Today continues the weekly series, F*ing Fridays, which will coincidentally occur on Friday. I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.
Last week I dove into the word Food.
Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the word:
As in, how to take flight.
I am now sitting in the Houston airport having deplaned from our international Flight.
We just left the customs checkpoint where Ms. Security Officer took one look at our two backpacks and asked:
How many days were you in Mexico?
And you don’t have any checked luggage?
I smiled and proudly announced, “I rolled!”
Because I did.
I rolled all my clothes up into little tubes to fit into my one Swiss Army backpack on purpose. Just so I wouldn’t have to check luggage.
In fact all week long it has been a running joke regarding what I was able to stuff into my one Swiss Army backpack.
And when I say running joke I mean this:
That’s a new outfit! (when dressing for dinner)
That’s another swimsuit! (when heading to the beach)
Are you sure you didn’t ship stuff down here to Mexico before you left the states? (wearing a different pair of flip flops)
For the record, I brought 2 dresses, 3 pairs of shoes, 3 bathing suits, 3 shorts, 4 shirts, 1 skirt, 1 pair of sweats, a pile of underwear, socks and 4 bras in my one backpack. (Toiletries, camera, and wallet in purse.)
Ms. Security Officer was not impressed with my packing skills.
So not impressed, she raised an eyebrow, crossed out something on my paperwork and directly sent us to the baggage radar inspection zone.
This is a special place they reserve in Houston to send us “rollers” just to watch us wriggle as another officer nonchalantly unravels every single rolled item inside Swiss Army backpacks.
In fact, I think Customs has special custom.
I think they use security cameras pointed at us “rollers” just so they can point and laugh at the horror creeping onto our “roller” faces as we see our air tight spiral sweat pants spring into life leg-by-leg over the inspection table.
But not before Mr. Officer asks that one special question:
“Is there anything you want to claim before I open up your bags?”
Did Mr. Officer want me to reveal my dirty secret that I packed my dirty underwear right along side my clean, unworn clothes? (sorry Mama Sling — I know you taught me better, but I rolled, and when you roll you got keep it all together!).
So I stood there sweating while Mr. Security Officer asked me the list of required questions, while he unraveled my dirty underwear and bras. And as I calculated the amount of time it was going to take me to re-roll all my now un-rolled items, the tone of our conversation changed.
He asked me what I did for work.
I told him marketing, and then out of nervousness I just kept talking (and watching him unroll my bathing suits, some of which I am pretty sure are still wet!).
I told him all about Debbie Phillips and Women on Fire, and what we are doing to spread the word of inspiration, strategies and support to women around the world.
It was then that he looked up at me.
Instead of seeing a “roller” I think he may have seen Jamie.
He shared that he was a single father and how challenging it was to be one parent playing the role of two. He started telling me about his daughter and how he wanted something just like this for her.
And then he asked for the website of where he could go get more information about Women on Fire, for his daughter.
I shared the web address and then began re-rolling my backpack.
As I folded and rolled, it occurred to me:
There are many people who help us take Flight.
When I imagine this teenage girl — let’s call her “Houston” — I see her father who just wants her to have everything she needs. I know he would love to roll everything his daughter could possibly want or desire in this lifetime into a Swiss Army backpack and place it over her shoulders like a pair of wings.
But I truly believe in my heart she could Fly with just his love.
And maybe three more things: inspiration, strategies and support.
Houston, can you hear me?
There is wind beneath your wings.
Buckle up girl!
And prepare for take-off.