Matthew and I just returned home from Alaska. I haven’t yet had time to sort through the hundreds of photos or put the magnitude of our trip into words. Don’t worry though, I will share details and photos from our trip very soon. (If you’d like a head start, you can check #mapinalaska on Instagram @pamelapetrus.) In the meantime, here’s a few thoughts that I had as we began our wonderful Alaskan journey.
There truly is something that I love about flying. Let me be clear. I do not like turbulence or stale air or sitting next to the one person on the plane that didn’t bathe today and has gas problems. I don’t like the migraines that I often get from the pressure or having to sit in one place for so long. I do, however, love the random bits of inspiration that flying gives me. I have written a large chunk of blog posts while flying, many of which have never even been shared. Nonetheless, I’ve noticed that sitting silently on a plane almost always makes me think about life or people or my dreams and goals, and often makes words flow from my mind almost effortlessly.
I’ve also noticed that I drink apple juice when I fly. As soon as the flight attendant brings out that rickety cart with the loud, locking brakes, I begin to taste apple juice. I couldn’t stand apple juice for the majority of my life. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve begun to drink it, and I do so understanding that any second I could wake up from this dream and remember that I don’t like apple juice. Since I’ve begun exploring this new land of juice, I’ve noticed that I primarily drink in on a plane. There may be one or two times a year that I drink it somewhere other than 30,000 feet in the air, and it’s usually shortly after a trip. Primarily though, it’s on an airplane. I’m not even sure when I decided that apple juice should be associated with flying. Regardless of how, when, or why, flying now equals sipping some juice. (Did you start singing “sipping on gin and juice??” No? Ok then.)
On this particular flight, something smelled like it was burning. I smelled it as soon as we began to move on the tarmac. My husband said he smelled it to and dismissed it almost instantly, in his usual fashion. I decided not to think much about it. After all, you could so very easily find some sound/smell/motion to be alarmed about while ascending into the sky riding in a big chunk of metal. My typically plane mentality is that if no one else around me seems concerned, then I shouldn’t be concerned either. (I could live out this scene from my all-time favorite movie. Better not though.)
I decided not to worry about the burning smell, even though I smelled it for the majority of the 7 hour flight. I figured if we hadn’t burst in to a ball of flames yet, we were probably going to be alright. Still though, there was this smell. It smelled somewhat like an old curling iron that had been on for a while, burning away years of caked on hairspray. There were times when the smell made me reminisce of getting ready for high school proms…a time when I didn’t even know how to “get ready.” (Seriously, I literally had no idea what to do with make up or how to manage this hair of mine.)
The longer I rode, I thought more about burning curling irons and apple juice. I have such a keen sense of smell (not usually a good thing on an airplane) and it’s very common for me to get catapulted back in time because of a familiar smell. The more that I thought about the new correlation between sipping apple juice and flying, the more inspired I became. Some of my best writing and business ideas have come from long, muffled flights. This is actually a great time for this flight, as I have something new up my sleeve. (Like how I just slipped that in??) Maybe someday I’ll be flying here and there for lunch or random excursions, just so I can take advantage of the inspiration that comes from these flights. If that’s the case, I want to be sitting in first class. Go big or go home, right?
It also made me think about what would happen if this plane crashed. My first thought is that this iPhone note would be backed up somewhere and maybe that’s how they would determine the cause of the crash…something burning. The headlines would read – “Young Blogger’s iPhone Note Cracks Plane Crash Mystery.” Clearly, I’m being a bit silly. Although, it made me think about the notes I have saved on my phone. A few grocery lists. Some useless passwords. Many are unpublished blog posts. Some I just haven’t gotten around to sharing. Some, I’ve decided are too random. Or too “raw.” Would anyone read those? Would I want them to?? As I’ve mentioned before, this blog is much like a journal for me. When writing for this space, it means that a lot of what I write doesn’t actually go live. Instead, those posts live on my iPhone, serving as an expression of my thoughts and feelings. They are very much so my journal where I write through my own thoughts and feelings. It just so happens that I’m writing them from a story-telling perspective rather than an introspective one. Even though they’re not shared, they still live on in my iPhone. They tell my story. Would I want someone to read all of those? I’m really not sure. I do know that I’m thankful that they’re there.
For now, I’ll continue to write more posts, much like this one, that may or may not get shared. I’ll sip some juice and smell that burning curling iron smell and dream and reminisce and make plans. Most importantly, I’ll think. I’ll think about anything and everything, often simultaneously. I’ll have good ideas and not-so-good ideas. Some of them I’ll act on. Some will fade into the distance. No matter what, I’ll be thankful for the opportunity to think and plan and dream.
I’ll have another apple juice, please.