Sunday, April 5, 2009

When Pigs Fly

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?


  1. Oh, I am developing in just the opposite way! I used to LOVE flying, had no problems whatsoever, and am now slowly becoming terrified of it. It's horrible. I love traveling so, and I cannot seem to slow down this unfortunate mental development! (Any suggestions would be appreciated)

    I guess on a related note, one of the best places for me to relax occurs when I am driving, especially on road trips. Maybe it's because I am in control, but more than that, it is impossible for me to do anything else, so I am forced to be alone with my thoughts and away from my work. Plus, I'm traveling. Which, as I mentioned above, I love.


  2. Hi Special K!

    Thanks for the comment on my blog, MarryingMillennial. You mentioned that you support women investigating the world of finance, which is what I am actively doing right now. I have done some research and I was wondering if you could look it over and give me some feedback if I am heading in the right direction.

    Thanks for reading, shoot me an email if you are interested...


  3. I agree with Onely. There is something very soothing about road trips. Flying is rough. I think it would be easier without so many people. Also, there is something creepy about going so many miles so fast. I get there and I feel like it takes a couple days to catch up.

  4. Here's what I theroize: the more rational stress I have in my life, the less I liked flying. If you are in an academic program, I think you are just more uptight overall, and it manifests in flying

  5. K -- EXCELLENT point. I trust your theory, yes I do. ... I am extremely uptight these days ... *sigh*

    Now, what do I do for the next two years?!

    -- L

  6. Whatever you do, don't stop flying. Expose yourself to your anxiety during the plane ride and bear it out. It'll put hair on your chest, and give you some time to rely on Suduko or more racy means of mental distraction. I always put a piece of hard candy in my mouth at take off and focused on the intense sweet sugar rush. By the time it was gone, the plane was cruising...


About Me

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PhD in clinical psychology. Single. Pushing 30. Suffering Whiplash from the Roaming 20s...Who am I? What do I want? Where do I belong? Welcome to my self-induced treatment, a testament that we can all be a little crazy in our search for significance.