My struggles through the airport this morning reminded me of one constant in my life: I need all the luck I can get.
After I told the taxi driver taking me to the airport that my one-week stay on the East Coast (now coming to a close) had been for my older sister’s medical school graduation, he stayed silent for a moment. I could only guess that he was judging the two huge bags, in addition to carry-on luggage and my backpack, that I’d nearly fallen down three flights of stairs carrying. It was 5:30 AM and I, not a morning person in the least, couldn’t bring myself to explain that the bags did not, in fact, carry what I needed for just one week, but actually held everything I might need between the middle of May and the middle of August, when I’ll finally head home from my internship in Indianapolis.
The cab driver didn’t realize that he was the first real step in my summer adventure of (hopefully) writing, learning, fun, and, well, adventure! Tomorrow will mark the first day of my summer communications internship with an organization in Indianapolis that puts on large-scale events across the country throughout the summer. I’m not completely clear on the details of my job, but I know that a large part of it will be writing and editing online content and flying to events to gather information for articles. I’ve never been to Indiana before, and although lots of friends and family members have remarked on how boring they think it’ll be, I’m staying with five other interns in a house we’ve rented (the other six interns will stay in a house down the street), and I’ll get to spend time learning all the in-and-outs of an organization I love (to me, it sounds more exciting than what I’d do if I stayed home).
Anyway, back to airport difficulties… The taxi driver mistakenly dropped me off at the wrong terminal and I, in my morning haze (again, not a morning person), must not have known where I was until a while after he’d hauled my bags out of his trunk and driven away (his trunk, by the way, popped open halfway through the drive…probably because my bags took up so much space…so he had to pull over and close it again).
I began to slowly make my way through the airport, rolling two bags behind me, and shoving one along in front of me (let’s just say it was far from graceful or efficient) until an two airport employee stopped me and insisted on piling the bags atop a luggage cart while specifying the exact locations of several elevators. I was completely embarrassed but thanked them profusely and somehow successfully found the check-in counter I needed (and by successfully, I mean without running over any small children).
I thought that I’d finally made it through the hard part of my Journey through the Airport…but no such luck. Soon I was informed that both of my checked bags (yay Southwest, two bags checked for free!) were over the 50 pound limit, so I scrambled to pull out the heaviest items from my luggage (other than liquids or the air mattress I’ll sleep on for the next few months…so basically my “heavy items” were pants and towels). It all worked out and I proceeded to the security line, feeling a million times lighter without the exactly 100 pounds of luggage I had eagerly left at the check in (even though they contained almost all of the clothing I own…at that point I didn’t really care if I saw them when I got to Indiana).
So, then, I had to be set, right? Practically on the plane? But no, the security line still loomed ahead…..and I was completely unprepared for my Journey through the Airport. As three families with crying babies passed through the TSA officer’s check in front of me, I reached into my wallet and panicked, realizing that my driver’s license wasn’t in its usual easy-to-reach location. Desperate, I pulled out my Pomona I.D. and handed it to the officer. Not surprisingly, those don’t count as “government-issued I.D.’s.” He was extremely nice, and kept saying he knew I’d find my driver’s license, as I handed him everything I could find in my wallet that had my name on it…when we got to my library card (complete with my elementary school signature), he scolded me and let me head through to my gate (I’m so lucky that he was nice).
And there end the struggles…at least for now. I’m currently on the second leg of my trip, from Kansas City to Indianapolis (yup, I flew a few states past Indiana before actually getting there), and so far I’ve learned: beauty queens wearing their sashes get the same questions over and over again (Miss Kansas Teen sat behind me on the plane), I never knew what flat was until I saw Kansas, and I wouldn’t have made it through the day without some helpful people in the airport taking pity on me. Hopefully I can stop being such a hazard to the world….starting with putting my I.D. (which luckily I found later) back in its perfect location.