I’m excited to talk about week #5 of The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life: Risk. But I’m actually taking my first “risk,” by mentioning what happened to me in Vegas first. (Side note: Do you think I could possibly be procrastinating working on what’s drumming up to be the hardest chapter of the book? Quite possibly!)
But here I go. So I was on my way to Vegas when stormy weather made our tiny plane swish up and down until my heart felt like it would stop and my stomach would leap into my chest. Thank goodness it lasted only for a few minutes, otherwise I might have needed that white bag tucked in the seat pocket.
Anyway I was grateful to get off the plane and stood up quite fast when we landed. My relief was only temporarily abated, however, as a man a few rows in front of me decided that it was now safe to start shouting. He yelled from the time we stood up to the time we walked through the terminal and went our separate ways.
What was he yapping about?
He said that other people were being “rude,” because they were in a rush to get out of the plane. “People are so rude these days! Why is everyone in such a hurry? People are going to get hurt!” On and on until I eventually blocked out the sound of his voice. Mostly, I thought it was ironic that he was calling everyone else “rude.”
Here’s why God/the Universe is funny.
On the way back from Vegas, I got on the plane late, thereby having to ask the two men sitting in my row to scoot so I can get to my window seat. I was so exhausted from my trip, however, that I could barely find the energy to speak. I just stared at them instead. The guy sitting at the aisle stared back and gave me a look that if translated would say, “What the hell are you looking at?!” His friend, the guy in the middle, however, smiled and stood up right away.
Although he seemed nice, the middle guy and his aisle friend were loud and sounded rude so I closed my eyes hoping the time would pass by fast. I started to notice that the middle guy would stop talking when I was sleeping, which made me very self-conscious so I ended up keeping my eyes opened. I ordered a drink instead and was surprised with the middle guy reached up to get my drink and handed to me.
When I thought everything was going well, the flight was super smooth and my seat mates were quiet, a storm started to brew outside. Suddenly, the plane shook rapidly back and forth as if we were on the Indiana Jones ride in Disneyland. I freaked and was surprised when my neighbor smiled and started talking to me. He said he was just thinking that the plane ride was so smooth, very different from his trip to Vegas. That time there was thunder and lightning and he thought the plane had been hit. We started chatting and I asked him how long he was in Vegas. He said, “Three days.”
Funny I thought. I had just gotten there three days ago too.
After the turbulence went from bumpy to nonexistent, I settled back into my seat. Soon after, I fell asleep again only to be abruptly woken up by the sound and feel of the plane dropping a few feet onto the runway.
The guy next to me turned and smiled again telling me about a time when he rode a plane to Colorado that flew in a fog and dropped down even harder than this.
After we landed safely, thankfully, I got ready to grab my stuff. My neighbor was kind enough to let me go first and helped me to carry my suitcase down from the overhead compartment. But then I heard a strange, but unexpected sound.
He started to yell at everyone saying, “Hey! No one’s going anywhere. There’s no reason to rush.”
I thought to myself,”Could this be the same guy I pronounced as rude only three days ago?”
I followed him through the terminal and heard the exact same statements I heard only a few days before. He mentioned how people could get hurt from tearing their suitcase down and asked why people were so impatient? Then he said, maybe he was getting to be a loudmouth in his old age.
It was the same guy!
I think what the experience taught me is not to be in a hurry to judge people. This guy who I initially labeled as rude and crass ended up being extra nice to me. His anger was out of concern for the people he was with and I was embarrassed for how I immediately judged him.
In the end, I truly believe I met him for a reason and am grateful for the lesson he taught me.