For a brief moment around the age of 10, I wanted to be a flight attendant. I’m not 100% sure why. I had never even been on an airplane before. It may have been because you had to be really “pretty” to be a flight attendant. And every awkward little girl wants to feel pretty.
I knew it would have been a long shot. Back in those days in Jamaica, you had to be really light-skinned to be a flight attendant. I wouldn’t have passed the color test. Perhaps for that reason I quickly gave up on that dream.
Today, I try to stick to air travel rules that work best for me.
- No sleep (the night before.)
- No food.
- No bathroom.
Those rules are to ward off my two biggest enemies. Mr. Upset Stomach and Mrs. Flight Anxiety.
- The fact is — take-off,
- And touch down are three of my least favorite “t” lettered travel words.
To be real, the jacked-up travel journey is my motivation for the divine destination.
So please allow me a kind word to my younger self:
Little girl, you thought you were called to be a flight attendant? Well, thank goodness no one answered!
Not getting what you want can be a blessing
- He was unstoppable, in a league of his own. By senior year he was named to USA Today‘s high school All-American team. Oh to watch him dazzle millions with his talents and even then, his charm.
- But his future as a football star would be short-lived. A back injury during his senior year in college left him depressed. He started to cut classes. His G.P.A dropped to .7. And he was placed on academic probation.
- But enough about him. How would we have made it through this life if we hadn’t all gotten a chance to meet Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? No 22-inch biceps? No captivating eye-brow lift? No “People’s Champion?”
“The Rock” is a force to be reckoned with. In the ring — and on the big screen.
He could’ve gotten what he wanted. He could’ve become an amazing football star. But how many millions of people are glad that he didn’t? (I know it’s not just me.)
- He wanted to go to college. But he couldn’t afford it. But if he had gone, he may not have been able to spend those last 3 months with his mom, sitting by her bedside every day. Telling stories. Laughing and loving, until she ultimately passed.
- She wanted to have her own biological kids. But if she had, she may not have had the courage to adopt these two amazing kids that she loves more than life itself.
- When he was a teenager he wanted nothing more than to be famous. But now that he’s older, he believes that the lack of privacy would’ve devastated him.
- She wanted to get married by age 25, but if she had, she may not have had the chance to prove to herself that she could stand alone.
In the present moment, you want what you want.
You want it desperately. You want it passionately.
For some reason — you just know that this present “want” is the key that will get you one step closer to future happiness.
And sometimes when you don’t get what you want, you forget that you don’t know if not getting what you want can be a blessing or a curse.
Our default when we don’t get what we want is to assume the worst
We sulk. We blame ourselves. We blame others.
Our agony brings our world to an end.
- We do this not because we are selfish. But rather because we are human. And as humans, we have become conditioned. Conditioned to believe that the story of wanting and not getting, is a story of lack. A story of loss.
- We forget that the story is untold. That it unfolds for us moment by moment.
- We forget that we are the authors, the ones in charge of the words that we use to express not getting what we wanted. The ones in charge of the meaning that we give to each and every experience.
- Deep down we know. But we still forget. Because it’s hard. Because to get there we need to dig really deep. And when we dig that deep sometimes we bump into things that we have spent years trying to unsee. Things that scare us away from any future deep digging.
- Sometimes, the best gift is not getting what we wanted. Sometimes we are being led down a path towards an unknown destination. A destination that’s even better for us, that’s better for our community, that’s better for this world.
- And sometimes that’s not true. Sometimes we are simply getting practice. Practice at accepting. Practice at finding strength from within, when all we want to do is be weak. Practice learning to want what we have, instead of focusing on not having what we want.
- Who knows which of these is true for us at any given time. Perhaps they both are. Or perhaps it depends on the story that we tell ourselves when our wants don’t come true. The beauty is that the decision is entirely up to us.