So my life has been a bit of a ride this last week. It is going to take some time to absorb and get the lessons, But for right now let me tell you something I did last weekend.
I am kind of a chicken. I don’t take big risks, I don’t skydive, climb mountains, I don’t even jet ski. Physically I have never lived on the edge. So my friend and I have been planning to go to a local air show. I knew he really wanted to go up in one of the little planes. Me, not so much. But I am going to the show with him.
We get there, I don’t really plan to go up in the plane. I don’t love big planes, why would I go up in a small one? But somehow my name is on the waiting list. And I watch through out the afternoon, little kids go, big kids go, adults go. They are all fine. No one was hurt, no one died. They all came out smiling.
But me? I have fears, my fears keep safe, my fears keep me on the ground. Are these fears reasonable? Apparently not, cause everyone is having fun, they like it. Hmmmm….. ok. I guess I am going. So I tell my friends we can both go together, no sending me up in 2 seater. I think, well he will keep me calm, distracted, hold my hand. It will be ok, not fun, but ok.
Our turn comes, we head out a little 4 seater plane. Great, now I have to go pee. Really?? I can’t stop everything and I think its nervous pee. Ok, ignore it. I’m trying. Now climb in, I have a dress on. But somehow I managed to get in my seat semi gracefully without showing anything. I sit down in the seat behind the pilot. My friend sits in the seat next to him. What? I thought we were going to sit next to each other. I might need to hold your hand.. I am all alone back here. Great.
The plane takes off. Pretty smooth. I wait for panic, fear, I wait for my palms to get sweaty, to have to start taking calming breaths, I wait for that closed in feeling to take over. I keep waiting, now we are in the air. Still fine…… I feel great. I am relaxed, I am comfortable, I am not afraid. This is not what I expected from myself. I sat back and enjoyed the most amazing ride, I took pictures, I laughed and smiled. I did not want it to end. I want to go again.
So if I had let fear stop me I would have missed that. Because my fear was not reasonable. It was not based on actual dangerous circumstances. It was not my inner voice saying stop. It was the part of me that holds me back from experiencing all that life has to offer. I stood there on that tarmac and said this is my chance; am I really going to walk away from this experience when my fear is not even rational? And I thought no, fuck this, I am going and whatever happens, happens. And what happened was a piece of me broke through. A piece of me said yes to life, instead of no. I fed trust instead of fear. I got off the sidelines and into the air.
Will I do that again? Maybe, I hope so. I am not suddenly going to start climbing mountain or zip lining through the Rainforest (I would like to do that). But you know what, maybe I will. At the very least I have more courage in me and less fear. I have the knowledge of yes, I did that. When I am faced with irrational fears I can look them more squarely in the face and know that I can move through them with grace and ease, surviving beautifully, moving forward to the next challenge in my life.
Whatever your plane looks like, get out there and put it behind you.