So, I confess I am a diva about one thing. It’s airplane seating. I start to get really nervous when we have to fly anywhere. Nervous that I will be assigned a middle seat. I avoid the carriers where you can’t get an assigned seat, even if it means I pay a little more. It is a true phobia for me. My stomach gets upset, I start to stress out.
I pretty much willing to bribe someone for anything but a middle seat.
The anxiety comes from the fact that while I do still fit in a seat, there isn’t much room to spare. I’m already a little weird about personal space and respecting boundaries so the thought that I may be inconveniencing someone next to me gives me terrors. But last winter the dreaded finally happened. I was coming from back east, aka a long flight, and I was in a middle seat. The flight was full and I could do nothing about my predicament. I was almost ready to cry by the time I sat down. I got myself into place and folded my arms in as tight as I could to my body and hoped I didn’t cause an incident with my seat mates. As it turned out my seat mates were both good sized men. We endured the flight. One man next to me was constantly readjusting. I just knew it was because he felt encroached upon by me. Long story short, as we were standing up and getting ready to exit the plane he apologized to me for crowding me. I was dumbstruck. Wait what?! He thought he was crowding me? All his adjusting was based on his worry? Well we both had a good chuckle about the hardship of the plane seating.
I experienced a pretty significant paradigm shift.
I realized that it wasn’t always about me. That while yes, I will always continue to be aware of how I “fit” into places, a lot of other people walking around have the same worry. It was bigger than that though. I started to really notice people everywhere. And guess what, most of them were not the “perfect” size, the standard I held for myself in my head. That believe it or not, people really do come in all sizes and shapes. And they all do get along the best they can, enjoying life and “fitting in” in with their own issues whether it be height, a lack there of, or even a disability. I know it sounds crazy, but that one moment on that one airplane flight, opened my eyes to the fact that I am as okay as everyone else around me.
So, take that weird ideas in my head! Take that beautiful people in magazines and in movies!
We, all of us, are unique in our body sizes and shapes and we are OK!