Aerial Anxiety

richmond to ct

Sometimes I'm convinced that I can make an everyday event a total nail biter. Like that time I needed to fly home. The anxiety started the moment I needed to buy a ticket. Fun fact: trying to fly out of Richmond sucks. You can't just fly from Richmond to your destination. No, you need to fly several hours out of your way to make it home. And on top of that, there's millions of options to select from. After stressing for several hours about when I was going to leave, I finally settled on Richmond to Charlotte to Connecticut. Then came the stress about navigating the airports. One of my worst qualities is my directional abilities. And by that, I mean I don't have any. So I legit studied the maps and talked it through with my more well-travelled roommates.

The night before takeoff, I packed my bags with almost nothing, because I had no idea what I was and wasn't allowed to have. I mean I basically didn't bring home anything that could remotely be construed as problematic. Then I studied the maps a bit more. And then I had anxiety over the flight times I so laboriously contemplated and decided not to pick.

I had a restless night of sleep beforehand, and then it eventually hit me: there are children who ride planes alone. I AM MORE THAN CAPABLE.

Phew. Feeling a little bit better.

I got to the airport over two hours early, ya know to make it through security in time. It took all of five minutes, so I got food right by my gate and hunkered down. About an hour into the waiting, I was informed my flight would be delayed. Then delayed a bit more. Then they threatened to make me check my bag. Ugh.

We made it onto the plane, and it struck me: my connection is going to be a bear to make. So naturally, the entire hour long flight I'm sitting perched by the window and staring at my phone clock, contemplating if we'd make it.

We do make it in time, but land in a different concourse than anticipated. All of a sudden, I had only 15 minutes to make it from D to C. You'd think those should be neighbor concourses, right? Yerp, not. I had to run for ten minutes to make my plane. I definitely rolled my suitcase over multiple people's toes.

I am legit sweating by the time I make it, and the flight attendant forces me to bag check. I was horrendously upset because waiting in baggage claim will take even more time. But I do it, just thankful to be on the flight. I walk down the aisle with all eyes on me, good olde sweaty Sara.

Some lady was in my seat by the time I make it back there, so I have to then ask her to scoot over. She smells of fruity candy and is an armrest hog. Not impressed.

Halfway through descending, my ear pops and I have a blinding headache, right where Harry Potter's scar is on his face, but on mine. My seat neighbor is staring at me as I give myself a face massage. Thank gosh, we land. Freedom, finally freedom after over six hours of travel.

But not.

We are locked in the plane. You read that right:


All they said was maintenance issues and the cold. I sit back down and sulk, while also sending my sister sad text messages. Apparently, they were making baggage claim announcements about our bags before we even got let out of the plane. When I shared that with my fellow locked in compatriots, no one found it as particularly funny as I did at this point. Yay, air travel.