Terminal N

Down two flights of stairs, a ride around the airporter, and a dosey-do around the Starbucks and the Seahawks bar depending on your gate. You can choose between Starbucks and Burger King coffee, get a massage or a manicure, and no matter where you go you’ll never be out of sight of blue, lime green or a Seahawks logo.

Terminal N is much more familiar to me at the end of 2014 than I ever imagined it would be at the end of 2013. And here I am, sitting through my 16th pre-flight sequence of the year, wishing I was on the ground. I love traveling. I love flying. I think I love traveling partially because it usually involves flying. I love airports. And luggage. And while I could do without the germs and the pressure of packing, I especially love sunrise and sunset flights.

But tonight the beauty of the lights is no match for my desire to be comfortably connected to the earth. I’m not even completely committed to where I would like to be, but the stomach churning g-forces are far too inline with life’s transition. (Also, I’m tired of crying and I’d like to wash my face.)

Without question, this was an amazing trip. Dinner at Purple, the Seattle Symphony (better than the SF Symphony), cooking with Nik, exploring the Base and Olympia. Today we went on this beautiful hike along the waterfront at University Place. Small coffee shops and errands and exploring the Commissary (no taxes!). But when will that luster fade? When will this turn into a repeat of our past and my friends say “I told you so” – when will my cynical self say I told you so?

Or has each of us grown up enough to have the relationship we set out to have? One of our biggest issues has always been that we both have led big lives, with little room for each other. And now, can we intertwine those lives? Can I let him in? We always joked that we knew how to be married but couldn’t figure out dating. How much longer with those ties bind? Or, will he get shipped off to Afghanistan as soon as we fall into our rhythm?

Regardless, I’m moving to the state of Washington in January. It’s happening. I need to stop being afraid of this and start preparing for it. Renting, moving, packing, applying. Most importantly, planning my going away party.

This begins tomorrow. I’m counting on my memorial trip to the beach to set me on that path. I simultaneously can and can’t believe that Wednesday will mark eight years without my grandfather. Eight. It seems like a lifetime ago, but when I think about those final moments, it still hurts like it was yesterday. Nonetheless, Grandpa J wouldn’t have much empathy for this cloud I’ve allowed myself to be sucked into. He’d expect his granddaughter to have her plans thought out, documented, operationalized. I’m exceptionally thankful that even eight years later he can still set me straight.

Today, I’d much rather have my feet on the ground instead of sailing 30,000 feet above the twinkling lights.

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