snakes on a plane

this post really has nothing to do with snakes. just planes.

lately I've been having great luck with my fellow travelers when flying. yesterday, coming home from Colorado, was one of the best flying experiences I've ever had. even though my flight was delayed for 2.5 hours, and we spent an hour of that sitting on the tarmac.

first off, we had a wonderful flight attendant. he was probably the most entertaining airline worker I've encountered, but not in an over-the-top kind of way. he genuinely loves his job, and knows how to do it well. not many people would be able to deliver the message that "no, we aren't about to take off like we just told you... we're gonna be here for another hour" to a plane full of people who were just delayed for an hour and a half and get the response he did. then he spent 90% of the flight chatting with the couple in front of me, in real genuine conversation. I think they are going to lease his son's apartment actually.

the couple in front of me were in their young to mid thirties, lived in Manhattan, and had a baby boy only a few months old. one of the best behaved babies on a plane I've ever seen. time for a little confession: my biological impulses have been acting up lately. I see a mother holding a sleeping bundle to her chest, soft curls on it's head and a tiny fist... a new father, looking at his wife and child with absolute devotion and pride... or even just a woman with glowing cheeks and a rounded belly, smiling to herself. and my heart and my hormones make me feel jealous twinges. [my brain and my bank account however, not to mention my Husband, are set against children for another 5-8 years.]

I've gone off track. the mother in front of me was a very successful producer of some sort at a major tv network. she was happily married and very well off with an apartment in Chelsea and quite an attractive husband, who was successful in his own right. and she said something that made the baby urges hush right up. that while yes, she loved her life and was wildly successful, that she wishes she would have waited. not necessarily to become a mother, or get married. but to settle down. she went right from high school into college, from college into the workforce, and with a career in television her vacations have been few and far between. her only regret is that she didn't take a break from "real life" to give into the wanderlust. that she would have liked to have backpacked around Europe, volunteered in the peace corp, spent a summer lazing around her college town after graduation.

as a result, every two years or so she has to take a long vacation to- somewhere, anywhere - that she's never been in order to quench the thirst. wanderlust. and until her child is grown and she retires in 30 years, she'll never really be free to follow it. this woman has everything. and yet she still has this one giant regret looming over her life.

and in that moment, everything just felt... justified. my plans, our plans. we're doing the right thing. I'm not going to wake up at 35 with a handsome husband and a wildly successful career and a beautiful child and have any regrets. not quite. oh yes, I plan to have everything except the regret. I'm going to give in to the wanderlust before it's too late. I'm going to dive straight into the unknown with open arms, mind, heart. and while I won't shy away from greater responsibilities when their time comes, I won't prematurely take them on because society or anyone else believes I should. I intend to go and live my life in a way that is good for me, my Husband, our relationship, my sanity, and my soul.

and if, in ten years, you find yourself sitting behind me on a plane... feel free to slap me in the face if you hear me say anything other than "I've lived a wonderfully full and happy life, with everything I've ever wanted and even more than I could have imagined."

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