What I Learned From Missing My Flight

Today was a rough day.

My buddy and I missed our 9 am flight to Rome this morning. We had already extended our stay in Barcelona more than we had planned for, and now we’re stuck in the airport waiting for our new flight, which is delayed two hours.

Our entire day was basically wasted, and now we only have nine days left to hit five more countries.

I was pretty upset earlier today. The reason why we missed our flight is because we went out to a club last night (which I didn’t want to do originally) and we didn’t get back to our Airbnb till 5 am. Our plan was to pack our backpacks and then just go straight to the airport without sleeping.

We half succeeded—we packed our bags, but we never made it to the airport.

At some point while waiting to leave to the airport, we both fell asleep and didn’t wake up again until 10 minutes before our flight.

On top of that, I had also told my girlfriend I would FaceTime with her when I got to the airport at 8 am. So she had stayed up late to talk to me, and I screwed that up too.

Oh, and on top of that, I felt like absolute death when I woke up. I don’t know if I was just extremely hungover or if I was just stressing out about everything (probably a combination of both), but when I first woke up I had the chills and was pretty certain that I was going to pass out. Luckily that only lasted briefly and after eating some breakfast and drinking a ton of water I felt a lot better.

But, I was still pissed about the whole situation.

It wasn’t until I was sitting on the bus on our way to the airport to catch our new flight that I started to think about everything that had happened. Staring out the window, I suddenly had a moment of clarity that recalibrated my mindset.

(I’m noticing a trend that I tend to have these sort of “epiphany” moments when taking public transportation – like when I was taking the train back home after graduation).

It occurred to me that this shitty situation that my friend and I had gotten ourselves into was, indeed, a shitty situation.

However, I realized that I had two options:

  1. Mope about it over and over in my head and let it put a damper on the rest of our trip. Or,
  2. Move past it and continue enjoying the rest of our trip.

The second option sounded better to me, so I decided to stop being angry about something that, at this point, was completely out of my control.

That being said, I did spend some time thinking about what I would have done differently if I could go back in time.

For example, I could have been more adamant about not going out to the club in the first place, or I could have still gone out to the club, but just been more adamant about getting back to our Airbnb at a more reasonable hour.

Being able to move past a rough experience is important, but I think this reflection that happens after is even more critical.

When shit happens, you have to learn to deal with it. Shit happens to everyone, all the time. The difference is that some people are better at handling their shit than others. And then, some people go on and turn their shit into valuable lessons that help them in the future.

The next time you find yourself in a shitty situation, deal with it the best you can, move past it, and then take a moment to analyze what exactly happened.

Ask yourself, how you could avoid—or at least minimize the chances of—that situation from ever happening again?

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

Despite this little mix up, this last week has without a doubt been one of the most fun weeks of my life (the club was actually super cool and we had the most epic pregame ever for the Champions League Final — see image above).

I can’t wait to see what Italy has in store for us!

P.S. Apologies for over-use of the word “shit”… I guess I still wasn’t in the best mood when I wrote this post.

About Stefano

Stefano Ganddini

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  • Steve

    I thought it was funny how many times you said shit in this post, lol. Being able to learn from mistakes is certainly a critical skill. I think part of what makes it so hard is that you have to come to that realization on your own. If someone tells you to get over yourself when you’re pissed off, you’re just going to be pissed off at them, even though you know they’re right.

  • Ken

    That’s rough, dude. Having that Emotional Intelligence (or EQ which is a term thrown around a lot nowadays) is something that is definitely needed and might even be instilled when developing something you care about (i.e. your relationships or projects)

    If faced with a problem, every second and ounce of energy spent on focusing on the negative is holding you back from arriving at a solution. So one could say its a voluntary prolonging of the issue.

    A lot of people don’t feel like they have the power to react to these situations in that logical way but its possible and really enhances their quality of life.

    Of course nobody is perfect and I get caught up in emotional spirals from time to time. But you’re right, constantly practicing introspection and acknowledging these opportunities do a lot of good for yourself and the people around you.

    Good luck on the rest of your trip!

    Ken