The New and Better Me is STILL anxious on a plane.

I stopped flying for twenty years, so it’s incredible that I can even get on one now. That said, whenever there’s a trip coming up, it takes weeks of mental preparation. Sometimes tears. Sometimes fights with Funk. And only because I’m nervous.

But I’m getting better.

We flew to Hawaii last February, and everything that sets my claustrophobia off happened on that flight. The plane was small. The attendants surly. There was no wifi. And no outlets to plug in my computer so that I could write and take my mind off all that.

The only thing that kept me from full-blown panic was watching a movie on my iPhone. With Funk. Sharing a pair of wired earbuds. Craning my back over a wide armrest for two and a half hours.

Last night, I actually thought back fondly on that flight. But it was only because of the movie. Bohemian Rhapsody. It was a powerhouse. Even coming across a 3” x 5” screen.

I wouldn’t say it’s my all-time favorite, or that it changed my life, but it’s right up there. I loved the passion of it, and, that it saved me that night.

The Grateful Dead have also saved me. Their music is heady and it transports me to a place where I feel comforted and can grow. They’ve been my cosmic friends, especially in times where I felt like I had no friends.

There are many books that have changed my life, and I’ll share two.

The first, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl. I read it before experiencing a four-year bout of pretty debilitating anxiety in my early twenties, and the book helped carry me through to wellness.

The next, The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. This book changed my life, and it quite possibly started me on the path towards becoming a New and Better Me. I went from being a sniveling coward in a fetal position on the ground, to living the bigger, more carefree life I knew I was meant to live.

I’d never heard of the inquisition before reading that book.

You should have seen Funk’s face—Mr. Brainiac—when I asked if knew of that horror. It was sort of similar to when he was talking about the 49ers and the gold rush, and shocked, I asked, “Football existed back then?

My man doesn’t know how to respond when I say things like that. He’s torn between a mixture of “Isn’t she adorable” and “Is this chick serious?”

So, what’s your favorite movies and books? I promise not to get a Funk-look when you respond.

The photo: The Side Effects of Bravery: Stepping into my power. And so can you.

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