I’ve been comparing this time period of my life to flying for a while now. Oddly enough, around the time we went into lock down, I felt this new sense of freedom, happiness & complete redirection. I remember I kept saying “ohhh I’m going higher” everyday as I felt myself elevating & transforming out of the life that I was accustomed to. Each day I left something else behind & picked something new up. The life that I was building for myself in the past was becoming more & more distant. Tbh, I had no idea where I was going on this “flight” but I knew that I wasn't returning & I knew the flight wasn’t over. About 2 months in, this continuous surge of happiness & elevation day after day started slowly coming to an end.
I thought that the next step on this flight was “reaching my cruising altitude” and just coasting...chilling & enjoying everything around me- no more elevation or transformation, just coasting at my new happy point. Lol @ “I thought”, cus here I am not chilling, not coasting & more stressed than a muthafucka. My “down for the ride” uncertainty turned into complete “where tf are we going, wtf is happening” confusion. I call this stage, instead: Turbulence. Shook & scared! Afraid of crashing, afraid of falling, afraid of dying, just all around anxious.
I love flying. Everything about it, from the excitement of being in new airports, to the peace of looking out the window seat listening to Badu. The only thing I hate about flying is turbulence. It scares the SHIT out of me every time! Feeling the plane shake, hearing all of the little cracking noises & seeing the seatbelt sign go on. I have a panic attack every trip. As dramatic as it sounds, everytime I experience turbulence I think I’m going to die. Every time I pray. I thank God for everything I was blessed with and affirm to myself that I’ve lived a good life & navigated thru it with a pure heart. I reflect on how I’ve accomplished a lot despite where I’ve come from & if today is the day I die, then I’ll make peace with that. I prepare myself for the worse but also hope & pray I make it to my destination.
I wish I could say that was just some poetic, over-exaggerated metaphor but that’s exactly how I feel in those moments & exactly how I’ve been feeling...for months now. Like one long ass panic attack. I’m achieving my goals. I’m far from where I was & closer than ever to my destination; yet my anxiety is through through the roof right now. So much so that it makes me equally depressed at times. But the weird thing is, it’s not everyday. I have my moments where I’m like “ahhh things are finally starting to calm down again...I feel good again, everything’s okay, why was I even tripping?” then BOOM.
SHOOK. All over again. Deep sigh.
I keep telling myself “the only way to get through it, is to go through it” & I’m trying my best. I’m really trying. I try to remember my old therapy sessions & remember how much I’ve already grown & how I’ve been thru much worse than what I’m going thru now; but it still only eases the feeling temporarily. I learned a long time ago that trying to deep breathe & meditate anxiety attacks away doesn’t work or nor does trying to accomplish my way out of depression. So I’m doing the one thing that’s helped me in the past, allowing myself to simply go through it & having compassion for myself while doing so.
Luckily, I have enough experience to know that this discomfort is temporary, enough wisdom to know that sometimes growth requires extreme amounts of discomfort & enough resilience to know that imma bounce back better. Despite this wild ass journey & periods of uncertainty, I still trust where I’m going. I read that turbulence is one of the main reasons why people are afraid of & avoid flying, despite turbulence itself being practically harmless. The more I think about the concept of flying to your destination in relation to life & navigating through hard moments, the more evident the phrase “the only way to get through it is to go through it” becomes. Turbulence, like discomfort, is more often than not, apart of the process of growth & getting to where you’re trying to go.
The universe, just like the pilots, provides us with a safety plan & a team to lean on. Our spirit guides, just like the flight attendants, know that everything is going to be okay. And we, as humans navigating through rough times, just like when we are passengers on flights, know that reaching our destination always makes the journey worthwhile in retrospect.
Planes are built to withstand turbulence & so am I. So are you.