Every picture tells a story

One of my favorite writers is Ann Cannon. And apparently she knows Ann Dee Ellis. (Ann/Anne must be a good solid writing name, because Anne Lamott* is brilliant too.) And she (Ann Cannon) is going to start throwing down some writing prompts too, and well, I guess I’ll keep trying to record my stories here.

Today’s prompt is to find a photo and write about it. I’ll start in my library.

This photo was taken by me at the Provo Airport just a couple of months after I left a perfectly good job to work at something that scared me and that–as I have explained before–involved actual, literal rocket science. Primarily aviation science, but also a little rocket science. Among other things about which I as yet knew nothing. In that way I do where I embrace a job with my whole heart, I had volunteered already to help with social media and also to help at a huge event–our school’s 75th anniversary celebration. It was glamorous. I had spent a good deal of time prior to the event reaching out to various flight associations and media outlets, trying to get the word out about our anniversary and fly in. When the day finally arrived, I went around taking photos, noshed on simply fabulous food provided–not without some controversy–by the university’s catering students, schmoozed, and spent a good deal of time taking out the trash when it because clear that the catering people couldn’t stay on top of it.

But my favorite thing beside the people and the food (but not dragging out huge stinky black bags of trash in the insufferable heat), was the planes.

I was knew the job and was–and am mostly still–illiterate when it comes to plane identification (one of my initial “brilliant” but unfunded and therefore unfulfilled ideas in my new position was to have my team design and make an app for that). But I knew what I liked. And I saw this one well before she landed and could not take my eye nor my camera off her during her entire approach and landing.

Who is in this picture? I have no idea. Just that, as per usual, it isn’t me. Except that it is. And that is why I took this photo.

Look at the little girl. Notice the skip in her step? See her pure joy? She is absolutely delighted and taken with the man in his dull brown jumpsuit (as most brown jumpsuits are) and with the plane and with, just everything. She is simply happy to be there! And in the purest, most uninhibited way.

And that is how I have tried to approach all my tasks in my (at the time) new job. I embraced aviation, even though I was afraid of flying. I embraced elements of style and design I’d never had a lot of opportunity to explore before. I learned to write video scripts–simply by jumping in and starting writing. I embraced each new contract and project even though a lot of it was technical and foreign to me and even over my head.

The other day (since I’ve been laid up) I took some time to go back through some of the photos of the trips I took for work for the FAA in order to cull the excessive amount of photos I took. As I flipped through photo after photo and video after video of planes taking off, landing, or taxiing right past me on the various runways of the airports I visited, my heart skipped again–not in the bad way hearts can be wont to do–but in the happy way of that little girl so excited to be present. There. Then. Right next to that beautiful plane.

*If you haven’t watched or listened to this already, now’s your chance: