I’d probably be unbearably cocky if the evolution I’m trying to take with my person didn’t continue to go two steps forward and one step back.

A year ago today I made myself gulp down a 20-year fear of flying and step onto a plane. My sister had unexpectedly passed the month before, and still, I went ahead with my plans and got on that plane.

I flew from Washington, DC to Hawaii, non-stop for 12 hours. The trip went better than expected! I was so happy and proud. Three hours later, I got on a 2nd plane for the short 30-minute hop over to the island where I would stay for the next two months. It went TERRIBLE! And I was so disappointed in myself for not having overcome my fear of flying like I thought I had when I stepped off that first plane.

I worried the whole time in Hawaii about whether or not I could handle the return trip. Not that I had a choice, I had to go home. Again, I didn’t do as well as I had hoped, and felt like such a failure because I wasn’t instantly cured.

Once I was home for a while though, my gut told me that I HAD done something big, and part of me walked the world calmly stronger. Of course, me being me, I couldn’t just stay with that good feeling! Soon enough, the shock of my sister’s passing wore off and the grief set in, and my bolder self – the New and Better Me – kind of faded away. I haven’t stepped on a plane since.

But I know I will. Once I’m done grieving my beautiful sister, I will get it up. Swallow down that fear again, because more than anything, I don’t want to limit myself. And yet I’ll do it with a lot more humbleness and gratitude then I would have done, had the Gods allowed me to succeed in full the first go-round.

The moral of this story? If you don’t give up, one step increments will eventually get you where you want to be. Here’s hoping that you, too, have someone’s eyes to scratch out – in my case, Funk’s – when you’re mad at the world.

The incredibly UNFLATTERING photo: Me, after the doors to the plane closed and there was no escaping. I include it to make my posts as real as they can be. Because to me, part of the problem with our world is there’s a lot of myth surrounding most everything we do. And that goes a long way in creating a sense of failure when we don’t live up to things, even though they’re false.

As you can see in this horror of a photo, I’m absolutely terrified and Funk is smirking. Smirking! That’s why it’s okay to scratch your loved one’s eyes out every once in a while. Figuratively speaking, of course!


Grateful Dead accompaniment:

Winter grey and falling rain, we’ll see summer come again,
Darkness falls and seasons change (gonna happen every time).
Same old friends the wind and rain, Summers fade and roses die,
You’ll see summer come again, Like a song that’s born to soar the sky.

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