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Two weeks ago, I stumbled upon this idea that was started by Lisa-Jo Baker. It is called “5 Minute Friday”. The concept is simple: each week she decides on a topic or word and you write for 5 minutes with no editing, no proof-reading, nothing. Five minutes of just letting the words flow. I find that very intriguing and decided that I would like to start participating as a way to connect with those that visit Detours in Life and a way to enhance my writing. 

The topic today is “Fly”. 

I have to admit this topic took me by surprise. Fly, the ability to fly through the air with wings, in a plane, or the creature that annoyingly buzzes around my food when I’m eating outside. I decided that I would talk about one of my greatest fears, which is flying in a plane. 

I wasn’t always scared to fly. As a child, I took a few flights with my parents, including long ones overseas. My fear of flying started in college. I remember sitting in a plane in my hometown waiting to take off for a short one hour flight back to college and the pilot coming on with an announcement. The announcement talked about having to “jump off” the plane so they could get it started since they were having power issues. I sat there and thought to myself “how strange is this and what if the plane stalls in mid air?” I spent the entire next hour scared out of my mind worrying about whether this plane would make it to our final destination. Thus began my fear of flying. 

As I have gotten older, the fear has only gotten worse. I am a wreck inside from the moment we back away from the gate until we touch down on the ground again. I have been known to cry in turbulence, want to get off a plane that was delayed due to a mechanical reason, and now I’m to the point where I do take something to “relax” me when I do need to fly. I have tried to figure out what this fear of flying is really about – fear of mechanical failure, fear of death, fear of the unknown – I think though the fear comes from a complete lack of control. I have no control over my fate once I step on a plane! I can’t save myself should something go wrong, I can’t fix a problem that might occur, I’m completely at the mercy of the pilot and his/her crew. That is a very scary thought for me! 

I tell myself that the pilot is experienced, he/she wants to land safely and go home as well, and that plane travel is much safer than traveling in a car – yet none of these things takes away the sheer panic that I feel when that plane accelerates at the end of a runaway to take off. The last flight I took, departed in a snow storm and it was extremely bouncy during take off. Thank goodness for my “relax” pill and some Yanni music or I think I would have lost it!