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taking off.

March 23, 2014

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perspective.  it’s a tricky thing.

i spent the early morning hours volunteering with the junior league at a 5k race to benefit one of our community partners.  the race course looped around hains point, a peninsula of dc territory jutting into the potomac, smack dab between arlington and the national mall.  there really is no more scenic spot to watch the sunrise.  take my word for it.

my favorite thing about hains point is that you have a marvelous view of planes’ bellies as they take off from reagan national airport.  as the planes curve and bank they show off their entire undersides to gawking tourists/junior league members/runners below.  they look so proud and powerful, flinging themselves toward the great blue yonder.  you can almost see the engines chugging and you can most certainly hear their motors churning.  pointing nose toward the sky, the planes lift off.

i made a pit stop at the grocery store after volunteering.  it’s amazing all you can accomplish before 10 a.m. when you’re awake before the sun.  as i topped a crest of a hill in arlington, after finally tracking down 2 pounds of ground turkey meat, i gazed toward the sky behind a red light.  a plane popped out from behind a “skyscraper” in downtown clarendon and for just a moment i could watch it soar.  it glided seemingly effortlessly.  it was pretty and serene and smooth, unlike the chugging and churning of the planes i’d watched earlier.  what was hard work at hains point, looked easy from arlington.  same planes (well, different planes…but you get the picture), different perspective.

last night i celebrated a best friend’s 30th birthday.  squeezed between girl friends and the birthday girl’s husband, another single friend and i lamented that everyone is getting married.  karen, the ever-wise birthday girl, stared at me: i’m the only one at this table that’s married, she said.  yes, but…

some days it seems like everyone is in a race to the altar.  it’s all bridal showers and baby carriages and perfectly iced sugar cookies celebrating another landmark milestone.  my sister and her fiance bought a house and two new cars and are planning a wedding.  i’m surrounded by pregnant women at work.  and if they’re not betrothed or happily married, it seems all of my girlfriends are in a lovey-dovey relationship with mr. wonderful.  (seriously, i need to cut out the instagram and facebook for a while.  it’s making me nauseous.)

when i take a step back, not everyone is in a perfect relationship.  not everyone has the perfect life.  not everyone loves their job or their haircut or their choice in margarita flavor.  sometimes it looks so easy, when it’s taking a lot of hard work.  my friends make life look so good.  how can they make this look so easy?!?!  sometimes all i see are the planes gliding effortlessly and i miss the chugging engines behind the skyscrapers.

flight has always terrified and enthralled me.  i think it is truly wonderful that a plane can fly.  my little brain cannot wrap its neurons around the marvel of aviation.  how can a plane fly?!?!  and like my dad tries to explain to me when the skies are turbulent, it makes sense that planes fly.  it’s what they’re made to do.  it’s all perspective.

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