Paradise (and Patience)

I’m on a plane. A 737, to be exact.

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I’m hurtling towards a place that makes my stomach sink, and I’m trying very hard to think about how happy I was at high altitude, just the other day. My shoes are still a dusty pink.

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I’m so afraid. Not of flying — of landing. I could really do without this landing. I wish I were on any other flight, going anywhere else. Actually, make that any other Delta flight. I can’t be the only one peeking into the aisle with Biscoff cookies on the brain.

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I really don’t want to go back to New York. But the clock is ticking, and I’ll be back there soon.

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Hopefully before someone completely disregards this latest announcement, and the guy with the severe peanut allergy has some kind of reaction at 15,000 feet. Maybe I should skip the almonds this morning, just to be safe.

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I do like a little bit of crunch in my breakfast, but with any luck, it won’t be long before Biscoff. The cart is getting close! The flight attendant looks very sweet. Motherly.

I miss my mom. Probably more than I should, at age 23. But all of a sudden, it’s as if we’re friends first, and mother and daughter second. I can’t tell you how nice it is. It’s almost as nice as the sunrise hike we did together, every other morning.

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We took turns leading and following. We laughed when we tripped. We talked and didn’t talk. We stopped to take pictures — me for writing, her for painting.

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We reminded each other to drink. We fell behind and caught back up. We sprinted to see the sky wake up — me with my iPhone, her with her iPad. We laughed at ourselves for being too late (yet again). We loved the way the light looked, no matter what.

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I wish that we were having oatmeal together, the way we did when I was growing up.

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My yogurt is so cold. The blueberries are good, but I miss my mango. Miss the morning we blew off oatmeal, and went to the cutest little farmer’s market, and brought home a great big loaf of bread. Fig and walnut bread.

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We toasted one slice and left the other alone. Buttered both, had half of each. It was perfect.

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I had that thought so many times during the trip. When we finally found a pair of white shorts for her (not too short), and a pair of black pants for me (not too tight). When we discovered a new frozen yogurt place, along with a single shady spot to park. When we woke up at exactly the same time, to yet another 80-degree and sunny day.

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I would imagine it would be hard not to be happy in Scottsdale. There are bunnies and hummingbirds everywhere you look. And there are so many friendly faces! (Providing they aren’t trying to get from Point A to Point B, on a freeway with five lanes.) And then there are all of those cacti. They always seem to be waving hello.

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But you don’t need to go to a botanical garden to see something stunning. (Something stunning, and maybe just the slightest little bit strange.)

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Because even the weeds are pretty, in Arizona. Even the weeds.

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Spring in the desert is really something else. I’m so lucky to have seen it.

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Thank goodness for sky miles. And for infinitely generous mothers. Thank goodness for this break. It was so wonderful to get away. It was also kind of a shock — to realize just how unhappy I’ve really been. Not to worry — it turns out smiling is a lot like riding a bike.

I realize that Real Life isn’t Vacationland, and I’m a touch too young to be saying Snowbird and ideal new title in the same sentence. But I want to be happier in my day-to-day life. I want it desperately. So I’m going to be making some changes — some big ones and some small ones. Some starting now, and some starting very soon. I have to remember that: very soon. I just have to hang in there, for a little while longer.

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I’m just so afraid that I’m going to fail before very soon comes. That I’m going to go back to my 300 square foot room, in the city that dresses in head to toe black, and I’m immediately going to feel like I’m in mourning again. I’m so afraid that I won’t be able to keep myself from folding, in my $10 chair that simply cannot keep it together for more than one hour at a time.

What’d we learn this week, though? That distraction is good. Distraction is key. And what do you know — the cart is already here.

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