So we were traveling from New York to Miami. A four-hour flight. Long enough to get through a small bag of peanuts but short enough to put away the sleeping pills.The young man sitting beside me in seat 39C was flying to Miami for Spring Break. He was friendly, chatty, and came across as a genuinely nice guy. He also happened to mention that his flight was paid for by his parents, as was his college tuition (I think that’s what you call it in America). My initial thought was ‘spoilt’, ‘lucky’, ‘rich kid’, and so on. Enough for me to develop a reflexive shade of green in my cheeks.
But as the plane burned through fuel and soared further away from the cold and closer to the sunshine of Florida, I had a second thought about my fellow plane passenger. I realised I was totally cool that he hadn’t paid for his Spring Break trip and wasn’t paying for his education. It made me reflect on my situation, and it made me satisfied. It helped me appreciate what I’d earned so far in my life. It made me appreciate the effort Sel and I put in at work, and the effort that goes into saving, planning, and budgeting for our trips. Which then leads to the excitement of choosing a new adventure and working towards getting there. We then reap the rewards when we step on that plane and find ourselves sitting next to new strangers on the plane.
If nothing else, talking to this young man reinforced previous lessons of not comparing myself or my life against other people. And to not worry, or get jealous of where other people are in life, what they’re doing, or how they get there. It’s fruitless. My energy is put into my life and into the lives of those closest to me.
At the end of the day I was landing in Miami at the same time, on the same plane, as the guy beside me. It doesn’t matter how we both got there or what paths we took that resulted in them crossing on this flight. Who cares, right?