I nervously scanned the airport as I waited to board my flight. So many people coming and going; so many stories. I focused on the people around me to distract from the growing knot in my stomach. My right leg bounced up and down at record speeds. I could hear my heartbeat. I reminded myself to breathe. I had been up all night and sleep was the farthest thing from my mind. Fear, adrenaline, and anxiety kept me wide awake.
People do this all the time, right?
It can’t be that dangerous.
A half hour later, I followed my mom through the tunnel and we sat down on the plane. I had a window seat.
Progression of my nervous habits:
1. Non-stop fidgeting.
2. Uncontrollable laughter.
3. Obvious blushing.
4. Awkward crying.
So being the awkward and anxious person that I am, I started laughing in the middle of the plane at 5 A.M. Within 5 minutes I was in hysterics. Laughter mixed with tears, I felt sick, and my mom thought the whole ordeal was video-worthy.
I opened the window and focused on all the lights from the surrounding buildings.
I could do this. God is holding the plane.
The plane rumbled to life and all of a sudden we were moving. I grabbed my mom’s hand and squeezed as hard I could. She assured me that take off was rough for a lot of people. I closed my eyes. God is holding the plane.
I chewed my gum with more force than necessary and felt my body lean backward.
My thought process in that moment:
This is it. This is how my life ends.
No, shhh, I’m fine. I can do this.
I’M GONNA DIE.
Once the plane was in the air completely, my mom told me to open my eyes.
I slowly opened one eye and then the other, and what I saw out the window changed my life. I saw cars and trees and skyscrapers. Then all of it disappeared and I was surrounded by clouds. Thin and stretched-out like cotton candy; thick and full like cotton balls. My eyes were glued to the window.
It was beautiful.
It was magnificent.
It was exhilarating and amazing and astonishing.
I could have stayed up there forever if you asked me too.
I conquered one of my biggest fears and I fell in love with it. Watching the tiny cars and the butterflies in my stomach… it was breathtaking.
I experienced three more flights and I fell in love a little more each more time. And my favorite part?