Flying terrifies me. Everything about it. The take off, the landing and the zipping through the air.
Scares the crap out of me.
When I was younger, I flew with my parents as security blankets, confident that nothing could happen while I was in the air with them sitting by me. Excitedly looking out the window at the floor of clouds beneath me, hoping to catch a glimpse of something fabulous before it was time to relinquish the seat to my sister, waiting impatiently for her turn.
As I grew older and left the refuge of false and blind faith, flying began to absolutely horrify me.
I would sit almost immobilized, breathless and very white knuckled, upright with tray in locked position until after take off. Praying to something I don’t even believe in but hoping upon hope that He would take pity on a poor non-believer and let her live another day.
Or at least until it was time to land.
Upon descent I would take what I was sure would be my last breath of air and hold it until the captain turned off the no-smoking and seat belt signs. But only after I retrieved my carry-on from the overheard compartment, and I shuffled my way with the rest of the herd to the front exit, did I exhale and take another deep breath once my feet hit the firm floor of the airport.
Thankful to have made it.
To who? I don’t know. But regardless.
Once I had kids, flying became even more ridiculously daunting to me.
Because what if?
And all of us at once.
Or, if I’m by myself and my kids are at home…who would raise my children? They need their Mommy.
So I don’t fly.
I canceled my flight to Chicago and drove Courtney to Blogher, last July. Because, holy hell I was NOT going to die on a flight that only lasts for less than one hour.
I will board an airplane. For the first time without ANYONE except my fellow passengers.
And I’m beyond scared.
I won’t have my security blanket.
I won’t be an entire family.
It’ll just be me.
My breath and my white knuckles, silently beseeching someone or something I profess to not even believe in. Imploring a higher power to let me get, unharmed, to my destination. To let me return to my family, in one piece.
Laughing at myself because I’m being irrational.
But that is fear.
Tomorrow will be a test for me.
If I can do this, without dying of self-inflicted suffocation due to breath holding…
Then the rest of my adventure will be a cake-walk.
Because if I can fly. I can do anything.