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Monday Reflection: There's a Brighter Side of Darkness

By Rae Lewis-Thornton

August 6, 2012

This piece originally appeared in Rae's blog, Diva Living With AIDS.

I sooooo want to be mad. I'm tired as all get out from travel drama but something inside of me won't take me there. My flight got cancelled last night coming home from Blog Her 12. Weather, what weather? It's sunny outside and sunny in Chicago; these people are mad, I thought!

But me being mad didn't change one fact, that there was a storm between Chicago and New York. I was just glad that Luke could come get me and that I had a place to lay my head for the night. That was the brighter side of last night, with three cancelled flights. I got to share another meal with my bestie one more night, which is one of our favorite things to do together.

Then this morning at 4:30 a.m. when I arrived at the airport, I discovered that the American Airlines flight that Delta had put me on was over sold. Mind you, I started out in LaGuardia airport and ended up in Newark.

With Luke gone, I had to gather my two heavy bags, (one weighed 55 pounds and the other 53) and make my way over to another terminal to get the Delta flight I eventually took to Detroit.

I know, I know, yes I live in Chicago but I'll get to that in a minute. By 6:30 a.m., having been in the Special Service Line for over 30 minutes, I so wanted to be mad but the brighter side of it all took a hold of me. For sure my bags were over weight and I didn't get charged. Weather is not the responsibility of the airlines. And even though I got a three-hour layover in Detroit at least I'm not still in Newark booked on the plane where the flight crew can't work because they are on work rest. Too many hours and they shut them down.

So, I'm sitting on this plane waiting on a gate because we got here too early, I'm not confused about this either. There was NO Starbucks in Newark's airport so as soon as I deplane I'm headed for a perfect cup of black tea at Starbucks: Tazo Earl Grey! He's the king of my tea life!

Detroit is closer to Chicago than Newark and there were no other flights that would have anything shorter than three connections, so I'll sit in this airport and even with a three-hour layover I will get home sooner than had I done something else.

This is one of those travel days from hell where you want to be mad at somebody about any old little thing. But the fact of the matter is shit happens and that's how life is. Today I'm embracing the brighter side of this horrible travel nightmare.

I could have not come to Blog Her 12 and I wouldn't be having this drama. But not coming to Blog Her would have meant that this blog would not have had doors opened to help make it the best it can be for you and me.

So I'm getting off this plane now! Gonna head straight to Starbucks and in about four hours I'll be walking into the comfort of my home. Do you know how many people who don't have a home? Wish I could Google it for you right quick. It's a lot! There's a brighter side, no matter how far your home may be, you have one.


Yep, I'll walk in my house and my baby girl Sophie will meet me at the door with love, love, love and more love. And my other bestie, Markeeda (who cancelled her flight back home to keep Sophie), will look on with glee. So, while getting home has been some kinda sitcom drama, I'm embracing the brighter side.

Blog Her was wonderful and I wouldn't change a thing! I have a home to come back to with lots of love waiting for me. As the song goes, you may not always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.

I try to keep things in perspective. There is always a brighter side on the other side of darkness. All you have to do is peek around the corner and allow yourself to see.

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See Also
More on Traveling When You're HIV Positive

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Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks

Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist who rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has lived with HIV for 27 years and AIDS for 19. Rae travels the country speaking and challenging stereotypes and myths about HIV/AIDS. She has a Master of Divinity degree and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Church History. Rae has been featured on Nightline, Dateline NBC, BET and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless magazines and newspapers, including Emerge, Glamour, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Jet, Ebony, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She earned the coveted Emmy Award for a first-person series on living With AIDS for Chicago's CBS News.

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