I used to have a great great anxiety of flying. Now, when you have anxiety attack, your system gets a nice shot of adrenaline. This is because you’re totally freaking out and your body is like, yes, of course, there must be a great danger, I will equip you with the fight or flight serum.
Because I’m getting on a flight!
But when that much adrenaline is pumping, your body shuts down non-essential functions. Like your digestive system. Yeah, you thought that was essential, right? But no. Beating heart. Inflating lungs. That’s essential. You can go without processing food for a while.
That was actually the clue that keyed me into my problem. I had NO IDEA I was having anxiety attacks! None! I popped a motion sickness drug after the first time I took advantage of those conveniently located vomit bags (and all the other bags in my immediate vicinity) and fell asleep. What happened an hour later? I took a trip to the glorified portapotty to regurgitate a single perfectly shaped pill. Your stomach is supposed to digest things within an hour.
A script for the little peach pills later, and my flying problems were a thing of the past. As long as I took them every 8 hours on the dot or so help us all. I had to set an alarm for my trans-pacific flight. I missed the second alarm. After your digestive system shuts down, there is no Xanax magic…
Four years of my life, I lived this way.
Until I got pregnant.
No Xanax for the pregnant ladies.
An international flight. With an 8 month old. Moving to PNG. For three years. There was kind of a lot happening. And I was fine. I was so preoccupied with my little crawling bundle of joy, I didn’t have time to worry about the plane crashing in a fiery tragic end.
And as I prepare for getting back on the plane and taking a playful 3 year old and a feisty 2 year old on another international journey to a world allegedly their home, with 9 planes, 6 nights in a hotel, spanning 5 countries, I’m very thankful for my children.
Now, let me plan our transport and shuttles and what we’ll be doing with those 2 carseats when.
Then, let me make sure baby girl has pee-peed on the potty and pull that book out for my boy.
Let me splash in the pool and stoop to look at bugs and gaze at the stars.
And only after. After, let the reality sink in.
That I’ve left my beautiful village house. I left my encouraging and progressing translation work. That I’ve left my team who has become my family. That I left that all behind to leap through an insane journey and arrive at a place where I have no place to call my own. To return to the stressful, defeating, merciless work of fund raising where new partners are treasured beyond all measure because of the exhausting and debilitating road we trekked to find them. To the family and friends who have changed and grown in ways that we don’t know.
Because right now, it seems too much to bear. But in America, after goodbyes are rushed through because my kids have already made it through security and I should really run after them. After the eight days (we spend one night in the sky) of adventure vacationing/traveling (because every vacation is an adventure vacation when you have two toddlers) that I’ll need all those pictures to actually remember. After I have a Starbucks coffee in my hand and I sit in a climate controlled room. Well, by then, half of that chaos will be already be a fond memory. By then, it’ll seem like we’re halfway back to PNG. By then, it’ll seem like, if I can get through the first two bits, I can certainly get through the last.
So now, I push aside the worries that won’t add a moment to my life, and thank God for the children He gave me that remind me that life is right here, right now. In this peculiar shaped substance on the ground. Is that buai spit? Yes. Here I thought life was about getting to the airport two hours before boarding time for domestic flights and three hours before international flights, but no. It’s about admiring the buai spit splatter on the ground.