I love airports. The overwhelming grandeur of planes taking off, the rush of people hurrying to their respective gates, the whooshing of deadlines flying by. The airport is a site of everlasting commotion and company; yet at the same time, it is inexplicably lonely. Every individual is traveling to a different location in the world, set to follow the paths of their unique and distinct lives. However, amid this separateness, I feel strangely close to everyone. Especially on this plane. It may have to do with the fact that we are thousands of feet in the air, all seated in this chunk of metal soaring through the sky. I am hunched over the seat’s desk, straining my eyes in the darkness of the plane. Every part of this adventure feels new, untouched: from the fresh pages of my Niswarth journal, to the next few weeks of discovery with the Niswarth group. I feel as if I’m teetering on the edge of a concept so complex and great, one cannot begin to describe it. This concept, could it be truth? Could it be the pure fear of new experience?
I love airports, but airports are undeniably selfish. The safe, definitive reassurance of knowing one’s destination has become the unfortunate norm of society. We tend to make endless plans, fearful of living life as it goes. We feel safe and content knowing our next steps and direction. We avoid the dangerous abyss that is living in the moment.
As I depart on this plane, I will be leaving behind a past version of myself: the part of me that always has a plan, the part of me that seeks comfort in knowing that a plan exists. I have lived the entirety of my life looking ahead, anticipating. From now on, I will be looking up instead of looking ahead. Looking up at the endless possibilities of discovery, looking up to my peers, looking up to the amazement and purity of difference. Instead of looking ahead at my own, individual road of life, I will be looking up at the vast sky that I share with seven billion people.