RSS

Changing Planes

29 May

Isn’t it amazing, nay a bit mind blowing, what chances life allows us to come into contact with.  Myself being miserable from leaving a lovely home and city to return to well….if you’ve been to Mansfield you’ll know what a come down it is but even though I was a fairly grumpy chap, slouching in my seat – the ultimate show of defiance – I ended up being happy that I was on that particular flight rather than another one going the same way.

BMBA29_2372236b

Coming back from New York, I was quartered next to a lady whom I shall keep anonymous at her own request, who was reading and annotating a book, which of course made me nosy into what it was.  Even the foreign language didn’t stop me trying to work out what country it was from and attempt to read it with a woeful accent in my head and we all do it so don’t kid yourselves otherwise.

Imagine fate throws two English people together, they find out through the medium of conversation that they are the same age, have been away from home for the same length of time, almost the same dates as well and have been on the same coast of America and are now on the same flight back, not to mention they are in the only bank of seats containing the one vacant chair on the aircraft.

Now consider, if you will, that in the course of talking, your humble, yet heroic (and noble) chronicler happens to listen and help said companion with a major life decision (again at the request of my flying friend, she wishes it to not be mentioned…sorry!) and as proof of said endeavour I have this quote “You have turned my life around, both literally and metaphorically”. 

Words to make a man feel proud indeed. Now let me tell you, not only is it an amazing notion but a massively mammoth feeling of awesomeness when you realise what has transpired between the two of you during that conversation. Just by talking you can effect the whole course of someone’s life.  I hope the Middle East are listening,

Maybe that sounds a tad over dramatic but the vibe I got was that she truly was going to go for it.  I have no idea what will become of the lady in question, for she did not mention exchanging email addresses but I think it’s moot really.  Although I hope she will continue on her truly magical quest, all I can wish for is that she remembers me fondly sometimes as ‘that nice bloke on the plane that listened’.

As a self confessed hermit who rarely leaves his town, if it can happen to me then there must be plenty of these experiences out there for everyone. Although I’m someone who is not particularly confident or self assured with new people I would now always recommend chatting to your neighbour on a plane, you never know who you may meet and to what avenues of thought you may find yourself entwined in….

When it comes to it, we have no idea when these sorts of things will happen and what form they will take, where or when. Yet these things await all of us in life and we never really know where we will end up being or indeed going, I find that thought scary but at the same time insanely exhilarating.

Advertisements
 
43 Comments

Posted by on 29/05/2013 in USAdventure

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

43 responses to “Changing Planes

  1. Alastair

    29/05/2013 at 19:10

    WOW! That is truly incredible. The chances of that are about 70 billion to one. Did you buy a lottery ticket at the same time?

    I don’t know if I could talk to the person beside me on a plane. I know when I have been on a crowded train headed for Leicester before and perched with people, I tended to bury my head in a book. I know it’s only a fifth of the journey time, maybe even an eighth <— I forgot how to spell that .. but I couldn’t bring myself to talk to people, Even ones that said hello to me only received a polite nod in response.

    What you did for her though, sounds like a fantastic thing. To have changed her life like that .. you really must have made an impact on her.

    Like

     
    • StetotheJ

      29/05/2013 at 19:17

      What made it odder is that I was the one that spoke first, normally I just keep quiet and like you hide in a book, if it hadn’t been for the empty seat next to me and my offer to scootch up when the seatbelt sign went off I don’t think we would have spoken. I wrote most of this post flying back while she attempted to unsuccessfully sleep for a bit, so it may be a bit poorly written in places but I wanted to keep in any feeling of the intenseness I was feeling about it all.

      I wish I had bought a lottery ticket, having said that I had more on trying to just get home and feel normal again, lol.

      Like

       
      • Alastair

        29/05/2013 at 19:25

        Well I didn’t see anything off in your post, but there again, I am not a writing critic .. speaking of which … the day after you mentioned to me about reviews, I received an email and a book for the Kindle asking me to read and review.

        Any idea what made you decide to start talking to her, or if it was one of those fate moments, where it was your destiny to change her life? (If you believe in that which I do)

        Like

         
        • StetotheJ

          29/05/2013 at 19:31

          Ha awesome, this pleases me. I look forward to reading your review. I hope you enjoy the book muchly.

          Apart from offering her more room to spread out by me moving up a seat, the book (unsurprisingly) piqued my interest. To begin with it was one of those awkward we’ve spoken but there’s a pause should I fill it or just read, I think we both had that sort of thought and little by little between us we filled up the silences, although it was a couple of hours before we had exchanged names, despite knowing a bit about each other lol.

          Like

           
          • Alastair

            29/05/2013 at 19:39

            I still have to review Charmeine. I will do that in the next couple of days.

            Well done you. Both for carrying on talking to her and not hiding, and for changing her life. Shame you didn’t get her email address. Would be noce for you to find out if you truly did make a difference to her

            Like

             
            • StetotheJ

              29/05/2013 at 19:45

              It would have been nice to have found out what became of her, I like to think we will bump into each other one day in some other country, have a chat about where our lives have taken us and then either swap email addresses or just accept that we either will or won’t ever meet again. That is the romantic in me talking, of course, still it is perhaps better off this way as she can decide without my input what she wants to do. Either way it was a nice,brief respite from the depression of leaving Richland.

              Like

               
              • Alastair

                29/05/2013 at 19:51

                Everybody meets someone for a reason. Whether it be to stop them doing something. To get them to do something. To convince them something is a good idea/bad idea. Even if it is to make someone smile. Making someone smile can be the difference between going home and jumping off a bridge. (I do know that one) Maybe you won’t meet her again, but maybe you’ll see something in a paper or something. If necessary, fate will find a way of telling you what happened, even if it’s on another plane back to New York and you sit next to her sister or something.

                Like

                 
                • StetotheJ

                  29/05/2013 at 19:57

                  Either way, it was nice to feel like I did something good especially as the mood I was in was quite cantankerous when I first boarded. Fate or blind luck, for me doesn’t matter just the unexpectedness of it was great. Things like this never happen to me they are always someone else’s story I was envious of. Now I can always hark back to this and take my lessons from the experience which was by far the most important part for me. It is a shame I couldn’t say what the reason was but this thing called integrity holds me back and if I ever meet her again she’d kick my ass for revealing.

                  Like

                   
                  • Alastair

                    29/05/2013 at 20:01

                    That’s fair enough. She asked you not to say and you haven’t. I, for one, respect that. If anyone doesn’t, then they don’t have the integrity.

                    It’s something you can always put down as the part that made your return flight good instead of morose.

                    Like

                     
                    • StetotheJ

                      29/05/2013 at 20:04

                      It was a shame the high left when I realised how much I missed everyone back West…still it was good whilst it lasted, allowed me to share it with you guys and made me feel like some sort of agony uncle, which for a small fee can be recreated for anyone who thinks that me telling them what they already know is a good way to spend money.

                      Like

                       
                    • Alastair

                      29/05/2013 at 20:12

                      Haha I like that. Let people come in for free. Charge them when they leave 😉

                      Like

                       
                    • StetotheJ

                      30/05/2013 at 16:44

                      The only ‘honest’ way to make a living!

                      Like

                       
                    • Alastair

                      30/05/2013 at 17:11

                      Exactly guv.

                      Like

                       
  2. Lyn

    29/05/2013 at 21:41

    Who knows…she might even be reading your blog. What are the chances of that Alastair? Pretty good I think considering what has already happened 🙂

    Like

     
    • StetotheJ

      30/05/2013 at 16:46

      It would indeed be a twist of fate if she were reading and if she is, feel free to email me and let me know how you are keeping for I would be most interested to know however things turned out.

      Like

       
  3. LuAnn

    29/05/2013 at 21:45

    Although my curious side wants to hear more about this intriguing woman, the logical, reasoning side says I am more impressed with you than before with your integrity, which is a biggie in my book. My question is, without exchanging emails, what if either of you wants to correspond further? 😉

    Like

     
    • StetotheJ

      30/05/2013 at 17:06

      The wink face tells me correspond may be a metaphor, happily I do enough corresponding as it is already 😉 . Integrity is one thing Inever compromise, unless it was to save the world or something sci fi like that.

      Like

       
  4. Bumba

    29/05/2013 at 22:37

    You mean you didn’t get her phone number??

    Like

     
    • StetotheJ

      30/05/2013 at 16:47

      I couldn’t sully such a meeting with the question of digits, I got a hug though and that was nice.

      Like

       
  5. RoSy

    29/05/2013 at 23:55

    Interesting the people we meet as we travel our journey of life.

    Like

     
    • StetotheJ

      30/05/2013 at 16:49

      exactly, you never know who you will meet or what they will say, the gift of a blog post is the greatest gift that someone could give to me….well that or a book.

      Like

       
  6. Letizia

    30/05/2013 at 00:11

    This is so beautiful! A wonderful reminder that when we reach out of our shells we can truly change people’s lives for the good – so touching!

    Like

     
    • StetotheJ

      30/05/2013 at 16:59

      I never expected to come across anything like this, it’s great for a blog post too, I feel it was something out of my usual scope and a bit more positive than usual so I’m happy to have shared. Next time I hope it is thee and me that bump into each other on a plane. Now that would be a journey that ended to quickly with all our talk.

      Like

       
  7. gargoylebruce

    30/05/2013 at 04:06

    I had a similar experience when travelling to York…ended up in a guesthouse with someone who lived two suburbs away from me back home. We also shared a remarkable bonding experience…but it was based on a mutual burgeoning disgust at the young fellow in the breakfast room who insisted on snorting like a warthog over his full English each morning. Possibly a bit more low-brow than your experience, but I appreciate your meaning.

    Like

     
    • StetotheJ

      30/05/2013 at 16:57

      Low brow? Nay this is the story that all etiquette lessons should be based on. It is strange though how people who love within reasonable distances from each other ten to gravitate towards each other. It could possibly be aliens…if yo believe the TV show.

      Like

       
  8. Alastair Savage

    30/05/2013 at 06:22

    I love those journeys you have on the road. I once missed the last train from Munich to St Gallen in Switzerland and I had to take a mad roundabout journey in the middle of the night to reach my destination.As we rode through the black forest at about midnight, I told the only other passenger in my carriage about my crisis. I was 24 and he must have been in his forties. And he said to me, “if this your only problem in life, you don’t have any problems”.
    It was so true and it’s a phrase that’s stuck with me forever.

    Like

     
    • StetotheJ

      30/05/2013 at 16:55

      I think there may be a book in this somewhere, possibly not called The Wisdom of Strangers as I think that is taken. Those are epic words indeed from your fellow passenger. It seems that people are not all bad after all. My faith in humanity has been raised a tiny bit by your comment, I think you and most importantly the people who make my faith in humanity bars thank you.

      Like

       
  9. Seyi sandra

    30/05/2013 at 19:19

    Such an intriguing tale, though my nosy self wanted to sniff out the said endeavour your acquaintance was embarking upon. But I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post and, that you have changed someone’s life. Hooray to you dear friend!!
    🙂

    Like

     
    • StetotheJ

      01/06/2013 at 11:27

      why thank you, I hope to d othe same in the future with my new skills of life changing. I should have my own TV show.

      Like

       
  10. Alastair

    30/05/2013 at 19:49

    This was on friends blog. Thought you might like it. I’m guessing out of the 25 you score .. 24?

    http://cupandchaucer.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/25-signs-youre-addicted-to-books/

    Like

     
    • StetotheJ

      01/06/2013 at 11:37

      24 is spot on, although Christina is more of the book sniffing one around here, although I am starting to do that myself now. Another new blog to follow, the list is growing, I may catch up with your huge number soon…or not.

      Like

       
      • Alastair

        01/06/2013 at 11:43

        Hehe. Which one wasn’t you then? I’m going to guess at crush on someone for their staff picks

        Udita was one of my first followers in April or May last year before she came over here to study in Edinburgh.

        Like

         
        • StetotheJ

          01/06/2013 at 11:51

          Yeah that’s the one, like any critical person, I could have picked better and putting up the new Dan Brown as a pick doesn’t do anyone any favours…ever. Oh the anger I felt at that.

          It is strange how it took us this long to fall into conversation with all our mutuals.

          Like

           
          • Alastair

            01/06/2013 at 11:57

            Yes it is. Sometimes I see people on blogs and think about visiting them, and then other times I feel I am intruding. It makes me think that I am stalking the person who’s blog I came from. But that’s just the paranoid hermit in me 😆

            Like

             
            • StetotheJ

              01/06/2013 at 12:10

              Stalking can be fun..if you don’t get caught lol. I always pile in with likes and comments, if they don’t come back well never mind. Having said that anyone who’s friendly with one or more of our mutuals is probably an alright person,

              Like

               
              • Alastair

                01/06/2013 at 12:15

                I think you’re right there. Or just as cracked as we are. I’m more inclined to believe the latter hehe

                Like

                 
                • StetotheJ

                  01/06/2013 at 12:16

                  Then they are in good company, not that I like to brag but we are great!

                  Like

                   
  11. Christina ~

    31/05/2013 at 01:32

    I don’t think I could say it better than Letizia did! 🙂 It is a wonderful thing to have such a great impact on someone else’s life! I am also happy it was a nice distraction for you as well. xxxx

    Like

     
    • StetotheJ

      01/06/2013 at 11:24

      Welcome back Mrs Positive. It was an experience and a half, all 7-8 hours of it. xxxx

      Like

       
  12. Robyn Lee

    01/06/2013 at 04:43

    Sometimes I really do believe some people are meant to cross paths… and even if it’s for the moment of the encounter – there is deeper meaning. This sounds like one of those times! I love meeting strangers this way – and am always open and receptive when it feels right. I think she will always remember you fondly 🙂 ! Wonderful story – thank you !! x RL

    Like

     
    • StetotheJ

      01/06/2013 at 11:26

      It’s been a wonderful thing to share and read all the comments and feedback. Without this blog I feel the experience would have been lessened as it is all in the sharing. Also the larger meaning of fate comes into play and that is always a fun one to ponder.

      Like

       

Tell me stuff...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: