Cover photo by @dpup

I woke up, but not to a noise blaring from my phone. The blurry screen read 7:19am. The plane was expected to take off at 9, with or without me.

The original plan was to be out the door and in a car nineteen minutes prior. There was no way to make it on time, especially with holiday security lines. I called 1–800-Delta-support looking to hop on the next available flight. It would cost me but I had to get home.

I was in a bind and she knew it. A lovely lady on the other end of my cry for help. After a few quiet moments she said: “to switch your flight to the 11:20 departure I will have to charge you $947.” I froze.

I expected something reasonable. After digging deeper into other flights or connections I was still nowhere. I got off the phone and paused. I wasn’t packed.

The night before was spent playing softball with some friends. I knew I’d be able to pack in the morning; I travel light. But I no longer had a morning. I had negative nineteen minutes.

I paused. I breathed. Time kept moving, but I was still.

Time wasn’t on my side, but after a few minutes of meditation I was composed. I began running around my apartment throwing things into my duffle. Clothes on, teeth brushed, bag partially packed and an Uber on its way.

I was attempting to go from sleeping to boarding in 51 mins, thirty of which would be getting to the airport, during the holidays.

I paused. I breathed. The car kept moving, but I was still.

I arrived at the airport just before boarding and walked right through the gate onto the plane, not a step in between. I was headed home.

Just on time.