I came across this picture this week. Yes, that’s me, bottom left. Over 20 years ago.
Seeing this picture evoked a whirlwind of memories and emotions. I could go on and on about all the things it made me think about…
…Like the day I got the phone call informing me I had been hired to fly the friendly skies. I was so excited not just to have a job but to have THIS job. The first person I called to tell was my mom. She was NOT excited.
…Or on the Friday night flight out of New York I kept telling one of the girls I was working with that the man in the back row was so very handsome. He was handsome because he looked a lot like Warren Beatty. It never occurred to me that it might actually BE Warren Beatty. I finally realized that it really was him on the Sunday night flight back in to New York when he was sitting with Geraldo Rivera. Duh.
…Or the day the turbulence was so bad everyone on the airplane got sick. One fellow passed out. I sat strapped in the jump seat in the back of the plane and kept throwing airsickness bags down the aisle and people kept reaching over to pick them up.
…Or the day a minister from the Baptist state office gave me an in-flight sermon about how I was contributing to the demise and eternal damnation of all the poor sinful passengers by serving them alcoholic drinks.
…Or the many flights I sat looking out of the window as we followed the Hudson River and banked around the Statue of Liberty. It was a beautiful site. I don’t think planes are allowed to do that anymore. I wish I had taken pictures.
…Or the many mornings I ate nachos for breakfast in the Miami airport. Before 8 AM. Or, for that matter, all the stinking peanuts I ate in-flight. Mmmmmm.
…Or the beaches it took me to. Key West. Nantucket. Martha’s Vineyard. Naples. Miami…
Like I said. I could go on and on.
When I saw the picture, I felt a little nostalgic and sad because I don’t lead that kind of life any more. I’m not that person any more.
I also felt a little relieved. For the very same reasons.
I’ve come a long way and a lot has changed in my life since then. No, I’m not completely satisfied with where I am right now. But I can’t help but think that in 20 more years, I will not be living the life I have right now. Things will be different. I’ll be looking back at pictures taken in 2009 and I’ll be flooded with memories and emotions again. And I’ll be a little sad that I don’t lead this kind of life anymore. And a little more than relieved too.
My life is in His hands.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him. Ecclesiastes 3:11-14