A Stoic Lesson That Will Help You Pay Less Airport Fees

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The longer you wait to face reality, the costlier it gets.

I just had to pay like $ 40 dollars at the airport for unwanted fees. 

I don’t like to pay extra fees. A few moments later, and not as angry, I was sitting on the floor of the waiting area of the gate, scrolling down on Instagram. I stumbled upon a post that made fun of how you literally don’t care to pay $ 300 dollars at the club, but if you forget your $ 2 dollar coupon at the supermarket, you think to yourself: “see you idiot! That’s why you’re always broke”.

It made me laugh, I felt I just experienced something somewhat similar, and hey, any laughter’s good. What got me mad was not having to pay the fee though. 

I unstoically cursed everyone but myself, which made me even angrier, because I knew I was just trying to push the blame to someone else. I knew, I know, it was my fault.

So, apparently, you cannot take your climbing equipment with you on the airplane. You have to document it. I don’t know why. Is the climbing rope a kind of weapon? Just like my shoelaces? I guess it could be (strangulation by climbing rope). What about the harness? (harder, but I guess you could do something as well) 

I’m currently seated at the emergency exit doors in the airplane. I’m imagining myself tying the rope to the lady’s sitting next to me seat, pushing the lever with the “emergency” label written on it, opening the doors at 10,000 ft., and throwing myself as in a Bungie. I have my GoPro with me, so, of course, I’d shoot the whole scene.

Cool, huh?

If only I had my harness and rope with me. They must have suspected something.

Anyways, the reality is that I could’ve avoided paying that extra fee, I should’ve asked. It’s a stupid thing, I know, but it’s also a silly situation I’m sure you’ve been through as well. The whole thing really got me thinking about this quote from Marcus Aurelius:

“The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.”― Marcus Aurelius

OK, first rule, utter failure. I failed the first, because, in part, I didn’t follow the second one.

It basically says: the longer you wait to face reality, the costlier it gets.

You see, I kind of suspected that I couldn’t have my gear up with me in the plane. But I was kind of lazy to ask when I was documenting. I faced reality at the last moment, and I had to pay for that.

Poor me, right. But let’s not let everything go to waste and learn something about this, shall we?

I’m writing about this silly situation because it is a perfect example of bigger things in life. Today, it was a silly fee. But what about the not so silly fee of healthcare services? That punch can leave you on your knees for a while. A lot of stuff is avoidable if you think with enough anticipation.

Here’s the thing. 

We prefer not to think about hard-to-look-in-the-face things, we prefer to wait and pay extra fees. You avoid paying fees by saying: OK reality, I’m not going to run anymore, I’m not going to pretend I don’t hear anymore, tell me, what’s the deal? What’s the real deal? Give it to me raw.

The raw reality is what you need, raw reality is the best (the only, really) information you have. Of course, reality doesn’t care about your feelings, and sometimes, it can seem just flat-out unfair.

Nevertheless, if you use reality as your most reliable source of information, and you don’t run from it, the fewer fees you’re going to pay in your life. There are some fees that just have to be paid of course. But you can’t control that, so that shouldn’t trouble your spirit either. 

I think Marcus made a mistake with the order of his concepts in the quote. I’d say, that in order for you to be able to follow rule one and be able to keep an untroubled spirit, first, you need to follow rule two, and look things in the face, always.

Also, don’t get mad, that’s unstoic.

Fuck! Sorry, I had to let that out. I feel better now though. Thanks for reading.

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