Off to the Sky

Oct 18, 2013 by

          From the moment I saw the airport, I felt everything melt away (not that everything needed melting; my life is incredible). Enter Vacation Maria: the super chill version of myself that comes out every time I’m headed in the opposite direction of home. Whisked away, the airport takes me to another place before I even board my plane, its atmosphere consuming me: excited travellers are adventure-bound, the world is literally within reach, and daily life is just a distant memory for now.

          Prior to The Happiness Experiment, the airport and the destinations to which it led were amongst the few things that made me happy in the midst of a depression that I often doubted I’d survive. Now, I no longer need its escape. I no longer need its energy. I no longer need to fly to feel. Still, I am mesmerized by the sensation of freedom brought upon by the anticipation of takeoff. I breathe better here, knowing that I’m nearing the sky, one of the best destinations I know to get away from myself. When I fly, everything remains on the ground, stressors, anxiety triggers, and neuroticisms included.

          Everyone travels differently. I thank the travel gods that they’ve gifted me with a relaxed, couldn’t-care-less-about-perfection, go-with-the-flow travel mentality. I now strive to take on daily life with that same approach. However, there was a time when I did not. There was time when my days regularly consisted of chaining myself to the illusive safety of my bed, holding toilet paper to my mouth to smother the sound of my tears, and begging the cruel God that I still have no faith in to fucking bless me with sleep because I was too afraid to take it for myself (a fear that I’m now thankful for). At that time, I took to the sky to remind myself that there are things in this world worth forcing myself to inhale and exhale for. Floating over the clouds in the always brilliant sun, with something different awaiting me when I landed, thrilled me when nothing else could.

          Though I admit that I didn’t always enjoy flying (surviving a plane crash into the depths of the ocean and becoming a castaway scared me more than the possibility of death upon impact), it has become a source of peace. I began to like it when I started managing marketing programs on a national level for my past employer, at which point I flew to Montreal and Vancouver to train my brand teams. Those flights were my saviours from the fires breaking out all over the ground. (Event marketing is Murphy’s law.) No matter what was going wrong with my programs, what clients were competing for my urgent attention, and what managers were surely clogging up my voicemail box, no one could touch me in the sky. Disconnecting me from all of it, the sky provided the space I craved to recover my sanity. No longer needing a plane ticket to feel that freedom, I am grateful that flying still generously gives it to me.

          Today, I’m headed back to the sky. My destination, though often changing names, is essentially always the same: novelty.

Happiness Tip: Fly.

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