Friday, January 22, 2010

The Stranger

*side note (I wrote this in the airport in Chicago but I did not have internet to post in until now.)

The morning was all kind of a blur to me now thinking back. I was so full of mixed emotions; nervous, excited, lonely, ya know, just everything you would expect. I had kept it all together and made it through security all by myself only to find out that the handle on my carry on bag had broken. Now I can no longer pull the stupid bag behind me. I have to drag it through the airport. And in case you don’t already know, I am not a light packer. This small bag alone probably weighs 50 pounds.

I got on my plane at 6:50 ish and I am feeling super frustrated and tired so I am just anxious to leave. I’m sitting there, not acting very friendly, and the guy in the seat next to me strikes up a conversation. At first I am thinking, “seriously buddy? I just want to sleep.” but I decide it is probably a good idea to make a friend so we start talking. I’m telling him about moving to England and the long day I have ahead of me and he is telling me how excited he is for me and what an adventure I will have. So I ask him where he is headed to be polite. It turns out this guy is going to Miami to try and get a hold of his family. He was originally from Haiti and he is the only one in his family to be in the United States. He started telling me about how horrified he was when he heard about the earthquake. He said that the only member of his family he had been able to come in contact with so far was his mother. She told him about how awful all the conditions are and how devastating the earthquake had been.
Talking to him changed my entire perspective. Here I was pouting and whining because I am missing my family and friends that I won’t be able to see for 4 months. And this poor man doesn’t even know if his family is all still alive. I realized just how lucky I really am. I’m about to have the experience of a lifetime and I can sleep soundly at night knowing my family is safe at home.
I know that meeting this man opened my eyes and hopefully I will be able to look past my small issues and take a broader perspective. His family will be in my prayers and I hope you will all think of him too.

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