Sunday, February 5, 2012
Shakin' in My Bulkhead Seat
After I accepted my new freelance gig a week and a half ago, the company's CEO asked me if I could fly up to San Francisco for a day of introductions, strategy talks and team-building. Although I loved the idea of meeting my new coworkers, my immediate thought was, "Yikes, I really don't want to do that."
The older I get, the more nervous I feel each time I fly. Particularly when I'm doing it alone.
About 7 years ago, I happened to be wearing a necklace of my grandmother's when I flew to New York, and ever since then, I've packed it in my bag with me like its some sort of disaster-defeating talisman. Unfortunately, my good luck charm only alleviates so much of my anxiety.
In the days leading up to my flight to Oakland last week, I was a ball of nerves. I could picture the plane going down and how sad Mr. Wonderful would be when he found out he'd been widowed. Yes, I know I should probably renew my therapy membership...
The morning of my flight, I awoke at 4:45, got myself ready, packed two necklaces that I thought could protect me from death, and kissed my husband goodbye, uncertain of whether I would ever see him again. Dramatic, much?
I went on to have a fantastic day.
That's the crazy thing about my fear of flying—once I'm actually doing it, I'm not scared anymore. I actually really enjoy having the time to read and relax. And on my flight home later that night, I purposely sat on the right side of the plane so I could take in the California sunset. Burning below me along the horizon of the Pacific Ocean was one of the most beautiful, deep orange glows I've ever seen. Inland, the city lights were twinkling white and red, reminding me of the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland. It was gorgeous. It made me thankful to have the opportunity to fly.
It's funny how often the leading-up-to part of situations is so much scarier than the reality of them. Whether you're flying or meeting new colleagues for the very first time...