When I first started flying with the airlines what seems like eons ago, a little boy approached and asked me on one of the very first flights I had ever worked, enamored in the beauty of it all, very directly (in the egocentric way children do), “why did you choose to be a flight attendant?” And at first truth be told, I was caught off guard, as adults really do not seem to ask questions like this. But then again, adults really do not see the world in its entirety like children are able too. And even in that moment his mother was a bit taken back by what her son had asked me (as she did not regard it as a proper question to ask a stranger) and made it quite apparent to her son. I reassured the mother that it was quite alright and I did not mind, to go ahead and settle into her seat, and proceeded to direct my attention to her son.
Amidst all the chaos that was happening on the plane at the moment known to everyone else as ‘boarding,’ I tried to have a sincere conversation with the boy and answer him honestly. As lame as this sounds, I asked the boy if he had ever read The Little Prince. To my surprise he had exclaimed that he had read it multiple times before, both for school and pleasure, and he was as familiar with the novel as any young child could get. I asked him if he remembered the part of the book where the Little Prince states that in just one day alone on his planet he could see as many as forty-four sunsets, just by moving his chair a bit around the planet.
Shockingly, the little boys eyes lit up, as if to him that part of the story meant something, or had some significance to him. I explained to him that just like the Little Prince, I believed it was possible to see as many as forty-four sunsets in a day. And through air travel, I can conveniently shift my chair around the planet and accomplish that goal, with hopes to one day be as fortunate as the Little Prince and see forty-four sunsets in one day.
The little boy smiled agreeingly, as if for a brief moment in my life I was not twenty-two or twenty-three years old, but I was the same age as him, and my imagination could run free without any wavering notion true life had taught me. But what did I learn from all of this? That the more we grow older, we gain valuable wisdom. That some experiences teach us harder life lessons than others, but each life lesson learned is a drain of the magic within us. A drain of the magic that we are all born with, that we all too often forget is always there. The magic that not all that long ago, encompassed and composed us. The magic that lives in us, whether we realize and embrace it or not. And it is a magic we are all born with, regardless if you realize it or not.
So to the little boy who I had on one of the first flights I have ever worked in my career to whose name I never even got, I thank you. I thank you for giving me a moment where I could stop in the most chaotic moments of my job and regardless of any consequences reflect and answer you honestly. I thank you for challenging me to escape the adult world for a second , and remember what it was like to be that age. I have not told any one this story prior as it remained sentimental and close to my heart, but now I feel as if I am ready to share with all of you the greatness that this little boy shared me with me. After all, Little Boy, if I asked you to draw me a sheep what would it look like!?
As always until next time, xoxo.