I wait at the airport, on a connecting flight from Peoria, Illinois to Houston, final destination. A woman rushes to the woman behind the desk, she has just missed the final boarding of her plane, doors are closed, and her plane in sight. There is nothing to be done - I know this feeling, not having done exactly this, but remarkably close. I tend to spend countless hours in transport with my job, with transportation time rivaling the time I actually spend working, and currently plane travel has allowed me to go the far distances, replacing my usual long stretches of road in car. I had some plans I was counting on fall through, or keep getting pushed back farther and farther with no real manifestation in sight and yet a deadline, so while I usually would have piggybacked a weekend modeling trip with a good friend of mine with a few more shoots in the nearby metropolis just 3 hours away, I planned otherwise. My hopes are up I will get to see at least one person on my Chicago list, as there is a glimmer of a chance that they will need someone to forfeit their flight to allow for some standby member to ride. This would be magic alignment and allow me one night in Chicago, but I must wait to find out.
Airports do not bother me as much as I have a feeling they bother many others, they are a place where I am in a bubble of often not having internet on my computer and thus not having to do massive amounts of emailing, because iphones work well, but lack the efficiency that a computer offers for this sort of thing. Also, there truly is nothing to do, so I can sit and think and chill out. I am that girl that sometimes sits and stretches in the corner. Or nibbles on whatever overpriced food she purchased then washes it down with drinking fountain water. Or tries to edit or organize nude photos without others seeing her screen. The only thing that is necessary is to keep an eye on the time and get on my flight. I have always done this successfully except for once.
Let me tell you the sad tale of the weekend I was working from 8 am to noon in Austin, then again from 1:30 to 5:30, then finally in my car on the way back to Houston by 6 pm. I arrived a bit after 9 pm, and packed frantically, simultaneously hyped on caffeine and exhausted from my day and drive, knowing I needed to pack adequate clothing for myself and shoots for the next two months, including a myriad of temperature zones and modeling styles. A photographer showed up with a model release to sign, and I did my best to be polite while being unable to pay much attention, then had a beer to say goodbye to my roommate and mellow me out and by between midnight and 1 am I was asleep. My 4 am alarm clock came early, as did my 6 am flight, which got me into Denver in time to pick up a sandwich, continually check my iphone which was stuck in a specific time zone, be paranoid about my flight and the time, and miss my flight. I watched the area I was in go from crowded to empty before a bewildered me realized my supposed boarding time was indeed the actual flight time. Fortunately I was able to get on standby with $100 change fee and after a less than preferable 4 hour wait that had me fearful that I would miss the only night my whole family would be together, the celebration of my sister’s birthday and the first time I would see my family in a full year. The idea of being stuck in the airport was not actually a stress, but the stupidity of it all seriously put my intelligence in question.
The upcoming 10 days on my schedule contain practically nothing in terms of set appointment times, but my to-do list stretches far. I know I will enjoy the small sense of being home, marked by not needing to set an alarm or put on makeup on a daily basis, as the bank, tax lady or other people I need to see are not concerned if I have eyes that photograph stronger or not. Most of the things I need to do actually involve the internet or phone, so theoretically I could do these things anywhere, but sitting on a specific friend’s couch and doodling with pens while hanging out can only happen when at each specific friend’s house, and there are a few I am looking forward to seeing (as is the case anywhere I go). If I am not shooting, I am not actually earning any income, so seeing a sparse week is both mentally relaxing and taxing at the same time, but that is a pretty normal experience with freelance work. I recently planned a quick trip to NYC and Boston because of a hole in my schedule, so I have more than enough trips to keep me occupied on the internet networking and scheduling side of things.
Last night I bought a couple more flights, which locked in a few more aspects of my schedule, so it is time to get to the email aspect of my job (a huge component).
And hello Houston - my hopes of staying in Chicago for the night did not work out, but I am back in Houston, reunited with my "home" and my grown-up to-do list.