Friday night, for the second time in my life, I hit my rock bottom so hard I was profoundly grateful to genetics or God or Whatever Powers Be that I do not have substance abuse issues.
After checking in ten hours early, I was refused boarding at the very last minute on a plane to Brazil for a lucrative business trip that I needed and was depended on for. I’d followed my checklists, prepared for the work, was excited about the venue and people I’d dealt with on the client side.
I didn’t know I needed a Visa.
Such a stupid mistake.
I could say nobody told me; it wasn’t in the prep materials; I didn’t receive a letter like when I go to China for the same company… yaddah, yaddah, yaddah. That would all be true. In the end it comes down to this: I didn’t check, so I didn’t get a Visa, so I couldn’t get on the plane.
Standing there in the airport, less than 24 hours after moving out of my apartment, less than 12 hours after finding my new apartment (which I’ll move into in November), buried under things to do for the European Summit, exhausted and hopeful and everything else I regularly am… I had to make a phone call that would have been terribly embarrassing had I not already hit bottom below embarrassment. There was just what needed to be done.
Thank you to Z and L and F, who made it all work out fine and never gave me a moment’s grief about it. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
We all have coping mechanisms. I am thankful in times like these that I am not at all drawn to drink or drugs (though a single glass of a hearty red might have been nice about then). My coping mechanism? Room service and chocolate. Not in gross quantities at all. Deep breaths, a good night’s sleep, gratitude to others without whom we could not be up to big things… and really good chocolate. After all, tomorrow is another day!
I was also reminded of this Liz Gilbert video I’ve shared before, in which she describes missing a plane to deliver a keynote speech even though she was sitting at the gate, next to the door, awake throughout the entire boarding process while her name was surely being called. It reminded me that we are all human, and to have a little forgiveness even for myself. (Do you find, too, that it’s easier to forgive everyone else?)
The incident also gave me opportunity, I might add, to live Andrew’s little adage and say to myself, “Well, that sucked. What’s next?!”