The first time I flew, the most disconcerting part was the taking off part.
The plane – this huge thing that was way more powerful than I was – began to move. It moved faster and faster, not giving me a chance to get used to the speed. It sped down the runway, and then I felt that strange sensation, and I knew that we had left the ground. I was sitting in this tube of speed, off the safety of ground.
And there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.
Of course, I am being dramatic for effect. But the lack of control over something that absolutely affected me was very clear. It wouldn’t have mattered if I had jumped from my seat, knocked at the pilot’s door crying, and begged to land. The flight was in motion.
I did well on that flight, btw. It was actually exhilarating. It was amazing to see everything grow tiny from this brand new view. And when I landed, I was across the country in the land of Hollywood Star Walks and perpetual summer (okay, it was just Los Angeles, but you get the point).
I wonder….they always board the plane for what seems like an unnecessarily long amount of time before the flight actually takes off. For me, on that first flight, it was good. I got to look around the plane, get used to my seat, pray, look out the window, adjust the little air…what is that called? I read the safety information, looked at overpriced weird items in Sky magazine. By the time the plane began to move, I was almost – but not quite – ready. And even then, the plane moved slowly, taxiing onto the runway, getting into position. The heart rate that had become erratic calmed down again.
And even though the takeoff was new, and I still had no real control over its pace…..it was an adventure rather than a terror.
And it still is.
It’s a bit like fate and change. In the end, I have no control over it….but pace is everything.