The last time I was in this small Little Rock airport was when I was embarking on a life-changing journey to Rwanda, Africa.
This time, I am just taking a weekend voyage home, but sitting here now, alone on the floor sprawled out like a 5-year-old, I can’t shake the feeling that I am going on another great journey.
Because, in a way, I am.
This is my first time flying anywhere alone. I’ve flown several places my entire life, but as I approached the entrance to the airport, butterflies formed in my stomach. I was responsible for myself. I actually had to pay attention and be alert for my flight information, and I hardly ever trust myself to do anything right.
But it all worked out fine, and the afternoon airport staff is much friendlier than any of the others I have encountered. Plus, the airport is empty.
So here I sit, Starbucks in hand and The New York Times beside me. I am merely taking a weekend visit home, alone, but I could not feel more joyful.
Joy in knowing one day I will be flying somewhere new again. Joy that one day I may help those who are involved in the world crises mentioned in the Times. Joy that I finally have this next hour before boarding to sit, think, reflect, and to not need to work on either of my jobs but reconnect to what truly matters to me, to remember what I really am passionate about.
There is one thing college has not taught me: how to leave work in the workplace. I do not have time to breathe anymore, and I hardly have enough time to eat or sleep, though I enjoy everything I do. When I started my new job in the public relations office at my university last week, I could not not think about who I had to meet with and what tasks I had to accomplish for the next work day. In college, working consumes my every minute, and nearly every thought.
But not this weekend. Today, I remember that I am a person with ambitions and dreams worth mentioning in the Times. I remember that the most daunting and beautiful accomplishments are fueled by aspirations, risks and courage, not just caffeine. Tomorrow, I will live by that. This weekend, I will live for me, and I recognize all the talents and blessings God has provided for me.
Right now I sit in the empty, peaceful, airport knowing someday soon all this work will pay off, and I will be on cloud nine – soaring to new heights and living dreams I could not even imagine.