Thoughts While Waiting For A Plane

I do not like to fly.

That statement might seem odd coming from someone who regularly flies, but it is the truth. I do not enjoy flying. In fact, I find the whole act mildly unnerving.

Even before going through security, before checking in for my flight, even before going to the airport I have to be prepared. This process involves making sure there are no liquids in my carry-on bags, except for the 3.4 ounces or less ones in the quart-sized, zip-top bag that I carefully place in either my purse or an outside pocket of my backpack for easier access. I select which items will go in each carry-on bag – decisions that might not seem difficult to make, but for someone who would prefer to have all of their items next to them or under the seat in front of them, it is strategic planning.

I have to make sure to take off my shoes, remove anything in my pockets, and arrange my items in the sullen, gray plastic bins so that everything is visible. I wait to go through the scanner, not fulling knowing where the lines start and who was first, only going through the motions so as not to displease the disgruntled TSA agents. After patting down my wrists, my legs, my waist, or whatever area may have shown up on the scanner due to my preference for looser clothes, I retrieve my things and return the bins to their proper place to await another person’s items.

As I sit in the terminal reflecting on their and other airport procedures and processes, I listen to the coughs, stifles, sounds of crying babies, text tones, and conversations I am surrounded by. I am a germaphobe, and yet I am about to travel for the next few hours with nothing but recycled air circulating throughout the cabin. I resist the urge to envision the types of miasma that inhabit the air and the people they originated from. I contain my anxiety as I am engulfed by strangers.

I do not like most people, another truth that some might find odd given my seemingly outgoing personality. The key word is seemingly. I enjoy being alone, by myself, and away from the general public. I avoid public transportation as much as possible because of this.

Still, I put myself through the ordeal of flying because I love to travel. I like going to a destination I have never been before, or one that I have and am looking forward to returning to. As a teenager, I did not want to get married when I grew up; I wanted to travel.

So, yeah, I do not like to fly. I continue to fly, however, because it is a ritual that results in something that I love: adventure.

Adventure awaits…after the airtime.




The Jane Austen Social Scene Part II

Photo Source:

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Today I bring you the puzzling case of Frank Churchill from Emma. In the novel, Frank Churchill is extremely flirtatious with Emma Woodhouse to the point where those around them speculate that the pair will soon be engaged. By the end of the novel, it’s revealed that Frank Churchill’s flirtations with Emma and slights of Emma’s rival Jane Fairfax were all part of Frank Churchill’s rouse to keep his engagement to Jane Fairfax under wraps until his wealthy aunt died and he received his inheritance. Once that happens it’s all, “Jane! We’re rich! I love you!” and “Good day, Miss Woodhouse.”

To be fair, Emma realizes she doesn’t actually love Frank Churchill and that her feelings towards Frank Churchill were more along the lines of a crush rather than enamor (and that he’s wrong for her). Kudos to Frank Churchill too for keeping his promise to Jane Fairfax. And yet…he totally uses Emma, fooling both her and everyone else (including his own father). Not to mention his insults towards Jane Fairfax, his secret fiancée.

So what do I make of Frank Churchill, both in the story and in the social scene? The Frank Churchill type is very charming, flirtatious, and someone you think is genuinely interested in you romantically. Yet the Frank Churchill type is in fact attached to another whom they rarely bring up (oh, yeah, my girlfriend…) in conversation; they would instead prefer to turn on the charm with you. If you do bring up the subject of their attachment, the charming façade falters as their expression turns serious and their volume lowers a notch or two as if they don’t want others to know. They might be distanced from their attachment by geographic distance or by other factors. Whatever the details of the case may be, the Frank Churchill type will blend with others, easily earning their high opinion.

Be wise to look past the charm of Frank Churchill as they may try to use you as part of their plans or simply to distract/amuse/entertain themselves. Either way, their views towards you can be best summed up as thinking of you as someone to play with. Once you figure out their game, “Shameful!” will come to mind when you think of them and what they did to you and those around you.

Project Thankful: Reason #146

Since starting the new job, a lot more people have been saying my last name.  The thing with my last name is that very few can actually pronounce it correctly, let alone consistently pronounce it correctly.  It’s Rocha, and the correct way of saying it is row-shuh.  These are just some of the variations people refer to me as:






Rocher (like Ferrero Rocher, the chocolate)

Growing up, I accepted that people would mess up my name.  Now that I’m an adult, however, and a professional, it’s probably my ultimate pet peeve.  Before, I wouldn’t correct people when they would not say my last name correctly, thinking, “Ah, that’s sweet, they tried to say it.”  Yet now when people say my last name, and it doesn’t sound right, I correct them in as polite a way possible.  Because that’s my name they’re saying.  They’re talking about me.  And when they don’t get it right, I’m not going to stand there and smile, accepting complacency.  I’m going to stand there and smile, and say what my name really is.

Project Thankful: Reason #53

There is an impending blizzard.  Or as New Englanders think of it, there’s going to be snow!  And probably shoveling.  

I always take inventory of what we have around the house before the scheduled snow starts in order to ensure that we have enough supplies to make it through the blizzard.  I do this not because I think, “Oh my gosh, I’m never going to be able to leave the house again because it’s going to snow!” but because I frankly do not want to leave the house except to shovel during a storm.  Especially for cat food.  Because if you don’t have enough cat food then you need to leave the house to go to the store to get some more, even if it’s in the single digits and cars can not drive straight down your street, because those furry felines will turn on you.

With cat food and other items on my list in mind, I headed off to the grocery store where I was able to get a good parking space, a cart, and all of the items on my list.  Huzzah!  Oh, except for the super grouchy people in the store.  Being in a grocery store during an impending blizzard does not give you the right to be rude.  Or to leave the gallon of milk you did not want in the baby food aisle.

I’m thankful I was raised by non-rude parents and that I can honestly say that I am not a rude person.  Stubborn, sarcastic, impatient, somewhat low tolerance of people in general…I’ll admit to all of those descriptions.  But rude?  No, I’m not rude.  I’m the person who picks up the neglected gallon of milk in the baby food aisle and puts it back in its rightful place.

Project Thankful: Reason #32

I am thankful for the realization that I need to start driving more into Boston rather than relying on the train.  This mainly applies to when I have a doctor’s appointment.  Because the two hour train commute into Boston plus the train commute home plus walking to and from the train stops, all while listening to the lovely sounds and conversation people make and have while on the train (why, hello sickly woman who is coughing into her hand and sniffling her nose who is not even five feet away from me…or, thank you, sir, for my ride home being enriched by your conversation about the gender politics of booty calls)…that cemented that I will be driving next time.

Why Do New Beginnings Mean Leaving People?

I am about halfway done with applying to graduate school.  My end goal: a PhD in English.

Ambitious? Yes, but I like to go after challenges. I love literature, especially research. Am I a nerd? Also, yes. To me, research is a form of creativity because you are explaining to others how you view something, allowing them to glimpse into your interpretation in hopes that they will be impacted by your words. Through my time spent working as an Educator, I am also fueled by the desire to teach at the college level, a desire stemming from my passion for working with students.

Then how come the gloomy title of this post? Because more than likely I will be moving to wherever I am accepted and choose to go to grad school. And only a couple of those wherevers are close to home. The rest are either long road trip or need to book a flight places.

Although I do not find out the admissions’ decisions until after the New Year, I am already feeling the sadness at the thought of leaving home. It will be my first time leaving home, living on my own (unless you count my cat), and the words “leaving home” and “on my own” are not the cheeriest of sorts for good reason. I am going to miss my family and my friends, as much as they may drive me crazy from time to time. And this sadness is more poignant around the holidays with me realizing that this might very well be the last holiday season I spend at home.

I haven’t mentioned any of this to my parents because if I did then I would start crying, and they would start crying, and it would get emotional, and we do not have enough tissues in my house for all the tears that would happen. So instead I am blogging about it. Because why do new beginnings mean leaving people? Why do new beginnings imply leaving something major behind, rather than simply an extension of happiness in someone’s life?

As a writer, new beginnings are used for a number of reasons. I am going to focus on mine for the positive aspects to try to distract from some of that sadness. That and cats. Because, really, who wouldn’t feel better looking at cats?