The Writery Ink

Bumpy Flights

Bumpy Flights

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I’ve always hated flying. It’s not so much the fear of flying as just how bumpy a flight can be. You never know until they close that door and you push back. The takeoff might be smooth, but you never can predict what the rest of the journey is going to be like. I worked with a major airline for twenty years. I traveled. I trained employees and wrote articles on the fear of flying, so I know that flying is one of the safest modes of travel there is. The number of precautions taken before each flight and the many parts of the machinery mean there is always someone looking out for each aircraft in the air and on the ground. My favorite flight, like everybody else’s, is the smooth takeoff, cruising, and landing. Unfortunately, like life, it isn’t always that way, and we don’t always get what we wish for. Some of my best moments are not while flying, but while driving. I think this is because, when flying, I have to relinquish control to someone else; someone I don’t know, but have to trust. But that is just it. At some point, you have to let go and just fly. You have to move from what is comfortable and take a chance on something that is a bit awkward, maybe, and takes some getting used to. There will be areas of turbulence, some more than others, but the end of the journey will be worth it. You never will know unless you let go and take that flight, bumpy or not, with someone else at the controls. When I’m driving, I hear voices in my head (not the kind you’re thinking of). These voices often tell me the stories that need to be told. In other words, driving allows me time for reflection and I write from those reflections. Sometimes, it is an article, and at times a whole story or the continuation of one that gets played out in my mind. When I fly, I spend so much time anticipating the turbulence, I forget to relax and allow the voices to speak to me so I can write. I lose precious moments paralyzed in my fear. Recently, I asked myself, “What made me think I could fly?” I recall when I completed my first master’s degree, I felt like if you placed me in a cockpit, I would know what to do. I would be able to ‘fire’ up those engines and send the plane rolling down the runway and soar up to the skies. Am I glad no one trusted me and my grandiose plans enough to have me give it a try. But in other ways in my life, I’ve felt like that is just what I am doing. I’ve taken off and have just kept flying. The thrill of the journey has often been interrupted by the bumpiness of the flight. I sometimes clutch at something or someone for some semblance of stability. Inevitably, I have to recognize that there is nothing I can do to make the flight less bumpy. It is how I respond to my situation that makes a difference. Turbulence comes from outside forces A good pilot will do everything in his/her power to make the passengers feel more comfortable and enjoy their flight. He/she might climb to higher altitudes or around some aerial disturbance to make for a less bumpy flight. But truth be told, there is not much he/she can do about the turbulence that is occurring outside. The only solution is to make the best possible choices for a better ride. I still do prefer driving to flying. I enjoy those quiet moments of reflection when I am in control. But nothing compares to the thrill of letting go and soaring to newer heights, even when it is a bumpy flight.

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