In just about four and a half hours, I’m going to be on a plane headed to Los Angeles. I used to have a strong aversion to flying, mostly because I have a hypersensitive creep-o-meter and the thought of riding in an airborne metal box with someone who weirds me out is a little unnerving. Also, I’m a master at worst-case-scenario formulation, and you can just imagine what a writer’s brain can do with that kind of creative material. Well, last summer I got into one of those airborne metal boxes and flew eleven hours, over an ocean, to a foreign country… so let’s just say a five hour flight over land feels like a cinch comparatively.
If you had asked me a year ago if I considered myself an adventurous person, I would have probably laughed and said something along the lines of, “does taking a class on Robin Hood count?” Something changed when I rode that plane for eleven hours last year– with a truly frustrating seatmate, I might add. The thought of riding in a plane doesn’t send me into hardcore panic mode like it used to… in fact, the only thing I felt on the way to Minnesota over winter break was excitement to see Boyfriend and meet his friends and family. I think they call it “growing up” or maybe something flowery like “expanding my worldview”… either way, I’m much more content with throwing myself out of my comfort zone than I was.
Now, this isn’t to say that I’m getting on a plane every week to go somewhere cool and new– I wish, right? I think it just means that I’ve become comfortable with the uncomfortable, and I’m ready to take in as many experiences as I can while I have the time. If I had it my way, I would go every single place possible by car, boat, plane, or train, and see everything there was to see before coming back home to Tigger and Netflix (because yes, I still love my Netflix). I’ve come to a point where my excitement for new things outweighs my Paranoid Parrot panic mode.
Okay, so maybe I still have a little Paranoid Parrot in me, but that’s just one of the lovable and quirky parts of who I am. I will always worry that I forgot to take a toothbrush and I will always be the only one following along as the flight attendant reads off the safety instructions, should our plane drop out of the sky. The difference is that it won’t hold me back from getting to a place that has things to show me and lessons to learn. And because it’s good to remember that yes, I have toes and ankles and yes, 80-degree weather is a thing that exists, LA here I come!