On Flying:

I love airports. They’re human libraries of sorts, and I like a good story. There are few better places to people-watch than in an airport, and for someone who finds people to be fascinating in all that they are, a hub of travelers is a goldmine. I know a lot of people hate airports, or are mostly ambivalent towards them, but I’m pretty sure I could happily spend an afternoon in one, even if I wasn’t traveling anywhere. Although if I managed to find a way to do that and anyone got wind of what I was doing, I would surely be carted off the premises for questioning quicker than a cheetah driving a racecar. And there is also the possibility that working in one would be a different story. The whole scene might lose some of it’s magic, similarly to working in a cafeteria at Disneyland. But that’s just speculation as well, because maybe serving up the giant turkey legs in Frontierland is an absolute dream come true, I wouldn’t actually be able to say one way or the other. But that’s neither here nor there, because I’m not talking about faith, trust, and pixie dust, I’m talking about luggage tags, confirmation codes, and limiting your liquids to 3.4 ounces or less. Airports are at the very root of adventure, at the base of love, and in the beginnings of a new start. There are so many opportunities that come from taking off to someplace new, and airports are the first step in seizing those chances. But if the mere fact that most airports are filled with escalators isn’t enough to convince you of their greatness, keep your head up while walking around the luggage claim area. One of my favorite airport places is the luggage carousel. Not simply because it’s a dream of mine to one day climb aboard someone’s suitcase and ride it around in circles, but because of the people who surround them. Families and loved ones standing there, arms filled with flowers or signs or simply carrying the pure excitement to see whoever comes around the corner. The reunions are the best. The best to see and the best to take part in. I appreciate the amount of emotion that can be contained within a single place, and the range that those emotions take. You see tears flowing from both happiness and sadness, you see excitement in going someplace completely new, or returning to a place of comfort and similarity. It doesn’t matter whether you’re coming home or vacationing to someplace completely new, getting on an airplane is almost as exciting as stepping off an airplane; it’s the very first step of an adventure. So while some might think of airports as stressful places filled with germs, impending missed connection flights, or the confiscation of potentially dangerous knitting needles, I’m holding on to the thought that airports and the opportunities that they provide are kind of beautiful in their own special way. I’m not sure if you’ll find as many people from different walks of life, or with unique stories and backgrounds from varying places anywhere else. Although once again, Disneyland might come close…

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New Year, New You

The number of times I have read, heard, smelled, and tasted the phrase “new year, new you” makes me want to punch someone. Although now that I’m reading that, I’m thinking my first ever sentence of my first ever blog post probably shouldn’t include that sort of violence. I wouldn’t want those who managed to find their way onto this site get the wrong impression… So I would just like to clarify that I am not a violent person. Unless snacks are involved. But snacks aside, I wouldn’t dream of lashing out at a citizen simply because of their unfortunate proximity to my right hook coinciding with my receiving yet another new year, new you selfie. I just wouldn’t. So now that that’s cleared up, we can get into why that phrase grinds my gears. I guess I’m just hesitant with the whole idea of becoming a “new me.” I’m sure I’ve heard the phrase in previous years, it’s not exactly an uncommon one around this time of year, but for some reason when I heard it this particular year, it just rubbed me the wrong way. And after mulling it over for a bit, I think I figured it out. I think one of Kurt Cobain’s quotes sums it up nicely: “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” This year, I don’t want to try and be more like someone else to create a “new me,” I just want to be the very best possible version of myself that I can. I’m not looking for new, I’m looking to be the most “me” I’ve ever been. Rather than focusing on the things I don’t like, and giving myself a “makeover” why not take the things that I love about myself and about who I am and what I can do, and focus on developing those into stronger aspects of my life. To me the word “new” insinuates starting from scratch or a complete covering of what was once present, and I don’t think it’s possible to start from scratch as people. We can break habits, or form new ones, we can start dancing like no one is watching, or we can pick up and move someplace completely new for a fresh start. But underneath that, we are who we are. Our capacity to make changes is always present, it just needs to be acted upon. So I may be overreacting to the phrase or interpreting it in a way it was never meant to be taken, but regardless, this is what I propose: stop trying to become a new you, and make 2015 about finding and creating the very best version of yourself, using the unique gifts you have been given. Don’t try become someone new, just be the youiest you that you can possibly you. Sorry the Dr. Seuss just seemed right in the moment… This is going to be a big year and frankly with everything going on I don’t have time to become a new me, and for the first time in a while I don’t think I want to be. Maybe 2014 did me some good after all, because at this point I’m ready to be who I am in the rawest of senses. So look out 2015, I’m comin for ya.