I used to despise flying—the flippant rejection of the illusion that I control my whole existence. Flying demanded release---or a least distraction from feeling the dreaded “out of control,: and there was a season where every atom in my being perched ready for inherent demise as the plane wavered just a few turbulent feet from crashing.
I’ve since evolved. Perhaps my fear, experiences at the heigh of my dissertation writing years ago, reflects a bubbling sophomoric doubt. Perhaps it can be traced to 9/11 and the onslaught of that media image burrowed in my cells.
Whatever the case, the phase passed. I now happily unfurl my belongings under the seat in front of me, and breathe in sharply the moment I buckle in…the clasping announcing that AH! I AM NOT DRIVING THIS THING…and OH! THEY DON’T WANT/EXPECT/NEED ME TO.
On a plane, as I am flying, that intuition kicks into 4th gear, and amazingly, I’ve fine tuned the art of following its lead. If my stomach churns, I sip sugar-laden ginger ale. If I am bored, I’ll pursue the Sky Mall magazine, if under-stimulated, watch on air programming, if pensive, I’ll bring out some work, if all of these things don’t satisfy, a best-selling wouldn’t be caught outside of a airplane/port paperback emerges.
I allow myself to trust that my inclinations are valid. And somehow, I don’t have to be productive—the self-monitoring monster slumbers.
I now look forward to the ride. Not just because it is a relief to experience this version of myself from time to time, just to periodically re-familiarize myself that the world doesn’t end when I am off duty…but also because I used to just SUCK at flying. In light of my past preoccupying debilitating fear, I delight that I am capable of growing up in a big way still. I can cruise at a relaxing 36,000 feet and throw back peanuts like Omega-Three Vitamins.
Where can you just enjoy the ride?
- ▼ April (8)