I think that it's one of those funny life coincidences that as I am physically learning to fly aeroplanes, I am also trying to learn how to fly spiritually and emotionally so I can one day soar into the woman I hope to become.
This woman, she is strong; she doesn't care what others think so she is not afraid to be who she is, but at the same time, she is empathetic, she takes care of others and helps them feel good about themselves; she is inspirational.
This woman laughs and dances like no one's watching, and she loves like there's no tomorrow. She stands up for who she is and for what she believes in, no matter how hard it is; but if she doesn't, if she fails like she has already and is bound to do many times in the future, she forgives herself, picks herself up, dusts herself off, and tries again.
And no matter how bad things may get, no matter where life leads her, she remembers she is the luckiest woman in the world, so she laughs loudly, sings badly, and dances her way down life's path, making the best of things.
Yes, this is whom I want to fly into; she is the person I want to be. She lives inside of me, and I catch glimpses of her every now and then. Sometimes, she even takes me over completely for a couple minutes, a day, a week, or even a summer, and I am swept up in her dance of confidence and joy, swirling around and around, dizzy with happiness and glowing with strength. I laugh at pain and crush insecurities with my leaping, twirling, skipping, dancing feet. Yes, I forget what it feels like to be trapped by sadness and fear, but sooner or later I remember, and then all I can do is dream of this woman I will one day become, and it gives me hope.
The first time I went flying with my flight instructor, I was scared out of my mind, and I wasn't too good at it either. Taxiing to the runway seemed impossible; the plane must have looked drunk, zigzagging this way and that as I tried to keep its nose aligned with the yellow centerline. I felt like I did when I was a little kid and I would walk in a straight line down my hallway with my eyes closed, loving the thrill of feeling as if I was going to crash into something even though there was nothing to crash into, except now, trying to steer a plane, I was DREADING, not loving the 'thrill'.
When we got into the air, my turns were too steep, and I couldn't hold the cruise attitude for the life of me! Even though I had practiced reading them before, once in the air, all the instruments on the control panel looked like they were written in some impossible-to-read code, and I couldn't even remember which instrument was where!
I left my flight lesson feeling excited, because no matter how hard it was, I love flying; but I was also extremely overwhelmed! How was I ever going to do this?
The next time I went flying, it was amazing - like magic. I started to taxi, and my legs just knew what to do! Sure, I wasn't perfect, but at least I was going in a straight line! And once air-borne, my turns were perfectly coordinated, and I know this because I could LOCATE and READ the turn coordinator on the instrument panel!
The sick ' I think I'm going to throw-up' feeling had left me. Feeling free and happy, my confidence grew, and I was even able to laugh and joke around with my flight instructor instead of just clutching the control column white-knuckled and silently concentrating on not killing ourselves.
It didn't seem like anything had changed between my flight lessons, and yet I was better, just like that!
It got me thinking: maybe if I just trust life, things will get better all by themselves.
I'm a salmon swimming upstream, constantly worrying and fighting life's natural current. Learning to fly is helping me to realize I just need to let go and trust the process. Nothing can make me realize who I am but time, and as I grow into the woman I want to become, I probably won't even realize it until one morning I wake up or look in the mirror or just walk down the street or climb on the bus or even just step into a mall or kiss someone of fall in love or just feel the wind caress my face, and it will come to me as gently and as comfortingly as a long-awaited snowflake on my tongue.
I'm not saying I'll discover the answers to all of life's questions, but I do have faith that one day I'll figure out a lot more than I know now.