The Joy of Standing In Line At The Airport

Spaces between here and there are rarely comfortable. Oh, sometimes we can manage to make them a fun destination in and of themselves (looking at you, Road Trip). And certainly it’s a concept the mystics and sages and philosophers have tried to present to us: the journey is the destination, just as the obstacle is the way. But in truth, waiting in line at the grocery store is only slightly less intermittable (perhaps) than waiting in line at TSA, or traveling to get to your vacation.

Personally, I love flying, I love driving, I love being in trains, but I’ll be the first to admit that after three hours of it I’d really rather be walking on a beach, hiking in the mountains, or lounging in the pool. 

And I don’t know anyone who actually enjoys standing in lines at the airport. I mean, life gives you lemons, make lemonade; I use it as a spiritual practice to enhance patience. But there is nothing inherently enjoyable about the endeavor. 

And as I think about that transitory period we have to wade through when we’ve just changed everything and nothing quite makes sense yet, I will admit my brain is completely sidetracked by vacation because I’m about to go on vacation (hurrah!), but the point is broader and more generalizable than just standing in line at the airport. When we decide upon a change, even if its beautiful and positive and lovely and all things good, it still means a bit of chaos ensues in order to make that change possible. Some things have to come to an end. Other things have to be reordered and reorganized and simply thrown into confusion because sure they need to be reordered and reorganized, but the new order hasn’t been created yet, and there’s no place to put them in order to organize them yet.

Mostly, the chaos is uncomfortable, and sometimes overwhelmingly so. Sometimes it is so uncomfortable we avoid change in order to avoid the discomfort of the chaos that comes with change. And, you know, that’s a choice, and we can make it. We can also choose to walk with eyes wide open into the places that scare us and make us uncomfortable and then sit gently in the middle of that space for as long as we can manage simply because it will make us stronger. Also a choice.

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