I’m 30,000 feet above earth right now heading to Columbia, SC, taking this time to clean out my inbox and of course update my 2009 Flights Word Doc (there isn’t much I don’t record, friends.).
People: I have taken 62 flights this year.
Each flight is a small victory to me; so 62 flights in a year? Makes me damn proud of myself.
I remember the abject horror – HORROR – I suffered on my first solo mission after September 11th. It was November 2003, and I was headed to San Francisco (by way of Phoenix) on my very first business trip. I felt very adult; I was a 23 year-old kid, sent to a pier in San Fran to oversee something or other, business-wise. I was excited to get to a city I had not yet visited, even if it was for three nights only.
And then I got on that plane, and I just fell apart.
I had my journal with me, and judging by my handwriting – oh, and the fact that whole pages just read OH MY GOD OH MY GOD LORD SAVE ME I DON’T WANNA DIE LORD I AM DYING – I’d say I was in the throes of a full-scale nervous breakdown. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was… was I afraid the plane would be hijacked? Of crashing? Of exploding mid-air?
My heart pounding, I didn’t know how I would survive.
And then, I did, of course. (Though I nearly missed my flight from Phoenix, as I was at the airport bar at 10 AM ordering a liter of beer and two shots of tequila)
My trip was nice, though marred by the fact that I HAD TO GET BACK ON THAT PLANE, that minion of death and destruction.
Yeah, I think I collected my bags at Philly International and went straight to a psychiatrist. Do not pass go. Get thee to a mental health professional.
I worked through it, as y’all know. And admittedly, if you should see me on an airplane just before take-off today, I am probably still faking it a little. I look like I am reading O Magazine, but inside I am likely praying.
But oh, so much less than I ever was. And without any meds!
You’ve come a long way, HomeValley.