I love traveling. Seeing new places and experiencing new “worlds” is really one of my favorite things. If I owe anyone an apology about this, it’s myself because my Type A, planner personality almost never leaves me enough time to just stare at the new places I’ve traveled.
I love airports. Watching people and buying magazines and reading half a novel while eating tacos at a table for one in an airport Mexican restaurant? The perfect way for this 49 percent introvert to spend a couple hours after living in closer than usual quarters on a trip.
Flying, though? I hate flying.
Obviously, flying is a terrifying thing to do. I mean, it is ridiculous (RIDICULOUS!) that an enormous tin can flies through the sky. THROUGH THE SKY! Do not even throw science at me. It doesn’t make sense. My brain cannot comprehend it. Airplanes flying in the sky might as well be magic. But that’s not why I hate flying.
I hate flying because I take up too much space.
I’m overweight. And while that fact is always present in my thoughts, never am I more aware of my extra pounds than when I fly.
When I stand in the security line, I squeeze my shoulders in and hold my suitcase as close to my legs as possible – so I take up less room in the crowd. I do the same thing in the line for the bathroom and waiting to board.
But it’s sitting on the plane that’s the worst.
I always choose an aisle seat if I have the choice. And if I luck out and arrive before the person with the middle seat, I flip up the arm rest so we have a few millimeters more space. Then I hold my breath and suck in my gut and pray that the seatbelt will latch. And I spend the next few hours squeezing my legs together and digging my elbows into my sides as I try to avoid taking up any extra space – in the aisle, in the seats, in the air.
Yeah. I find myself feeling like I take up too much air. TOO MUCH AIR. And my scrunched up and sucked in body language, along with my apologetic glances and occasional “sorrys” after the inevitable bumps and elbow rubs, is one big apology.
I’m sorry for taking up too much space.
I’m sorry for being too big.
I’m sorry for being in the way.
I’m sorry my size causes others inconvenience.
I’m sorry my size makes me so uncomfortable.
I’m sorry I’m kind of sweaty from speed walking to the gate.
I’m sorry I reached over you to turn on my fan.
I’m sorry my leg bumped your leg.
I’m sorry I’m in the way.
I’m sorry you have to sit by me.
I know. It sounds awful. This whole post is a downer, right? Believe me, it’s super embarrassing and I didn’t want to tell you. I certainly didn’t want to tell you all serious-like. But I think the only way we’re going to stop apologizing for things we shouldn’t be sorry for is by being honest. And digging deeper. Without making a joke of it. (SIGH.) And recognizing when our entire being is apologizing for simply existing, simply taking up space.
Maybe you fit just fine in an airplane seat. Maybe it’s something else that makes you hunch your shoulders and stare at the ground with red cheeks. But if you are apologizing for part of who you are, for just BEING you, I hope you’ll start thinking about that. You know, so I’m not alone in this fun thought process?
Today I’m flying to North Carolina for the Allume Conference. I’m going to try not to apologize. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Does anything make you apologize for taking up too much space?
This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge. To read all the posts in this series, click here. And to learn more about this challenge or to find more series to read, visit Write31Days.com. Apple photos courtesy of my brother, James.