As a person with a pretty fun and exciting (read: not actually fun and exciting) general anxiety disorder, you’d think that flying would be a pretty panic-inducing activity, and truthfully, it used to be.
God, did it ever.
I used to wake up in cold sweats just thinking about air travel. I also used to be the one who got pulled over for random extra screenings when I was flying solo with a baby and a stroller and needed to use my sweet ninja skills to collapse the stroller while holding a baby and simultaneously removing my chucks. I used to stress about sitting next to nose pickers and cuticle pickers and crazy rosary bead prayers and drunk bronies (based on actual real-life events). I used to stress about getting stuck in small and sticky airplane bathrooms during moments of extreme turbulence. I stressed about losing my luggage and my carry-on liquids being more than 2.5 fluid ounces. I worried about being too early, too late, and don’t get me started on the emetophobia issues around airplanes.
But today, the thing with the whole flying experience that truly makes me the most panicky is that flap of fabric that drapes over the back of your seat, probably filled with someone’s head lice. (itchy, scratchy) No, really. Thanks to the invention of the Nexus pass, I don’t really need to speak to customs agents anymore. What? Not all of us are Cousin Avi suave with customs officers. I used to sound guilty even though I had exactly nothing to hide.
But tonight? I have managed to park my heiney next to an outlet. I have a cold brew iced coffee in one hand and my laptop in another. There’s free wifi in the airport now (finally) so I can write a blog post while people watching and trying to figure out what the two Spanish (Portuguese?) speakers next to me are discussing with gusto (Me? Are they looking at me funny?) I can sit and enjoy a book without anyone needing me to do anything. I know that at the end of this long evening of flights—one to Charlotte and then a second on to Nashville—I’ll get to hug the necks of three little nuggets who I haven’t seen in way too long. I’ll get to see my brother, my sister-in-law, my four Nashville nieces. On Friday I’ll get to see my mom and my stepdad and—most importantly—her porch swing.
I don’t even know who I am anymore.
But I really hope I don’t get lice.