The airport is one of my happy places.
When I was a kid my divorced parents lived 4 hrs apart. They had joint custody. Every 2 weeks, starting at 5, I flew as an unaccompanied minor. I had frequent flyer status by 7.
By 8, I realized that the lovely people who were suppose to be watching me, either didn’t care or lacked any system to deal with cargo like me. I chatted up the person next to me and pretended that we belonged together. When the timing was right, I would slip off the massive UM pouch that hung around my neck. Upon landing, I would walk off the plane my new “business dad” and wander down to meet my respective parent.
This was a different era.
I did this for over 15 years.
This wasn’t a glamorous youth, often it was emotionally messy, but usually, ultimately, I found a way to make it fun. It was an adventure. It was different.
I still love being in an airport. It is a place where I learned to self advocate and network... sort of (I used to ask the business travellers to play cards with me in plain sight of the flight attendants so they would think we knew each other 😉😇). I can’t really remember the point to sharing all of this.... but here are the key lessons I still hold as true. ❤️ Raising independent kids is the point. It’s hard. As a parent, preparing to let go is one of my biggest challenges. But, it’s my job. ❤️ You never have to be a victim to your emotionally messy past. Those experiences can make you more awesome. ❤️ Divorce sucks. For everyone. But, there are powerful silver linings. Find them. Focus on them. ❤️ Flying is fun AF. ❤️ You are more at risk in a car than in a plane. Disagree? Deal with your control issues... you are not as good a driver as you think you are. ❤️ Chat with the people next to you, they may be a catalyst to your independence. (It’s also less awkward if you fall asleep and drool on their shoulder... at least you broke the ice early) ❤️ Visit and return to the places and people that make you feel strong. ❤️ Catapult from your past to build an incredible future.