Head in the Clouds

I don’t know what it is, but my thoughts often turn to matters of the heart when I fly. Maybe it’s a byproduct of the adult beverage I need to consume before I board a plane, or maybe it’s just a function of being high above the planet. Whatever the driving force, it messes with my head every time.

Did I exit too early? Cave too soon? Give too little? Share too much? I’m usually guilty of the first and third sins, rarely the other two. I suppose my MO is learned after having gotten the short end of the stick too often. Then again, they say everything happens for a reason. But rarely do we ever think we’re the reason for a certain undoing, a misstep, a change of course. We tell ourselves it was the universe — that it did what it was supposed to do, that it happened the way it was supposed to happen. In reality, the universe might’ve had a hand, but we very well could’ve had the other one.

Something about the way the light rests on the clouds we’ve just passed through or the gentle hum of the engines lulls me into a trance-like state. I find myself wondering if I’ll marry, where I’ll live — where we’ll live, what I’ll finally grow up to be, where I’ll go in life with him — both literally and figuratively — whoever he is.

As we descend, the web of thoughts untangles and I’m back to normal — although “normal” is relative. It’s exhausting, this thought process is. But, not unlike the way we might work at a job we’re less than enamored with, we realize we’ve gleaned from it the knowledge of what we never want to be part of again. Similarly, lost loves and wondering what went wrong and why it wasn’t obvious at the time reminds us to keep it from happening again.

To keep from committing the same sins.

To keep from perpetuating the cycle.

Tonight I am thankful for the thoughts I repeatedly turn to while flying, and the knowledge that the only way to free myself from them is to do things differently. To be different, to think differently and to love in ways I never have allowed myself to love before.

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