The Airplane Dropped! A Story From The Sky
One night back in July…
I was soooo beyond grateful to have been seated next to "Aunt Sandy" on my first flight home and good ol Tom on my second. I was heading back from Nashville, where I just spent 2 full days in a marketing mastermind with 50+ high caliber entrepreneurs.
One thing I didn't want to do was talk to ANOTHER person after the information brain overload and over stimulation of socializing...
👵 Aunt Sandy 🔥
The 70 something, proud to be single, spitfire, loves the warm weather, sales rep.
I'm a terrible flyer and I made sure to let her know right away.
It seemed to be an "easy" 30 minute flight from Nashville to Atlanta and our conversation was flowing.
In that time we learned about each other's businesses and shared life stories and both of us kept saying how we don't normally talk to others on planes but we both just felt an instant connection so we kept it going.
For a moment I thought how nice it was to be able to chat with someone to take the jitters out of take-off.
As she was doing her jigsaw puzzle and I was crushing jewels...
The plane just DROPPED.
Turbulence my ass. This was straight up "I'm gonna f***ing die"... And full on panic mode sets in....
No breath to catch.
Tears welling up.
Shaking in ultimate fear.
And then I feel Aunt Sandy grab my hand and rub my arm until we land safely.
Something sat us next to each other last night.
She knew it.
I knew it.
She even helped me find my way to my connecting flight. I couldn't help but give her a huge hug as we parted. We both said, "I feel like I've known you forever".
I could have chosen to *handle it on my own* by putting in my ear buds, struggling through take off, internally panicking through the drop, struggle again through landing and possibly get lost getting to my next flight.
But instead I chose to raise my hand when I knew I was vulnerable and the universe sent me an angel to keep me comforted.
The litigation judge from St.Paul, MN, a background in flying small planes, father of 4.
Then on my second flight, I get seated next to a sweaty old man who I dreaded being seated next to because I was hoping for another Aunt Sandy to hold my hand.
My mom had called while we were on the runway and I told her about my first flight. I was still coming off of the adrenaline and balling my eyes out.
I get off the phone and Tom says "hey, it's ok, we all have bad days". He heard my convo about Aunt Sandy and how it helped to chat during take off and told me that if it helped to talk, he doesn't mind.
The sweaty old man I was trying to avoid is now offering his kindness.
As badly as I wanted to plug my ears and ignore this guy and try to once again deal with it on my own, I knew I should take him up on his offer given the experience 45 mins prior…
As his wife says "he talks a lot" and I learned A LOT about him. He dated a hairstylist back in the day, he's got 2 grand-babies, loves to travel, he was in the service and he was just returning from seeing his oldest son present his thesis for his PHD before he's off to Germany.
And although he was a chatterbox, it really did help keep me calm.
Whether it's in life or business, we will always experience highs and lows, but there are always going to be people around us everywhere who are there cheering us on.
So if there were 3 things I could take away from these 2 experiences they would be:
1. Don't be afraid to raise your hand when you're feeling vulnerable, uncomfortable or scared. MOST LIKELY those around you are more than happy to help you. YOU just have to ask or they won't know you needed the help.
2. If someone can see you're struggling and offers help, welcome it with open arms. You might just be surprised at the outcome. Sweaty ol Tom happened to be a very comforting father and grandfather who knew I was having a hard time.
3. Know that you don't HAVE TO go it *alone*. There are people there to help you along the way even when you least expect it.
Have a story like mine to share? I'd love to hear it.