Everyday Adventures: The Airport
Welcome back to the blog,
I hope that you are doing well. Life is good and all is well with me. I've honestly been taking the time to pretty much reflect on 2020, and I've been mindfully working on a few projects behind the scenes, and from this perspective, I'm actually finding that the answers to a few questions that I've been pondering, are actually being presented with solutions. The beauty of the quarantine, is that it has allowed us to all pause for a while, and from the pause...we are actually able to make better decisions from a more rational mind. In peace you actually are able to transition from a competitive state, to a more creative state. My rational mind is giving me some interesting solutions, and I take the time to actually work on them as the time presents itself. There's something beautiful about being able to pretty much just stay in a state of what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls flow. Let me see if I can describe flow to you, in the best way that I've come to experience it in my millennial existence.
GOING WITH THE FLOW
As I've matured, I've actually been able to learn the art of being more mindful. Mindfulness is a skill that I started developed circa 22, once I discovered that we are the masters of our own Universe. Once I discovered that you are responsible for your happiness, and that you really are able to shape your world, I became more aware of the actions that I was taking on a daily basis. I became more aware of who I was spending my time with, who was influencing me, and who I was influencing. I also learned to shift from a state of being busy to a state of being productive. I learned to focus on the things that I wanted, and not on the things that I didn't have at the time. As I did this, I was able to actually start seeing the things that I wanted, manifest in the way that wanted.
By giving myself intentions for a day, and actually just focusing on those tasks for the day, I was able to make incremental progress. By the end of the week, that incremental progress had become an accumulation of everything that I'd set my mind to for that particular week. With the day less cluttered with activity, once I set my mind to a task, I didn't have to hurry through it...and I was able to actually process the task, see it from various perspectives, and not feel like I was being hurried to accomplish the task. As I processed what I was doing, new solutions would actually materialize, as I saw what I was doing wrong, what I could improve, and what I could keep doing that felt good to me. With no other thoughts in my brain, I'd sleep on a thought...and then wake up at around 2 am with an idea on how to continue the task.
As you learn to live day by day, you become less bothered by what other people are doing, and you actually are able to fulfill what you were brought on the planet to do. Many people don't actually get a chance to do what they want in life, and as you give yourself a chance to actually define a goal, and go after it on a daily basis, soon enough you find yourself actually living the dream that you set for yourself. Not everyone has the same time frame for accomplishing certain things. Once you realize this...you stop comparing yourself to others, and pretty much just flow gracefully, until the time comes for you to fulfill your dreams.
One of the things that I've been doing to allow my mind to release the day to day...is to travel. Let's go on another adventure. This time...I went to the airport, because I wanted to remind my brain...that I'm leaving Jamaica soon to start the next phase of my life.
Located on the Palisadoes region of Jamaica, is the Norman Manley International Airport. It is the airway entrance and exit to Kingston, Jamaica. Montego Bay does have its own airport, but thankfully, I grew up a stone's throw away from our Kingston based airport, located along the Kingston Harbour. Within fifteen minutes, we'd be at the airport. Because of this...my parents would take us children to actually watch planes take off and land. The airport is right beside the highway, so you can actually park on the highway, and watch the planes take off because the run way is visible from the highway.
We would literally spend about an hour watching planes take off and land, and then take the trip to Port Royal, where we'd actually have lunch or dinner, and then return home for relaxation on a Sunday afternoon.
For the first time in my existence, the airport was closed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This was the case in many countries, and I'm sure many of us started understanding the value of our ability to be free to travel. When the airport closed, I felt trapped in the island, after being able to pretty much fly to Miami, England or the Caribbean without even thinking about it. When the decision was made to reopen the airport in June, I'd set an intention to actually visit, just to remind my brain that my time to travel was approaching. You have to trigger your mind for change. Change is not an automatic thing. It is an intentional set of activities.
I finally reached the airport in the final week of September after two months of deliberation. The experience was definitely different, because for the first time, we actually couldn't even enter the airport. Under normal circumstances, anyone can enter the Departure Terminal, there's a large lounge where you can enter, and wait with your party until they enter the passenger only zone. Inside this Departure Terminal are all the airline stations, as well as a coffee station and a restaurant. If you pretty much just wanted to change your scene and chill, the airport was definitely one of the places that you could do so.
I vicariously imagined I was travelling, as I walked around outside the terminals. On the stretch, you can actually walk from the departure terminal to the arrival terminal, and then also navigate the various spaces to the parking lots where you can either park your car or pick up your rental.
One place that I've always observed from the visits we had to the airport, was the hangar. At the front of the airport, as you're arriving, there's a turn off to the hangar. Inside that nook is the region where the private planes and helicopters are parked. I took the time to actually stop by there and visit the location, and was able to identify who had parked there for the interim. There were two private jets and a helicopter.
With my airport tour finished, I then took the time to actually walk to the highway and explore a few scenes that I didn't normally have the chance to explore while I was driving on the highway.
While I was walking on the highway, I discovered this nook on the highway that was a party center. Once you walk in, you see the main hall, and the dance floor. Of course with time, there were developments like Port Royal that grew in size and attraction, and this site didn't seem to have gained the customers that it wanted. From a picture taking perspective, I really loved the fact that the building had pretty much preserved its original shape, and I saw the potential in it for some rustic scenes to be captured. I went in and captured the scenes, and they turned out actually quite well.
Walking along the highway, I was able to realize that in the process, one of the things I did as a child was actually work out along the high way. I would do this with some of the ladies in the neighborhood. The highway is a long stretch of road, and if you have the time either early in the morning, with a group of your friends, you can actually walk a mile or two before work or school. While I was in undergrad, I would walk with the ladies, and then actually we'd walk to the airport on Saturday mornings, and then have our Dad pick us up from that location once we'd reached the site.
Seeing the planes be able to take off and land once again, was definitely something that I won't take for granted for a very long time. When we travel all the time, and my children complain, I'll be able to tell them of the time when the airport was closed for a few months during 2020.
LET'S GET TO CRAFTING
In terms of my artistic side, I actually am learning to be more skilled with my hands. In the initial image, you can finally see the results of my hair, and how I braided it over the past week. I'm currently at about 35 inches to 40 inches in terms of my hair, so I'm taking the time to actually keep growing it out by protecting it with braids. I'm keeping them in for about six weeks, and then I'll think about what I want to do with it next on my hair adventures. There are so many fun things that you can do in a day, and I'm just happy that I have the time now to actually do it.
My current quarantine project, aside from the gardening activities which are ongoing, is to actually take the time to learn how to crochet. I spent about three hours yesterday working on my ratchet practice patch. I didn't actually get the items that I wanted, but somehow managed to get some practice yarn, and a practice hook. With the two I managed to practice a few tips, and add my border to the world that I created. Crochet for me, is like riding a bicycle, you never really forget. The person in our family who crocheted was our grandmother. I feel like you don't really understand a lot when you're young. When I met granny, she was about sixty years old. She'd already retired by then, and so she found ways to keep her mind occupied. She did this by crocheting. Pretty much every doily in the house, inclusive of the one in the image above was by her.
During certain phases, she actually would load shed, and every trip to see her, she'd give me a crochet book, and show me how to do a stitch or two. With the knowledge gained, I would actually take the time to practice. By the time I reached seventeen or eighteen, I was distracted by other things. I did dancing, was focused on A Levels, swam varsity, and somehow forgot the artistic side of me. Career and work related things, tend to push you away from your creative side.
The moment that you pause all of those things however, there's a calling within that starts to remind you of all the things that you did when you were younger. Essentially you'll start getting little nudges like:
a) Now's the time to finally go on a road trip. Remember when you'd wanted to go to Portland, and couldn't because of a work presentation?
b) Now's the time to return to painting. Somehow...because you were so focused on your career...when you came home you were too tired to paint.
c) Now's the time to learn how master chess (or fill in the blank)
Your being will speak to you, and when you're in the place where you're bombarded by various decisions (family, career, the house), certain aspects of yourself that were designed to balance you...often become filtered away. I've observed people actually lose themselves, and one of the things I've personally vowed, is to actually find myself every day. Be aware of the importance of other things in my life, but actually take the time to refresh myself and make sure that my talents, my dreams and my visions are unfolding.
These are the week's adventures. What are your adventures going to be? Another week is unfolding, and the key is to just ensure that you're allowing yourself to be what you're meant to be. Just because your dream didn't happen in 2020...doesn't mean that it won't happen in 2020. Just get back to the drawing board...and be prepared for what's to come.
I love you for watching!! Manage your energy!! Focus and take action on your goals!! Focus on the best man...not the next man...and become the best version of yourself.
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