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The 30,000 Feet Perspective

Claire Emmack, Resident Consultant FGCUBy Claire Emmack
ΓΜ (Ball State University)
Resident Consultant, Florida Gulf Coast University

With The Chainsmokers blasting through my headphones and the city lights below me, I do my best thinking. I feel like I can solve all of life’s problems from 30,000 feet above. But then the fasten seatbelt sign comes back on and the pilot starts to talk about the weather in my destination city, which means it is back to reality. So what happens to all of those thoughts and ideas?

This past year, flying has become a normal mode of transportation for me. As a traveling consultant last year I was on a plane about once a week and this year, as a resident consultant, I am on a plane at least once a month. I still get puzzled at why people tend to rush the gate as soon as the gate attendant says the word boarding and I have almost memorized the flight attendant safety message. I know where all of the Chick-Fil-A’s are located in the Atlanta airport and I know which window seat on the plane to pre-select depending on where I am going to get the best view. I also know that I have done my best thinking in these airports and on these airplanes. There is just something about being surrounded by people going this way and that, reuniting with loved ones and leaving them for other adventures that inspires me.

When I am 30,000 feet in the sky, with my phone on airplane mode and surrounded by clouds I feel invincible and everything seems clearer. The conflicts, problems and worries of my 5-foot-5-inch-self seem trivial and silly. Flying above it all gives me a different perspective, and it helps me to really wrap my head around a situation. When we land and I am back in the muck of everything, it gets harder to have that perspective. Now I understand that flying is quite an expensive coping mechanism for those stressors in our life and not everyone has the opportunity to be on a plane once a week, or month, so next time you are stressed out just think of yourself at 30,000 feet. Maybe go pick up some Biscoff cookies, if that helps you set the scene, and just breathe. What would airplane passenger you think? Looking down on the situation, would it be that big of a deal or can you just shake it off and continue to go on living your best life?

When I am not on a plane and my problems get to be too much, my sisters act as that 30,000 feet experience for me. They support me and remind me of what is important.

My little, Alex, is my saving grace and honestly during college I think she taught me more than I ever taught her. She gave me clarity through all the silly drama, and always supported me through the ups, downs and everything in between.

My chapter sister Allisyn is one of the kindest and most welcoming people I know. She could make friends with anyone in minutes, and she reminds me not to take myself too seriously. She is energetic and vibrant, and life is more fun with her by my side.

My consultant sister Haleigh is just one of those people that makes you want to be your best, most genuine self. She is all about setting and reaching goals and being an overall “girl boss.” She makes me believe that I can do anything I set my mind to!

These are just a few examples of sisters who help me feel like I am invincible and flying at 30,000 feet. I know you all have sisters who do the same for you so I encourage you to tell them how much you appreciate them. Sometimes we don’t always tell the people who mean the most to us exactly how we feel, and we really should! Life is too short not to lift those up who continue to lift you up. So that is my challenge to you: Think about those sisters who give you the 30,000 feet perspective and thank them. I promise, doing it will make you feel as happy as it will make them feel!

(And yes, I most definitely wrote this blog post on an airplane).

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