How fear keeps me from flying...

I’ve wanted to fly a plane since I was about 4 or 5 when I got a ride into the sky in a Cessna with a family friend. I don’t have a lot of clear memories from before the age of 11 but I remember that. The adventure. The mystery of it all. What keeps a plane in the air? What would it be like to be in control and feel like a bird?

It’s been on my mind ever since. Amelia Earhart is my hero. I want to be her. And I’m terrified. 

Not of the actual flying, I LOVE that, but everything else connected to it. I’m scared about the cost. I’m afraid I’m not focused enough or having the capacity to pay attention to the details that will keep me in the air and bring me back to earth alive. I’m nervous to make the financial commitment, which is pretty steep.

And yet not a day goes by when I don’t dream about it. Last year I set myself a goal to get my licence by the time I’m 50. That is now less than 2 years away. Recently I visited a bunch of flight schools to decide where I want to do my training. It will take at the very minimum 6 months, and likely at least a year for me to complete the training and get good enough to take the test. So, I need to get started.

And yet, I can’t seem to do it. If I found out I was dying, I think the first thing I would do is sign up for flight school. So what’s stopping me from going for it?

Fear. Driven by stories that I have made up. “I won’t be good at it. I won’t be able to pay for it. It will take me forever to get to a point where I can pass the test.” Fear is the big kahuna. The elephant in the room. The thing standing between me and my dream, the dream I’ve held onto longer than any other. One thing I have that is stronger than that fear is my curiosity. What will it be like to hold the whole sky in my hands?

I could declare to all of you that I am going to say “screw you fear!” but I’m not quite there. I do need a gentle shove toward that edge though, and maybe sharing my fear, and my desire to overcome it will invite that gentle shove. This is too important to me to hide it, this is a conversation I want to have, me and the sky. Up there with the birds and the clouds.

I know I will regret it if I don’t do it. So, two weeks from now I am going start writing a different story and I will take my introductory lesson. I’m writing it out loud to make my new story more real. Screw the old stories, I want to fly.

What dream do you want to make real? What stories are keeping you from going for it? It’s time to write a new story. It’s time to walk toward that edge and fly.