i’m back at work today after flying home last night. on my way down to jamaica, i boarded the plane and found that my seat was occupied. in the window seat was a teen-aged boy, and next to him in the middle seat was his little sister, who looked about 10 years old. i communicated that 22F was my seat, but as the teenager looked up at me with a dumbfounded look, i told him that i'd take the aisle seat if he wanted the window. he agreed (of course). as i settled in my seat, i realized that the kids' parents were sitting across the aisle from us. the father asked with concern, "is that ok?" i told him it was fine.
but it wasn't fine. i was upset that i had lost my seat that i had requested, all to accommodate someone else. i was upset that i couldn't press up against my window seat and cry in peace. instead, i dealt with the kids constantly looking over me to their parents across the aisle. i could hear the little girl next to me whispering about me to her big brother, "she's crying." i'm sure she was confused and terrified. it got worse as i was completely exhausted but had to get up multiple times to let them go to the bathroom. i was reminded to take a lesson from Jarronn: be polite, but be sure to also speak up for the things you want (or possibly need).
on the return flight home, i boarded and once again found someone sitting in my window seat, this time a grown woman. the middle seat beside her was empty, and a woman in the aisle seat asked, "do you think you could sit in the middle seat across the aisle, so that this woman in the window seat can move her daughter over into this open middle seat??" ummmmmm.... "if you can make that happen, and i still end up in a window seat, that's fine. but i'm going through a lot, and i need a window seat," i responded. the women moved out of the aisle so that i could file into my seat. the woman who had been in my seat grumbled about air jamaica not seating her with her daughter and vowing to never fly with them again.
i stared out the window and reassured myself that i had done what i needed to do for me. but i'd be lying if i said i didn't feel bad. accommodating others is something i'm used to doing. make everybody happy. be everybody's friend. what i'm not used to is being in a position where i need to accommodate myself for my sanity and emotional stability. and realizing all of this made me sad. sad that i'm not the person i was two weeks ago. not really sure who i am.