I’m on planes a lot. A�If I’m not working on them to raise money for the travel piggy bank, I choose to sit on them, subjecting myself to long flights, hours of waiting, and all the various horrors of air travel, just because “I wanna see the world.”
I must see the world. A�There’s not even a question of if, it just is, the deep seeded, all-consuming passion, of going…
But, I’ve noticed something. A�I’m always leaving. A�Flying away; saying goodbyes to places, people, and moments, holding to the hope that the goodbye will sway to more of a comforting, see-you-laterA�tune.
Leaving, like traveling, is a recurring theme in my life. A�Maybe the two go hand-in-hand for flight attendants, or for anyone, for that matter. A�I think that they must exist as a pair, butA�I haven’t truly accepted this fact, as every time a plane I’m on hits the tarmac, returning me home after one of my holiday adventures, A�I feel the missing, the slight twinge of empty. A�(Side note: A�Interesting I get “away sick” instead of homesick…hmmm.)
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I admire the gypsy souls; the individuals that float from place to place, completely free and untied, savoring what is, and not looking at the has-been. A�I was talking with one of my favorite people, a friend of mine, about travel and always going away. A�”I just don’t miss people,” he said, matter-of-factly.
And I was jealous. A�I am jealous. A�Jealous because after three years ofA�the flight attendant life,A�I thought for sure, by now, I would be used to leaving. A�Be used to walking on an airplane, pressing my forehead against the cold plexiglass oval, staring longingly out the window, my mind wondering when I will be back, if I will be back, wanting to press repeat, rewind, or the just-one-more-dayA�button. A�Questions unanswered, as I squeeze my eyes closed, hoping that this time, I can avoid missing.
Because missing hurts.
My first memory of missing was when I was four years old. A�My barefoot little feet scuffed up the dirt beneath my toes, as I walked hand-in-hand with my mom down the dusty road by our house. A�My Dad ran up to us, in a frantic, somewhat uncharacteristically animated way. A�There was some mumbling and talking between the adults. A�I didn’t understand. A�There was a funny car in the driveway. A�In only the way a child can relate to the world, “Jesus gonna give Grandma new skin?”
In my four-year old mind that meant missing doesn’t last forever.
You might think that because I am a flight attendant, I am immune to the effects of leaving, but that is not the case. A�As much as I have tried to convince myself that saying goodbyes would get easier with each departure, it hasn’t eliminated the sense of loss I seem to feel each time. A�I lecture myself, “Kara, why do you act so surprised? A�Like you haven’t said a goodbye in your life? A�Why won’t you toughen up? A�YouA�knewA�this would end!”
From the day that I understood what missing could mean as the four-year old, to spending weeks at summer camp, and moving away from home at fifteen years old, I’ve been carried by currents of change. A�We all are. A�But, before any social title, job, or hobby, I am Kara, which means that I interpret my world through a lens of loving adventure, but not wanting to leave anything I care about anywhere except for close to me. A�I may be able to throw on a different pair of jeans and change style easily, but I cannot change my DNA. A�Someone created me this way, but if I won three wishes from Genie, one would most definitely be travel related, and one wish, hands down, would be aA�city full of my favorite people.
Miss My favorites…
Miss time spent with the kiddos…