Let’s Fly Away

Isn’t it funny, how you can be so tightly wound and stressed-out that doing something you fear the most sounds like the best idea ever. That was me, a few weeks ago – stressed to the max, when a friend asked if I was interested in a girls weekend in Sydney. “I’M IN!” I texted back. Then I thought, “Fuck. I have to get on a plane. By myself.” For a while I considered all kinds of reasons to get out of it. But the truth was, I was so desperate for a break, to get away from life, and I joked that, “I may not ever come back!” Partly because I really thought I wanted to run away forever, partly because I thought “I’m flying, that’s it, I’m going to die!”

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I will admit, I needed anti-anxiety pills to help me get through both flights, but I did it. On my own, with only minor freak out at the end where we were landing and everything underneath us was black – water – until the last minute when THANK GOD THERE WAS LAND! And my mind wondered, “Who the fuck builds runways out into the ocean anyways?”

A friend of mine said, “You sure do fly a lot for someone who is terrified of flying.” Well, I have two answers to that. Firstly, I don’t think flying three times (six including the return trip) in 18 months is “a lot” and secondly, I don’t want my irrational fear to keep me from doing things, seeing places and visiting people I love. As a bonus to having a girls weekend, I also got to meet my new baby nephew and see my 22 month old niece on this trip! I got 4 nights away from reality. It was exactly what I needed.

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So what if I needed a small dosage of Xanax to get there and back. So what if I was terrified for 20 seconds that we were going to land in the water? The 5 days away made it worth it. Funnily enough, when I dropped my son at school Friday before going to the airport, I cried the whole way back to my car. Mostly because I was really going to miss him, a little bit because I thought, “If my plane crashes, this will be the last time I see him.” I have a flare for the dramatic. I wanted a break so badly, but when it actually came time to leaving, I didn’t want to go. I was coming home Tuesday night, by Monday night I missed home so terribly a part of me wished I was going home that night. Two nights away wouldn’t have been enough, but four was one too many. A little tip for any of you considering a break from reality.

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I may not ever really get over my fear of flying, but I will find ways around it, ways to manage it. Otherwise I will miss out on so much.

What fear do you feel and do it anyway? What don’t you want to miss out on?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for I Blog On Tuesdays 

Buried In The Subconscious

I must confess, I used to think fears were ridiculous, and that holding onto shit from the past and using it as an excuse was a terrible way to live life. Until I developed a few fears of my own and realised why.

It’s amazing how something that happened to you so long ago, that you think or thought you had gotten over, can still affect you, but you have no idea it does.

For a while now I’ve been a terrible passenger when someone else is driving. My fear of flying has well and truly gotten out of control. I was a nervous wreck when I had to be placed under a general anesthetic for surgery twice. I’ve wondered WHY I have these “control issues.” I don’t feel like a control freak, as such, but I clearly have a very difficult time trusting others to do their jobs.

Last week I went to see a naturopath. She has many different certifications in alternative therapies and medicine, and she is often like a counselor for me. I pour my heart out to her, and she helps me make sense of things. So during our session when she said to me, “What happened when you were 22?” I wasn’t surprised that things started falling into place.

Me: I was in a pretty serious car crash.
Her: Were you driving?
Me: No.
Her: Do you think “If I had been driving that wouldn’t have happened?”
Me: Oh…..I guess so.

Insert light bulbs and ah-ha moments here.  Ding ding ding ding ding!

It’s not that I have ever forgotten about the accident. I still remember it, I can picture the van and trailer in the ditch, facing the opposite direction to which we were traveling, stuff strewn everywhere. I can picture the people who stopped to help us, the ambulance ride, the small town we were then stranded in for hours until people came to get us. I can picture the drive from the small town we were in, to Vegas, and my having to drive while the girl who crashed the van slept in the passenger seat.

I can clearly hear the operations manager back in Atlanta saying the words, “We didn’t know if you were dead or alive.” When someone tells you they thought there was a possibility you were dead, it’s a bit of a mind-f*&^. And you realise you are lucky to have walked away, relatively unscathed. Until, that is, 13 years later when you wonder where these control issues you have came from.

The only challenge now is how to get over it. How to accept that I am not always in control, I do not have to be in control, and I am ok with having no control. I’ve made baby steps, on what I hope is a path to complete recovery, and fear-free flying in the future. I am not ashamed of my fear, but I will be ashamed if it keeps me from doing and seeing wonderful things.

Linking up with Kirsty at My Home Truths for a long over-due I Must Confess

The Best Laid Plans

For most of my teenage and early-20s life, I envisioned myself as being a career woman. Kids was the furthest thing from my mind. A husband and family were certainly not on the cards for me. No, I would rather the large double-mahogany doors into the corner office with a view of the city. Not just any city. New York City.

I didn’t know what I would do, what line of business it would be, but I knew I wanted to be in charge. I wanted to wear black pencil skirts with pale pink shell tops and one-button blazers. I wanted to wear stockings and stilettos. I wanted to demand people’s attention, and a big fat pay check.

Then I hit about 23 or 24 years old, and suddenly I decided I wanted 5 kids. I wanted to make up for the Christmases spent going from one parent to the other, from one extended family to another. I wanted to have 5 kids who would all grow up and have babies of their own, and they’d all come home for Christmas, just like in the movies.

Now, here I am, well and truly “grown up” and not only do I not have a career, but I also don’t have 5 kids. I have one. One perfect one, at least, but still “just” one.

People around me seem to think about falling pregnant and it happens. I know people terrified they WILL fall pregnant, because it has happened so easily in the past.

It’s hard for me to imagine that NOT wanting something to happen could be as scary as wanting it TO happen, but fearing it never will. If you can follow that.

Yet we all find ourselves in these situations. Wanting something, not wanting something as the case may be, and I wonder how much control we have over any of it. At the most, I’d say very little.

Then I hear about a woman who delivered her baby, who was sleeping, today. The day that should be the most joyous in her life, is now the most tragic and heart wrenching. This date, for the rest of her life, will bring sorrow instead of joy, pain instead of happiness.

And I think, it doesn’t matter if you’re a career woman, or a mum of 1 or 20 kids, it doesn’t matter if you command a board room or a play room. Life is a gift. It is precious. It can be given and taken away at any moment. And we need to NOT take that for granted. And tonight I hugged my one baby a little tighter, laughed a little longer, told him I loved him and that he is my favourite in the whole world. I am so thankful for him, and for my life, whatever it may hold.

It’s Friday! Have you linked up with Grace or FYBF yet?! Get to it!