In a given year, I fly about 75 times. That’s a lot of flying for the average person and yes, I consider myself ridiculously average. However, there was a time where getting me on a flight was an act of God. Just mentioning a plane broke me into a sweat. I was terrified of going up, up, and away…and you know what? I miss being scared of flying.
When you’re scared of flying, you are 100% focused on your own life. You wonder (albeit irrationally) if the plane’s landing gear will come out ok? Will the plane crash? Will I need to poop on the plane? What if I vomit? Everything is all about you.
Today, I no longer fear flying. So instead of being focused on my own craziness, I focus on others.
If I was busy worrying about me, I wouldn’t have to experience:
- people sitting next me picking their nose (Fort Myers)
- babies crying that I want to throttle (every trip through Boston)
- old men picking at the corns on their feet (Lincoln, Nebraska)
- young men who bully you out of elbow space in the seat (Dallas)
- women who paint their nails on the plane (St. Louis)
- a couple watching the ‘Gone Girl’ sex scene on their shared computer (North Carolina)
- listening to hours of snoring (Cayman Islands)
- drinking shitty coffee (really – c’mon American Airlines!)
- begging for peanuts (give me the damn nuts, Delta!)
- the guy with two watches who kept checking them every second (Omaha)
- chatty grandmothers (Newark)
- the nailbiter in seat 7D who kept spitting his chewed nails toward me (Phoenix)
…the list goes on and on. I simply can’t believe what I experience on a flight today. All because I’m no longer scared of flying. If I was still scared of flying, all of these experiences would pass me by while I privately freaked out about my own stuff.
Maybe the next time we are frightened of something we should simply embrace the fear and wonder if it isn’t protecting us from something else?
…on that note, my next flight leaves in 2 hours. Gotta plane to catch!