The Trouble with Airports
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The Trouble with Airports

A place of easy hellos and hard good-byes

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The Trouble with Airports
The Oregonian

Depending on the situation, the thought of having to go to an airport can either be the most nerve racking feeling or one that brings the most happiness.

Whether you're headed out for vacation and excited to see what the next week holds, or returning back to school after a fun filled Christmas vacation, the feeling of panic that sets in when walking into an airport for myself is one that I'm not sure I will ever be able to overcome.

Airports are usually a place filled with anxiety already as many people are terrified to fly. I am not one of those, but any airport does make me feel a little nauseous.

This past weekend, I had the chance to have my sisters visit me at college and as I was driving to pick them up, I was so thrilled to see two of my best friends that I hadn't seen in about two months.

Now, as I am writing this very article, I am thinking about having to take them back to that same airport in a few short days and it saddens me to think about putting them on a plane to head back home, a home that is 600 miles away from my current home.

When I left college to return home for the first time for the Thanksgiving holiday, the ride to the airport was filled with hope, sadness and a lot of small talk. Sadness of leaving my favorite people and place for a week, but so excited to get back to a place that was familiar to me, a place that had been my home for the first eighteen years of my life.

Seeing family and friends that I had left behind when I started my college adventure was going to be so much better than seeing them over Facetime, but that meant that I had to Facetime another group of friends, a group of friends who were always there with me in person when those at home were not.

I knew that I was going to be back soon, so I knew there was no reason to be upset, but I also knew that with the ability to return meant the harsh reality of saying yet another set of goodbyes, just to a different set of people this time.

As an army brat myself, I hold military homecomings very near and dear to my heart. Whenever I go to the airports and see balloons and posters filling the waiting areas with families that have the biggest smiles on their faces, it fills my heart with so much joy, as I know the moment they see their loved ones, every other problem in the world simply disappears.

On the flip side, that moment that I see a man or woman in uniform approaching the airport with a bag in their hands and their families following right behind them, with a look on their face that is indescribably filled with sorrow and pain due to the inevitable they know is coming, I know that each and every one of them is going to be leaving with tears in their eyes, but reflecting on a visit that will be cherished from that moment and on.

Airports signify a beginning and an end, an idea that can be so difficult to wrap your head around.

How can a single place be reason for happy tears one day, and sad tears the next? But I guess that's what happens when you take the risk of buying that ticket and embarking on an adventure.

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