The big, bold, red text in my American Airlines app annoyed me, as if somehow the color of the words alone was rubbing salt in my wounds.
I had been working in sunny Los Angeles for three days and was excited to get on my flight home back to cold and snowy Chicago, like some masochist who had gotten a taste for the other side and happily scampered back to their dark and cruel underworld.
7 degrees tomorrow? Ooooh baby. Half a foot of snow? Yes, yes, give it to me.
(They say people do crazy things for love, and I suppose that’s why we all put our winter coats on in Chicago and just suck it up. I’ll stop sexualizing the weather now, and because I’m sure some of you are uncomfortable, I will carry on with this story that if we’re being frank isn’t a story of much substance anyway.)
I can’t say I was surprised about the cancelled flight- more than 800 flights in and out of O’Hare were canceled. Why would mine be the exception?
And yet, in that not-so-great “woe is me” moment I found myself in a “how do we make the best of this?” situation with a bunch of equally disappointed coworkers also thinking, “Yes. Let’s.”
And that’s how I ended up eating fresh red snapper by the ocean, laughing and crying over a bottle of Pinot Noir while getting to know an incredible woman I had only met in passing a few times at my office who also by chance ended up as stranded as I was.
We’d pause every once in a while and look out at the ocean, amazed at how such a rough day turned into such a beautiful evening and filled with gratitude for the opportunity to stay at a gorgeous resort in Laguna Beach while waiting on a flight the next day.
See, I have an unwavering belief that there is purpose behind every misfortune. You are always precisely where you’re meant to be, whether or not you’ve actively chosen to be there.
My favorite story from my quick trip to LA isn’t any of the random almost run-ins I had with people from my past (you can hear about that over a glass of wine- actually you can have the wine, I’ll order a vodka) nor was it the handsome yet painfully cocky lawyer in the AA lounge who chatted me up about how his sister is on the current season of The Bachelor and shared juicy deets of the reality TV show’s reality.
No pals, my favorite thing was that my flight was canceled and it was awesome.
I’ll leave you with my favorite thing to give in some of my sappier posts- unsolicited advice and unwarranted inspiration.
Find joy in small misfortunes, and if your flight gets cancelled make the best of it.
*editors note (which is still me because I don’t have an editor but this just seems very formal and I’m practicing for the book I’d like to write, which hopefully, will have an editor.) Two of my coworkers took a last minute flight to Vegas out of Los Angeles and spent the night rolling dice in Sin City which is also a totally badass and PK approved way to make the best of a cancelled flight. Do that if you can.