The only person stopping you is yourself.
Updated: Jan 31
I've been traveling a lot, and with traveling comes plane travel. Whether you like planes or not, you gotta suck it up for the sake of adventure. But I've always liked planes and found peace in the taking off and landing.
Despite loving planes, I absolutely dread having to go to the bathroom and finding the right time to get up and use the bathroom. So many scenarios go through my head- like what if I have to wake up the person next to me? What if I get stuck behind the food carts and can't go back to my seat? It's such an easy task, but I always overthink the possibilities. So to no surprise, when I had to badly go to the bathroom on my flight to Amsterdam, I had found anything but peace.
Picture this- a small girl with a small bladder chugs an entire water bottle before flying to then not go to the bathroom at all before. Why did I do this you might ask? Well, I don't even know to be quite honest, I wasn't even that thirsty. And why didn't I go to the bathroom? Because I was planning on going right when that seatbelt sign turned off.
But what I didn't know before, was that the seatbelt sign would never turn off and that the plane's authorities were telling me, it is never the right time.
Now, as I waited for the right time to go to the bathroom, I tried dozing off to sleep, but it didn't quite work, as my mind kept racing back to my anxious thoughts- that I really needed to get up.
So if you want to know what I decided to do, well, eventually, I physically couldn't wait any longer and got up. Because I figured, what's the worst that could happen? The plane unexpectedly hits major turbulence and I fall to the ground in front of an entire array of strangers? That would be highly unlikely, and quite a funny story if it did happen anyway. Or the flight attendant tells me to go back to my seat? Not a big deal, definitely not.
But I constantly overthink and I guarantee no one else would think this hard and thorough about the right time to use the bathroom on an airplane. But this happens to me quite frequently, always wondering when I should go so I don't get stuck behind the flight attendant food carts, or when I should go with the least likely chance that they'll hit turbulence. But I forgot about all that moments after I had an epiphany sitting on that plane- That we should never let others dictate the right timing for us. And we should never wait for others to tell us when to take that seatbelt off.
As a society, I feel as though most of us are constantly waiting for the green light, quite literally as well. And I'm here to say that forget about that (besides traffic lights of course). Forget about waiting for the seatbelt sign to turn off, waiting for someone to make the first move, waiting for the leader to initiate you to follow.
I realized that the whole time I was waiting for the bathroom, I was convinced that I wasn't allowed to get up because I had not seen one person leave their seat. I thought, "maybe if one person goes I'll get up." But when no one did, I figured I should simply follow my own thoughts, instead of waiting for the first person to give me the okay.
We can hinder ourselves or push ourselves. We are the rulers of our own decisions. In this instance, for the first half hour of the flight, I hindered myself. It wasn't the seatbelt sign that did, it was me and my interpretation of it- that I wasn't allowed to get up until it was shut off.
One of my favorite quotes, is "the time is now." This rings true for just about everything in life and especially sitting on my Amsterdam flight. The more you wait, the more you push things off, and the more time that passes where you could be doing what you truly want. In this instance, I wasted my time pushing off getting up to use the bathroom. Something so silly and so simple. You can push big things off like finally pursuing a dream, or simple things like grocery store shopping, or a class paper.
We constantly procrastinate and wait for the right time, and we lose track of all the time we have in between. We are the curators of our fate, and we determine when something happens to a certain extent.
So although I couldn't control the seatbelt sign, I could control how I perceived it and what I essentially decided to do.
And I learned that the only thing that was stopping me from unbuckling the seatbelt was myself (and maybe the occasional turbulence).