I think I’m becoming more of a scaredy cat the older I get.
(Yes, this is me ignoring the fact that I owe you a list update. I’m on vacation. Deal with it.)
When I was little, I was fairly fearless. I did gymnastics, flinging my body at thin mats and on wobbly bars. I was obsessed with snorkeling, considering the thrill of the swim a more motivating force than the threat of sharks. And I loved traveling by place, even reveling in the dips and drops of turbulence. It was like a roller coaster!
But somewhere along the way, something changed.
Now, I’m kind of terrified of things. I can’t even turn a cartwheel because I can’t stop picturing my face smashing into the ground. Deep open water gives me heart palpatations. And as for turbulence…well, as you probably assumed, there’s a story with that one.
As you may know, I’m in Iowa for my sister’s wedding. And it was no small feat getting here.
We had to take two flights (there is no such thing as a direct flight to Des Moines), and about ten minutes into the first flight we started experiencing some turbulence. Like, a lot.
It was like a giant person grabbed the tail of the plane and started shaking it up and down.
The first big jolt, everyone in the plane flew up in their seats and a few people screamed (I may or may not have been one of them). I’m not even exaggerating when I say the first thing that popped into my head was “the plane is going to crash and we’re going to die.”
The turbulence continued for the next ten minutes or so, though it felt like hours.
I was a wreck. Tears were streaming down my face, and I’m pretty sure I cut off the circulation to Joey’s hand a couple of times. (Side note: One of the best parts about our relationship is that we have this natural dynamic where when one of us is freaking out, the other one is scarily calm and rational. Joey was a champ while I continued to have a nervous breakdown.)
After we moved down to a lower altitude to escape the wind, I calmed down a bit, but I had a stomach ache and a tension headache by the time we landed. I felt even more justified for my terror when someone asked a pilot who was sitting across the aisle (he was a passenger, not the pilot of our plane…thank goodness) what the worst turbulence he’d ever seen was. He looked at everyone uneasily and said, “That was the worst turbulence I’ve ever seen.”
The point is, I have never genuinely thought I was going to die before. I guess I’m losing some of that vulnerability that comes with youth.
Which is a fancy way of saying I think I’m getting older.
Also, that flight was really scary.