That Time I Was an A-Hole at TSA

Nothing good happens at 4:30am, right?

Well, at 4:30am on the first day of Winter Break in Syracuse, people are trying to escape, and there is a one-hour-long line snaking for TSA.

People start to…you know…uh, be human. Ignoring rules, cutting in line, behaving badly.

Me? I’m human too. Complaining. Craning my neck. Checking with the agent to make sure I’m in the right line.

Pissed that my TSA Pre-Check number hadn’t transferred onto my ticket.

My blood begins to boil as Jack stands, sensing every degree it rises. He watches my mood deteriorate as we come closer & closer to missing our flight.

He’s anxious, but I don’t reel it in. {Ugggg it’s so hard to write this. It’s such an ugly moment of bad momming.}

I’m steaming, just as a woman cuts us at that stressful moment when we get to the TSA machine.

You know the one: remove shoes, electronic devices, and decide whether your lip stuff counts as a liquid.

Oh no she did not. I’ve waited an HOUR in line, lady! I got here ON TIME! At 4am. Like a good girl! I followed all the rules! WTF are YOU doing up in here???

Can you EVEN? I can not.

Audibly pissed, I am rude. Huffing, puffing, and rolling my eyes. Then the TSA agent stops her, making her take food out of her bag.

I lose my damn mind. “Are you freaking KIDDING me!?”, I say out loud, bolting AROUND her to get through faster

Do you remember that my 10-year-old son is with me?  Sigh. Uggg.

Of course, I get the pat-down treatment from the TSA agent, who calls me out for cutting HER.

Karma is going to be a bitch on this one.

Finally trotting away from TSA, Jack worriedly asks, “Mom! Are you ok? Are we gonna make our flight?”

I tell him I hope so. I also told him  I’ve behaved so badly that FER SHER that lady is going to be sitting next to me on the plane

We run to the plane and settle into our seats, out of breath & panting, and see the  the last people enter the plane.

It is – this is no surprise to you – the woman (and her two daughters, whom I hadn’t noticed.)

Yep, sitting right next to me. Because of course they are.

This self-righteous, ugly version of myself is one I’m constantly trying to escape. I don’t want to keep keeping track of what I did right and others did wrong.

Keep tabs on others, of what’s “fair”.

I know from experience that it doesn’t fix a damn thing. Only creates worry & anxiety. Entitlement.

It isn’t the me I want my son to see.

If I’d missed my plane, really, what’s the worst that could’ve happened?

Yeah, I’d have been PISSED. And maybe the airline would have figured something out. I would have figured something out.

Likely inconvenient. Possibly costly. I don’t know. But this was not life & death. This was getting on a plane to go see the sun.

  • I don’t want to be this person. It sucks my energy.

  • I don’t want to be this mom. It creates anxiety for Jack. And me.

  • I don’t want to be this member of society. Life is hard enough for all of us as it is.

I want to be patient-er. Kind-er. Nice-er. I want to keep my cool & keep shit in perspective.

When I lose my cool, I indulge my inner brat. She doesn’t move me toward any of my goals.  She sets me back.

Every day we get the chance to be better than we were yesterday. I took the moment that lady got on the plane next to me to apologize, ask for her understanding, and vow to be better & more aware.

I didn’t do it for her. I did it for me.

How can you be better for you today?

2 thoughts on “That Time I Was an A-Hole at TSA

  1. I thought it was interesting you brought up accountability because; in a 12 step recovery program, at least five of the steps are about taking personal responsibility for your behavior and looking at patterns of behavior and one (step 9) is about making amends if needed.
    It’s all about keeping your side of the street clean and staying honest.

    1. And sometimes, it’s hard to stay honest with ourselves because we – as humans – make lots of mistakes. Staying honest means being vulnerable. I think that’s why a community in a 12-step program is so vital. You need someone next to you sometimes to be able to be that vulnerable. Same with coaching…that’s my job to not judge but to stand next to!

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