I was waiting to board my flight out of Fort Lauderdale, talking on the phone with my friend Adrian and pacing as we caught up, told stories, gave advice, and offered encouragement.
And as I walked and talked waiting for boarding time, I heard a bird nearby. Sure enough, two small birds had found their way into the terminal and were chasing each other, flitting about rapidly, resting on a ledge near a big tall window.
I wonder if they looked out the window in between bursts of indoor flight. I wonder if they saw the planes making their way from the gates, revving up, racing down the runway and quickly climbing high above.
And if they did, I wonder if their heart longed to do what they were best at: fly freely.
We find ourselves in similar situations, I’m guessing. We have natural talents or skills we've honed over the years. We each have something we enjoy doing so much that it makes our heart sing. But sometimes, all we can do is look out our window at everyone else who looks like they're making it, taking off toward their dream of doing something great.
And where does it leave us? We feel trapped. We feel misguided by the advice someone once told us to do what we love and what makes us happy. We tried and it just got us stuck somewhere near the Internet and every time we stopped for just a moment it looked like everyone else was taking off while we were stranded, flightless and nearly hopeless.
Take heart. Just because you’re not soaring right now like everyone else doesn't mean you’re ultimately incapable of flying. You know how to increase speed, create lift, and climb higher.
You just need to get out of the terminal and onto the runway.
That’s the hardest advice to come by, truthfully, and I wish I could conclude this blog post with a handful of easy ways to do that. I wish there were a book to read, a video to watch, or a guru to consult to make sure that you’d be at cruising altitude by lunchtime.
But all I can tell you (and tell myself) is to keep trying. Keep flying where you are, even if big windows and a ceiling have you feeling like you can’t escape. Because I really believe (for you and me) that very soon, the door or window will open up and we’ll be free.
We may even find a crack in the wall we can slip through. Our job in the meantime is to make sure we’re ready for flight when the conditions become favorable.