A Reality Check | Teen Ink

A Reality Check

January 13, 2022
By Anonymous

There is no better reality check than looking out of an airplane window. No matter how many times I experience it, the feeling never gets old. There’s just something about being up that high that changes my perspective on everything. 

Don’t get me wrong, the entire experience is never pleasant; you’re cramped in a small space with nowhere to go. There's always that one screaming baby, the kid who won’t stop kicking your seat, and occasionally you get seated next to a creepy old dude or the lady who won't stop coughing. However, I tend to tune these distractions out by putting in my headphones and looking down at the planet beneath me. 

However many times I experience it, looking out at the world from that height never gets old. I especially will never get sick of the view while taking off. Watching everything you know and love get farther and farther away is an oddly fascinating and terrifying experience. In less than a minute, that tree next to you will turn into a speck of dust that you almost never knew existed. Everything changes perspective. The greens and browns stretch out to make a collage on the ground like different patches in a quilt. Forests, cities, farms, lakes, and mountains all mix together like one giant puzzle. From this perspective, I realize that I am just one tiny piece. As the cars on the freeway get smaller and smaller, I wonder where all those people could possibly be going. The houses turn into dots lined up in an organized manner, and I realize it’s crazy how in every little house there is a different person with a different story. It reminds me how big the world really is.

Looking down at the world like that always reminds me of how little my problems really are. To put it plainly, seeing how little everything is makes me realise how irrelevant I really am. It can be quite depressing to think about, but it also really puts my problems into perspective. It really makes me think about what really matters. For example, in the grand scheme of things, the little things that I stress out about every day don’t really matter. The Spanish test that I didn’t do well on this week, the argument I got in with my friend the other day, or the uncertainty of where I am going to college next year. All of these things seem like the end of the world in the moment, but in reality are the tiniest little problems. I’m not saying they don’t suck, but there are billions of people out there who are dealing with the exact same problems - and billions who are dealing with much worse. I’m not saying that I’m above stressing out over these things like I've found some life solution to stress and problems. Just every once in a while, I try to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective: Up close the world is chaotic and stressful. You could pick out a thousand things that are terrifying, but with distance and some perspective it’s still a beautiful place. Any time I am stressed out or think my problem’s are the end of the world, I try to think about this, and imagine my life through the window in a plane.

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