Flying…. I used to love it, now not so much. Until sometime last year I couldn’t wait to get on a plane and take off. That was actually the best part of the whole trip: the takeoff. Landing was fine, but takeoff was amazing! And I had absolutely no problem with sitting in a chair at 10.000m above ground with nothing but thin air supporting me. I knew it was the safest way of travelling and that was enough for me.
But last year something funny happened: turbulence. And at first they were playful like riding a mild roller coaster, until we dropped a little. A little too much and a little too fast to not be playful anymore. I freaked out (I didn’t start screaming and panicking out loud… because I’m an introvert, I screamed and panicked on the inside) and from then on I need to talk myself into getting on a plane and staying calm the entire ride. I make a conscious effort now to go through this experience which was once effortless. I need to tell myself how safe the planes are and that turbulence is harmless and nothing bad will happen. As a trick I now read something during take off and landing when the plane is the most unstable. It doesn’t matter what, I just read words rhythmically to get my mind off flying… it can be a book I bring along or the safety instructions card on the plane, it really doesn’t matter.
Most would think: why not quit flying if it’s so stressful? Well, not flying is not an option. It would just mean that the primitive mind has won. And plus, I’m too stubborn for that.
This shift in approaches towards flying puts things into perspective for me and opens some debatable issues which I encourage you to comment on. Debating alone leads to insanity. Firstly, take the “experience-less” me from the past, the person who only went on nice smooth flights before, and observe how she is not afraid because she is unaware of what might happen. Secondly, take the “experienced” flyer from the present and observe how she is afraid of flying because she knows how dropping from high altitude feels like. Which one do you think leads a more meaningful life? For the sake of the debate of course.
[Just saw a fellow flight passenger comb her hair, get all glammed up to take a selfie and then put her hair back in a messy bun and it was too funny not to mention it! And yes, I am writing this post while I am flying home for Christmas ♥]
This question opens up the subject of innocence vs experience. You can go through life without a care in the world knowing, being convinced, that nothing bad
can will happen to you, that everything will be ok in the end (take note of the saying: “if it’s not ok, it’s not the end”). It’s the “secret” in all its glory. And I believe that these are the people that reach success easily and I am happy for them because they don’t need to make any conscious effort in reaching their success. They have this belief that everything will be ok ingrained in their spirit.
Now this kind of people become the other category really quickly once they hit a rough patch in life. And now they are known as people with experience, with lessons learned and precious advice to offer. They are more attentive, not rushing into stuff anymore and make concious decisions. I think mature is the adjective I am searching for here. Yep, everything they go through makes them more mature, but it also eats away at their innocence, courage and drive to experience more.
So my question to you is: what is best? Going through life like a breeze but most likely superficially, or going deep into the vast realm of human experiences? Most of the times this is not a choice, it’s just a fact of life. But for the sake of the conversation, what would you choose? Being innately happy and not thinking that “sad” is an option, or going through the muddy battles and coming out a scarred winner?