The First Day of the Next Year of Our Lives

“Today is the beginning of the next year of our lives.” Is what rang through my mind all night long. “Chicago then England,” always followed close behind it in a circular mantra that never really seemed to stop. Since coming home I’ve had the luxury of peaceful sleep, undisturbed by any internal chant. Not tonight though, as the hours dwindle and the sun rises, I feel myself becoming more and more excited to fly. I have everything set in my mind: arrive at 10, 10:30 the latest to get there at least two hours ahead of my flight; breeze through check-in and security, stroll to gate, board plane, take nap, wake up, find fellow YAGMS, begin week in Chicago. All was well with the world last night.

Statues in a park on Michigan Ave, Chicago mirroring each other. Each
Statues in a park on Michigan Ave, Chicago mirroring each other. Each

Naturally, my travel plans are never as smooth as I want them to be. We didn’t leave until 10:20 and arrived at Newark Airport at 11. Southwest had 4 open check-in desks and the line never seemed to move forward. As the clock ticked and my position in line had not gotten better, the anxiety I’d been ignoring reared its ugly head. Twice I thought I’d caught a break when the travels ahead of me were moved to another line and I with them and when I was allowed to skip to a shorter security line with a family who was also on my flight. Sadly, plane left five minutes ahead of its scheduled noon time so I was not on it. Anyone whose met me knows how much I enjoy being late and missing important things.


Two calls and a conversation with the desk later, my anxiety is down. Coincidentally, now that I have missed my flight, I will be sharing a cab with the same YAGM I will be in a London hostel with. Funny how things work out. I guess that’s why we do not control our own destinies. I guess that is why we lean on The Divine for help, comfort, and guidance when our problems, first world they may be, overwhelm us.

And so began the journey…