This day, I felt inspired by travel. By flying across the world. By how easily we as humans can pack up, leave town, and leave all our troubles behind us– or so we believe.
Unfortunately for me (and everyone else), no matter how far away a plane takes you, your baggage flies too. In the grand scheme of life, your baggage always flies free. It also flies under your radar, and follows your unwitting self wherever you happen to go.
No matter how differently you may feel in the new place, no matter how exciting the new faces there find you, or how much you think you have changed… deep down, you are still the same old you.
Inside your carry-on might as well be every issue you have ever had with life, every harsh word that ever stung, and every painful awakening from your past. And with them, all the lessons that you learned from these experiences– whether they were the lessons you meant to learn or not.
In the past months, I have been fascinated with flight. Birds in the air catch my attention unlike anything else. Feathers discarded on the grass are treasures that I eagerly carry with me. My soul longs for the ease, the freedom, and the soaring joy that these creatures seem to enjoy every single day.
I feel the deeply-rooted need to fly away from everything that I feel, think, and struggle with. I am ready to move on in the most complete way. I am ready to take to the skies.
No matter how hard I wish, I will not grow wings. And, sadly, I cannot simply hop on a plane and suddenly fit together the mismatched pieces of the life I have lived up until now. I am grounded, literally, and will be for quite some time.
Our lives are not gift wrapped for us. Our struggles are real, deep, and true. I am blessed right now with a life that absolutely refuses to LET me give up. I cannot fly away from my struggles any easier than I can get on an airplane and leave myself behind at the gate.
No matter how hard I try, there is no “easy fix” for making me into the picture-perfect Mandi that I envision, with PhD, fantastic husband, and grand piano accessories included. I cannot purchase this life, not even for five easy payments of 1,000,000 plus tax.
One day, however, I know that I will see this time as a gift. I will see my clipped wings as temporary training wheels– only necessary until my true feathers begin to grow and I can fly alone.
Flying is indeed joyful… and something inside me whispers that it is not meant for fleeing. The kind of flight I desire is that which comes from an overflow of joyous energy. I long to take to the skies in celebration, in contentment, and in sheer praise of the maker who gave me my wings.
I am not capable of that kind of flight right now, but one day, I will be.
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
― Kurt Vonnegut