time I have to explore, to navigate city blocks and to figure out where the heck I am, to realize I'm not even lost.
Stepping out of the daily routine, even if it's "not that often", is a necessary part of my journey. And coming back home to the faces I see and the voices I hear every day is pretty sweet, too.
There are so many times I just don't know for sure. But when I string together the "yeses", they tell me something important. About who I am, what this life has in store for me, and what I have to offer.
Can you look back and identify your clear "yeses"?