Thursday, July 16, 2015

Challenge Layout #3

Woo hoo! I just finished my final layout for the Ms. Pac-Man challenge. 
This one's about my fear of flying, which always intensifies just before a trip and dissipates once I am safely back home.

I live in Hawaii, which means that the closest land-based destination outside of the archipelago is about five hours away. I dread flying across the massive expanse of the Pacific Ocean, with no nearby airports in sight just in case an engine fails or the cabin fills with smoke or the pilot realizes that we have run out of gas or the aircraft overheats or the entire crew comes down with food poisoning or a crazed idiot throws open one of the doors or a sudden storm appears or the plane simply becomes like a Looney Tunes character -- in realizing that it is hovering in midair, it suddenly drops out of the sky.

I'm a reasonably intelligent being (despite the madness you just read in the previous paragraph), and I do understand that this thing called Science keeps the plane up in the sky, but I'm also somewhat of a fatalist and a worrier and a nutcase, so my faith in Science tends to waver when faced with the prospect of being on a plane.

Still, even though that fear takes hold of my mind, I won't let it rule me. I want to travel, and I will. I don't want to be that person who won't let herself experience life because of the daunting What If.

So I get on the plane. I pray. I study the flight crew's expressions. I hold my husband's hand and bury my face in his shoulder. I shake my head at my daughter, who thinks flying is "fun." I pretty much dehydrate myself, so that I won't have to get up to use the restroom mid-flight, drinking water only during the last hour. I try to sleep, though that's impossible for me (why can't I sleep upright? WHY?). I settle for controlling my breathing. Noise cancellation headphones help -- a lot -- even though the playlist that my daughter made for me for our recent trip has led me to notice that way too many songs contain the words "crash" and "burn."

Even though I'm sure that I'll always be afraid of flying, I'm going to keep flying. I will do the thing that scares me, because on the other side of that is wonder and discovery and learning and growth. Dealing with my fear is the only way I'll learn to be brave.


  1. I am right there with you on this one! We flew to Europe from CT last spring and I felt like I held my breath the whole way. Every little tiny bump of turbulence had me thinking we were going down in the Atlantic. I tried to prepare myself by reading about techniques to curb the fear (like trying to think of turbulence as being similar to the little potholes you encounter while driving - yeah, right) but it was a very, very long flight. Now that it's been over a year, I'm starting to think about flying again. You're right - the only way to get over it is to keep doing it.

  2. Fantastic layout!! What a great thing to capture. Love the pictures, your design and the story. Great colors too!

  3. super cute layout! love the line of little planes through the crowd. I power read the whole trip. every second. and don't DARE look out the window. shudder.

  4. I would never have guessed that about you Jill. You seem so self-assured in so may ways. I'm glad you don't let the fear stop you from traveling. I hope your coping strategies continue to work. I don't have any great advise. My son is a pilot, and I can tell you... those people are calm and cool under pressure. They will keep you safe!

  5. I really love this color scheme! Fantastic layout!!