Monday, September 13, 2010

Fear of Flying

The Setting: Sitting on the sofa, nothing on TV, waiting on dinner, willing myself to write.

The Soundtrack: Silence...weird.

On the Stovetop: Jamaican Jerk Kale and Black Beans.

The Scenario: Tummy rumbles into a bundle of nerves and excitement as I prepare to depart for Ireland.

My heritage is somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 percent Irish, and as such, I have always dreamed of visiting the land of St. Patrick and leprechaun lore.

Not only is my dream about to come true, but my itinerary runneth over with four-star accommodations, farm tours, food tastings and fancy dinners. And as this trip is considered work, I am essentially getting paid to have the time of my life.

I will sample fine butters and cheeses and see where they are made and meet the cows and the farmers whose work enriches the palate and tickles the tongue. I will visit sustainable markets and banquet at castles and come home more knowledgeable and passionate about what I do.

Of course I am ecstatic. I love to learn. I love to travel....

But I hate to fly.

Mild agoraphobic tendencies have shut me in and shut me down in the past. I've stayed home and stayed safe when I should have been embracing opportunities and engaging life.

I don't think people know this about me. It's contrary to my nature. But it's true.

My husband encourages me to be brave. He is helpful. But he's most helpful when he's by my side, graciously allowing me to crush his phalanges upon takeoff, touchdown, and any bumps along the way.

He will not be there this time.

It will be me and God and a plane full of people, who I pray will not have to witness any physical manifestations of my anxiety.

I pray for a safe flight, a safe trip, a wonderful experience, and in the face of any potential danger, I pray for peace and serenity. I pray that God will quiet the Crazy that lives in my fluttering heart and churning stomach and help me to rely on Him.

My dreams are too big to stay grounded for life. If I let my fear of flying conquer me, how will I ever take off?