As I sit here on my flight home from LAX.  I start thinking of a culmination of things that this trip has brought to me.  It has brought great joy, tears, frustration, utter exhaustion, happiness, bliss, annoyances, anger, positive thoughts, and a lot of dead ends.  These things can all sound very different from one another and really that’s what this trip has been.  Not only did I see family that I haven’t seen in over 15 years, I enjoyed every minute of my visit with them.  I got to meet many great people and had another friend to show me all of the sights while being a killer Disneyland tour guide.  I couldn’t have asked for a better visit really.  I hate to bring up the bag situation, but it really took up a great part of my trip there.  For those that don’t follow me on social media or care about my other posts, my luggage has seen more states in the past 5 days than I have in the past few years because of an American Airlines mess up.  I should have had my bag the day after I arrived because of flight switches, however I did not receive my bag ever on my trip forcing me to make many trips to the store and constant phone calls to me on the search that has turned up little to no results. 

I did a chronological analysis of my problem in this matter, and I spent approximately 4.39 hours on the phone with 3 different American Airlines offices.  I talked to easily over 15 different people in these calls and sometimes I called up to 5 times a day getting a different answer each time.  You see, American Airlines sent my bag to LAX, however, they didn’t read the address correctly and sent it to another airport with a similar name to be “closer” to me 7 hours north by driving.  Not only did they do this, when the bag came back, it came via an Alaska Airlines flight.  I got a call about the bag and they told me they were taking it to American Airlines in Terminal 4 which is where they are housed.  I spent 2 hours yesterday at the airport itself looking into my bag trying to get an answer and not even a supervisor could help me.  I burst into tears when the woman told me they could not find it anywhere and they had no idea what happened to it.  You see, at this point I am getting worn down in the fight to find this bag. 

I have not lost hope that it will turn up.  I have not lost my positivity in this manner, but it is very discouraging when every corner I have turned has turned out to be a dead end street.  I have patience galore, and if you know me, you know it takes a lot to get me frustrated and upset with something like this, but I reached my max point around 3 days into this mess.  I am making phone call after phone call while still trying to get the most out of my short time in a brand new state that I have never gotten to explore yet. 

I keep thinking about the mental picture of what was in my suitcase and outlined what was in there that I won’t have when I get home.  Among the highlights are my red Ray Ban prescription glasses, my running shoes, 4 brand spanking new dresses, 2 swimming suits, various VS bras, and clothes that I just recently bought knowing that they fit me since I have lost weight.  Now I start over with the bras, the dresses, the glasses, etc., and hope that it turns up in time. 

The worst part about it all is that I kept being hopeful that it was going to show up.  One day at a time I bought an outfit thinking that, “tomorrow I won’t need another outfit.”  However, tomorrow still hasn’t come for me.  I almost feel like I have lost a small part of myself, and not that things are a part of you, but because I feel like I am not valued by such a large company that sees person after person after person each day.  I’m a baggage claim number to them; I’m just someone that got lost in the shuffle.  But how many people can say that they have gone through this much without completely losing it on someone in customer service?  I would think it hasn’t been many considering these kind of situations I do not wish on anyone.  I still can’t put a hold on the fact that it really happened to me. 

Four hour thirteen minute flights really get you thinking about things.  The one thing I want to do when I get home is run.  I have waited 5 days to go on a run because of all the craziness and not having my running shoes that are a literal part of me now.  I would have never said that 6 months ago or before training for this half.  I need that stress relief.  I need to feel the open air and really take in the world around and not have a care about the future and just focus on my breathing, my distance, my time.  I can’t wait for that feeling again after all the stress that American Airlines has put me through.  It will get me ready to fight the good fight when I call and explain myself for the 16th time. 

Throughout all of this, I continue to remind myself that things could be worse.  At least I made it to LAX, I made my return flight, and had an awesome time.  At least I am incredibly blessed to be able to afford to come to Caifornia and visit.  I am blessed that I had my most expensive items with me such as my laptop and camera.  I am blessed that I had a great time and people to show me a great time while on my trip.  At least I have a loving group of family, friends, etc.  At least I have clothes to come home to.  At least I have means to communicating that there has been an issue.  At least I wake up and can walk every morning and even run!  At least I know that through all of this I still kept my cool and never went back on my character of treating everyone as a valued person and not being blameful of those that do not know my situation.  I am hopeful that this will turn out for the best.  I am hopeful that American Airlines will right their wrong.  Stay tuned.