I believe I view a lot of things differently from the way there around me do. No, this isn’t going to take a political path of partisan bias nor advocating for some “how-to” guide based on my own life experiences. That first sentence stems from the simple act of driving to the airport.
I am obsessed with aviation. I have my pilot’s license, I drive to the airport at obscene hours or when it’s inconvenient, and if you ask me to take you to the airport to catch a 6 a.m. flight, I’ll say yes every time. I would live at the airport if I wouldn’t get questionable looks from TSA.
I drove to the airport Wednesday afternoon to pick up my two wonderful grandparents after they were returning home from a week in Fort Lauderdale to visit my Aunt. Driving to the airport has consisted of the same route nearly every time, and without fail, planes are constantly arriving and departing.
On that day, flights were departing to the west. For one, plane spotting at Hartsfield-Jackson is the best when the pattern set up this way, but it also means that as you take I-85 toward the airport, you see the planes leap into the sky and fly away from you rather than arrive low, right in front of you.
It had been a while since I saw the pattern from this angle, and for whatever reason it struck me. I saw the departing aircraft climb higher into the clouds away from me and had a completely new view of flight.
For nearly eight years I have been coming to the airport to plane spot, travel, or drop off/pickup friends and family. Over the course of that time, I have viewed planes the same way — tubes of metal with engines and sweet paint jobs that somehow miraculously lift from the ground and fly for thousands of miles. It’s pretty stinkin’ cool, right?
Wednesday I realized it’s more than that. I always had the understanding that possibly hundreds of humans are inside those metal tubes going to some destination for who-knows-what. That’s a rational thought to have. But, think about it on an even more human level for a moment.
Every single person at any given time has loved ones, friends, desires, hopes, fears, life events, ups, downs, stress, struggles, triumphs, emotions, and a plethora of other attributes that you have inside of you whether or not you’re willing to admit it. Every single human has an experience.
I don’t know what it is, but the “human experience” has gripped my soul since I left Greece last June, and I can’t shake the thought of what the “human experience” is at its core. It has so many interconnected attributes that create the event we know as day-to-day life. We get to feel love, joy, heartbreak, perplexed, angry, victorious, and a range of other emotions. Even though some of those may not be enjoyable experiences, you’re still feeling, experiencing and learning.
I feel there is a much greater appreciation for life when we think about the human experience. It doesn’t matter where we come, who we are, what we believe, or what we do, we all have experiences that allow us to interact and connect with the other humans around us to create a shared human experience. It’s truly a beautiful thing.
It’s kind of overwhelming to think about, but it’s kind of who we are. We have these experiences and it’d be a shame to write them off as anything less than miraculous and beautiful — even in the downtrodden times. Let’s enhance these experiences. I know we all can.