Expectations vs Reality

A month ago, I was flying back from Washington DC to Chicago O’Hare. After spending an extra hour on the plane, I started to notice that we were flying in a line, meaning we had been flying around in circles for a while. I had already been in a bad mood for various pesky travel inconveniences and did not want to imagine the worst. Please let us land soon, I kept thinking.

Suddenly, the pilot states: “I’m sure only frequent flyers have noticed, but we have been flying around in circles for an hour. Apparently, there’s bad weather in Chicago and we might not be able to land. Folks, there’s no one more excited about landing to Chicago than me. We’ll keep flying for a while, but if we don’t get the yes; we’ll have to land in Indianapolis to refuel. Sorry, folks.”

Oh no. My heart started beating faster. I was exhausted. I had just spent a week helping a friend with her wedding and just wanted to land in Chicago so I could spend a relaxing week away from Madison with my significant other.

Alas! The pilot made the final call to land in Indianapolis.

My boyfriend, who had been waiting for hours at the airport inside a tiny car (he’s pretty big and tall), must have been surprised when he saw my text: “Hey, I’m in Indianapolis.” Our plans had been entirely changed.

You must be thinking what’s the point of this story? Well, sometimes we have a series of expectations about how our lives will turn out. This travel incident is but a mere example of how our plans can be immediately turned around.

You’ll definitely feel as if you’re flying around in circles going nowhere…desperate to find your way home. Or you might feel lost in an unknown place…waiting to feel at home.

Either way we have to accept that our reality will most likely not align with our expectations. What matters is how we learn to deal with these situations.

Sometimes we may not handle it in a mature way.

Sometimes we’ll feel distraught and discouraged.

Sometimes we’ll fall apart.

And that’s okay.

The important part is how you pick yourself up from these disappointments: adjust, rethink, reanalyze. Then, we’ll realize that it wasn’t important at all. It was for the best. You pick up your bags, put them in the trunk of the car and drive off into the sunset.