Flyin’ High

“Don't give in to your fears. If you do, you won't be able to talk to your heart.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist.jpgI found this draft I wrote in March 2017 while on a plane to NYC, my dream vacation destination. I decided I would go ahead and hit publish without touching a thing.

I’m on a plane with my family. It’s Sophie’s and Sydney’s first flight. They were both very nervous, as was the more experienced flyer, Kyle. If I’m being honest, I didn’t exactly feel the warm and fuzzies as we were climbing 30,000 feet either. But here we are. Above the clouds and looking down, eating peanuts and looking at the tiny buildings below.

I’m reminded of a scary takeoff from a few months back. This time, instead of packing my bags, I was packing boxes. Sifting through filing cabinets and folders and desk drawers, I pulled out tests that were marked with dates that were 10, 12, 14 years in the past. I saw names of students I had long forgotten to remember and ones I am assured I will never be able to forget. Literal scrapbooks of memories made the cut to the boxes. Poems, essays, thank you cards were also tucked carefully in their cardboard taxis. And I packed up 14 years of my life.

As I fanned through stacks of paper that represented hours upon hours of grading, I occasionally came across something one of my own children drew for me or a card they gave me or a poem Kyle wrote me, and the memories became about more than just years in a building but years of a life. And that life was good.

Kyle helped me pack all of those memories into my car, and after a few weeks of sweating in the Alabama heat in our garage, they made it to their new home. And here comes the part that came into my mind as I’m flying above these clouds.

I’m flying. I had to let myself feel the fear of taking off into the unknown in order to fly. I had to trust the Pilot to keep me aloft until I could feel the safety of the ground beneath me again. I’m there. It was all worth it. I have been rejuvenated, encouraged, and enlightened.

I am growing in this new adventure, and I can now look back fondly on the turbulence and the feeling of absolutely nothing under my feet and…as this plane ride is getting a little bumpy…I can hold on and know this will be worth it when my feet are once again firmly planted.

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