From an airplane window is where I found my inspiration. I knew it was time to share my story.
I have always loved flying. Not just being in the air, but the entire process. Booking a ticket is fulfilling in and of itself. The worst is over. I always pick a window seat. Luckily, my elbows have never been hit by a beverage cart! I always hated it for Drew Barrymore.
For someone who has panic attacks for no reason, you'd think that flying would stress me out. It doesn't. Not once have I experienced a panic attack in an airport or on a plane. Not with a fox and not in a box.
When I get to the airport I feel cool, calm, and collected. I've actually tracked my heart rate during this process and it's been under 50 bpm on several occasions. Amazing! I get through security no problem. I have the patience of a saint. I can see how people would get super anxious at this point. Everything has to come out of your bag, put in its own tray, and down the conveyor belt it goes. They take everything from you and all you're left with is that one thing you forgot to take out of your pocket. SANITY! Sometimes they want that too.
See how easy it is to THINK about being anxious? I often think about what's to come even before it gets here. I work myself up. This is one situation though where my anxiety disappears.
After security I go straight for food. Almost always you'll find me standing in line at Starbucks. I know. That's not food. But do you see the priority now? MUST HAVE STARBUCKS! Food comes next. I am not picky and will eat just about anything. I drink and eat. I am happy.
I make my merry way to the restroom and have a little winky tink. Then I sit in some chair, play on my phone, and finish my coffee. I always get a Venti Iced Coffee, No Classic, 2% milk. Pure bliss. A vice. A comfort.
Getting on the plane gives me control. I know that I have the ability to be patient and kind. We've all seen videos displaying the horrors people experience in flight. I hate the thought of people going through such things. I show everyone respect and hope that my demeanor creates a warm and welcoming environment.
I like meeting new people. I won't usually initiate the conversation because I don't want to disturb anyone who might already by unnerved, but I'll open right up when someone talks to me. If they can't find their seat belt I don't show frustration when they have to dig around for it and accidentally brush the outside of my thigh with their pinky. IT HAPPENS PEOPLE, GET OVER IT! I would do anything for anyone on an airplane if it meant ensuring they were comfortable and safe.
Then there's the flying part. I always look out the window during take off. Landing too. Sometimes people around me are praying, texting, or calming their children. I just look out the window.
I am so amazed that a hunk of metal (and other parts) can fly through the air and remain there. Just flying along. It's incredible. I really take it all in. It's like looking at a mountain and trying to fathom how it got there. Or how Lake Michigan can seem so endless. Speechless moments meant for the mind.
Obviously everything gets smaller the higher you go. Your world becomes a Polly Pocket! I loved those toys. The coolest part is watching things take shape. Have you ever noticed how neighborhoods are set up into grids? Or how farmland is either in the shape of a square, rectangle, or a circle? How about the on and off ramps? They are fun looking--like a toy race track--fun loops and curves. I see rivers and railroad tracks and feel as if I know where things are going. It's like everything has a purpose and now it's explained. Everyone can see true colors.
This is what makes me feel normal. This is what takes my anxiety away. Gives me hope. I can always be myself on an airplane. On the ground it's not as easy. You have to hide sometimes and take the shape of something you'd rather not.
I love flying because we all look down on the same world. Everything is a grand idea from the air. Shouldn't we all feel grand?
Next week...Starting my journey at the University of Notre Dame...
I just want all people to learn and grow together.