Serendipitous Airplane Seating Arrangement

I was flying home last night from San Antonio, TX. I was coming back from my cousin’s wedding which also served as a family gathering/reunion. I met some extended family I had never met before and was so happy to have grown my clan with such lovely people.

For my San Antonio-Phoenix flight, I had a middle seat–I had given my aisle seat to my dad who recently had knee surgery and needed to extend his leg. I really don’t like center seats. I am fiercely independent to include a dislike for asking for permission to stand to use the restroom during a flight. I don’t think of this as claustrophobia which is the fear of confined spaces but more of a fear of a stifling of my freedom. Maybe you could argue that they are related. Anyhow, I am not a psychologist so I will not spend more of your time pondering such things.

The man on the aisle was tall and very friendly. As the plane boarded I commented that maybe the window seat would be empty and I could move over there so we would both have more room. He said, “they said it was a full flight.”

“They lie,” I responded.

He laughed. I am somewhat cynical about airlines and what they tell you.

A gentleman approached and pointed to the window seat, “I don’t mind body surfing so y’all don’t have to get up.”

We got up anyways because I don’t think it would have been too polite to have this guy body surf to his seat.

The man in the aisle seat extended his hand and said his name was David, what was mine? I told him and we introduced ourselves to the man in the window seat who turned out to be John.

We began chatting, it started with the typical airplane banter, “is San Antonio home or are you flying home? Do you have another flight? Etc.” But it slowly got into deeper subjects to include politics, relationships, etc. They told me about their daughters, we talked about our jobs, and what we want out of life.

When the flight attendant came by we all ordered drinks and said a toast together. John showed me photos of his adorable grandson and David told me a story about finding the guitar he had always wanted but the moral of his story was ask and you shall receive. I guess that’s the biblical version that I am most used to but the contemporary philosophy is called the “Law of Attraction Theory” which is the premise of the book “The Secret” and follows the mantra, “ask, believe, receive.”

This came up because I said I had just gone to a wedding and they asked if I was married. (In case you don’t know, I am not.) David asked if I minded if he shared something with me and I said of course I wouldn’t mind. He told me to ask for exactly what it is I want out of life. Don’t focus on what you don’t want, because then you get what you don’t want. You give what you don’t want energy. Rather, focus on the things you want and they will come your way. When I told him I had a full-time job but freelance wrote on the side he repeated this “ask, believe, receive” mantra saying I was focusing too much on the notion that the writing was my side gig and not my passion that I ought to focus on.

Now I don’t like center seats but this was the most lovely Sally sandwich. These men were two of the most kind-hearted people I have had the pleasure of meeting. As we deboarded the plane, David told me we were all meant to sit next to one another on that flight. I was meant to hear what he had to say. He gave me his business card and told me to call him if I ever needed encouragement or a persistent push for “ask, believe, receive.” I found my mom and David said, “hi mom!” My mom bashfully smiled, she is very shy, and asked what that was all about. She had heard me talking on the plane, surprise, surprise, and wondered what we were all discussing. I told her and she loved it.

So as you go through life, focus on the things you want. Ask for what you want and don’t give energy to the things you don’t want or dislike. Focus on your dreams, your passions, your desires and they will come to you. Or so I am told. And always be kind to the person sitting next to you on the airplane, you never know what they might teach you.

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