I’m back in Maine, which means, of course, that I survived the four flights that I had dreaded. With an optimistic attitude and a little lorazepam, I made it. I never did have to use the “freak-out” coupons that Matt and Sarah gave me, so I’m framing them. I bought a Continental Airlines plane keychain accessory to attach to my keychain, so every time I pick up my keys, I can say with satisfaction (and a bit of wonderment!), “Hey, I did that!”
This trip, besides giving me some absolutely incredible time with my family and friends, has given me yet another reason to believe in myself. Every time I look at my keychain, I will again realize my potential. Every time I gaze at the unused “freak-out” coupons on the wall, I will remember that I overcame a paralyzing fear of flying.
As with anything, the encouragement I received from my family and friends proved instrumental in my success. Ed gave me his blessing to make the trip, and Sarah and Matt took an understandable risk in accompanying me, considering my past experiences. I appreciate the fact that no one tried to belittle my anxiety, and instead of saying, “Oh, it’s nothing. It’ll be fine,” they acknowledged my anxiety and tried to ease my fear, and they all understood the significance of my ability to conquer it. Their support was invaluable.
Once again, I have come to realize that I am still capable of doing more than I think I can do. Without such challenges to give me the opportunity (and necessity) to expand my comfort level a little, how will I otherwise realize my potential? This is not to say that I am now anxious to take silly or dangerous risks just for the challenge. But I know that in a case of a fear that prevents me from doing something I really want/need to do, it is worthwhile to tackle. And thus I take one more step in my growth.
While in Memphis, I was amused to see the cross-stitch picture I had given my mother many years ago. It features a small chicken sitting atop a huge egg, and under it, just these words: Never say “I can’t." I will try to take that to heart. I may say, “I don’t want to,” or “It makes me uncomfortable to,” or even “I'm scared to,” but I’ll try not to say, “I can’t.” Every one of us has unique challenges. What may freak me out may be easy for you, and what makes you sick to your stomach may be effortless for me. For whatever reason, most of us are afraid of something and that fear is holding us back in some way. We doubt our abilities, negate our power, and succumb to pessimism - all of which drains our energy and limits our lives. Here’s to the challenges - and here’s to family and friends who choose to encourage and inspire! Thanks, everyone! You are all my heroes!