It takes a lot for me to get on a plane.

I stopped flying for twenty years, so it’s almost a miracle that I can even get on one now. Still, whenever there’s a trip coming up, it takes weeks of mental preparation. Sometimes tears. Sometimes fights with Funk, and all because I’m nervous.

But I’m getting better.

Funk and I flew to Hawaii last February, and everything that sets off my claustrophobia happened on the eight-hour segment of our flight. The plane was small. The attendants had an attitude. There was no wifi. And no outlets to plug my computer in so that I could write and take my mind off all that.

The only thing that kept me from panic was watching a movie on my iPhone. With Funk. Sharing a pair of wired earbuds.

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 my 3” x 5” screen. With one earbud. Shared across a wide armrest.

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

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

I have many favorite books that have changed my life, and I’ll share two with you.

The first, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl. I read that before experiencing a 4-year bout of pretty debilitating anxiety in my early twenties, and I think recalling the book helped carry me through to wellness.

The next, The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. This book absolutely changed my life, and it quite possibly started my journey towards becoming a New and Better Me.

My family moved from Long Island when I was fifteen, and I went to four different high schools. Which is why I’d never heard of the inquisition before reading that book. You should have seen Funk’s face—Mr. Brainiac—when I asked if he’d ever heard 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? How did they get to the games by wagon?”

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.

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