The "I Won't" Phrases on a Plane to Aruba
"Cookies, peanuts or pretzels?"
The Delta flight attendant repeats to every person in every row on our steady flight to Aruba.
I have no idea what to expect when I land. On every trip there is sense of newness like the pop of a new chips bag or the first bite into a crispy apple, I wait for my senses to absorb the taste...sweet, sour, perfect, lacking?
Except this time, it's not my taste buds that I wait for, but my sense of sight and smell. Will this new place be good, safe, convenient, dangerous, everything I hoped?
It's amazing how at the end of every stay, in every location, we are able to make it feel a little bit like home. Familiarity becomes a friend and I take it with me where I go. It helps me feel less afraid and more at home in every new surrounding.
But I can't imagine that I'll know the streets of Aruba at the end of these next 30 days. I can't imagine being able to feel at peace like I eventually did in San Diego or Kingman, because the idea that I'm going to a completely different country has got me all wound up.
I really don't know what to expect, and I hate that.
So here I sit, in a row of airplane seats, my children fighting next to me, my husband tearing up at the movie on the screen about a man finding baseball talent in India, and I'm grateful.
Tired, nervous, scared and grateful.
I've learned well these past few months how all those feelings can coexist in my heart at exactly the same time.
The flight attendant just announces that we are landing in 30 minutes.
I don't know what the next 30 days will bring.
It will be a mixture of things I'm sure. But I am reminded that fear should not stop me from trying new things, new cultures, new ways of life.
- I won't avoid Australia because I'm afraid of snakes and spiders.
- I won't avoid New York because I'm afraid of being mugged on the streets.
- I won't avoid Arizona because I'm terrified of scorpions.
- I won't avoid Florida because of sharks, flesh eating diseases, or alligators.
- I won't avoid San Francisco because of the potential earthquakes.
- I won't be afraid to go camping because of the bugs.
- I won't avoid traveling to Europe because I can't speak the variety of languages needed to communicate.
I know these sound crazy and foolish, but fears are often just like that. They make perfect sense in our heads, but try saying them out loud to someone, much less write them down, and suddenly, they become surmountable and a lot less scary.
I won't let fear dictate my path; I won't let it steer my life.
I will use wisdom and common sense.
But fear and anxiety? I want these removed from my life's motivations shelf.
I'm doing something adventurous. I'm pushing through the fear and the unknown and daring life to let me live it.
And when I'm done with Aruba, I'll be planning the next territory to conquer.
But for today, as my once steady flight begins to bump and shake with Caribbean turbulence, I answer, "cookies, please,"
...and wait to reach my destination.