Truth At 36,000 Feet
Updated: Jan 13, 2019
The end of a flight is a personal reckoning.
Your internet purchase has timed out, the cabin is in a dark slumber, and the continuous engine roar has created a silent asylum for your thoughts.
Stuck in one seat, you’re close enough to landing that you shouldn’t get up but far enough away that a slideshow of what you’re coming home to has time to play.
It’s in this moment that I’m forced to reconcile with the uncomfortable complexities of life.
The things I’ve done, the people I’ve loved, and the people I’ve left. Where I’ve been and where I’m going. Was it worth leaving or should I have stayed?
I travel so frequently and sometimes so quickly that my family doesn’t know I’ve been gone. I don’t tell anyone I’m leaving. Notice of my going has become superfluous information.
Though there is freedom in going without having to explain, there is loneliness in knowing no one is eagerly waiting for you to return. It’s this contradiction that starts to erode the pleasure of leaving.
The excitement I feel for new places is never supposed to be an escape and yet it does temporarily distract me from my daily life. It’s the coming back that causes me to question the life I’ve built. You see home in the distance and as you approach both the joys and the pain you’ve left behind are amplified.
This end of flight reckoning is truth suffocatingly surrounding you at 36,000 feet.
This time its forced me to accept that I’ve hurt someone by my leaving and now I don’t want to let anyone close to me for fear of them doing the same.
At least I’m being fair.