The Cost of Fear Doesn’t Have to Be High

Hello, my name is Kerri and I am a control freak. I am slightly OCD, type-A, and in addition to being “the cheapest woman alive” I rack up high levels of stress like that of a privileged socialite with a Saks credit card. Lately it has been my downfall. I lost count on the number of times I dropped my wallet, cell phone or keys in the middle of a busy store while out running errands, not noticing until I was through check out and heading to my car… in a single week. I swear. I even lost my keys heading into a cornmaze. Not my finest moment. Needless to say I’m a little overtired and have been experiencing just a wee bit of stress. With all of that being said though, only a few select things cause me extreme intrinsic anxiety, woven throughout my being, like the experience of flying. There is simply no other way to describe this horrible, awful, terrible, no-good, very bad mode of transportation in my eyes; and I don’t quite know where the fear is drawn from. I have done it more times than I can count and I seemingly only get worse and worse.

On the outside, not in an airport, I would describe myself as (overall) normal, somewhat quirky, a fundamental and well-balanced being, educated, and informed. Yet all of that literally goes out the window when it comes to jet-setting. I can only say I was born with legs not wings. The tunnel to board is the “tunnel of death.” I know the facts, but they mean nothing. I don’t want to take anything to make myself relax or sleep cue Alanis Morrissette playing Ironic as the soundtrack to my demise. All of this aside, I still do it…when I need to. Why? Because I don’t let it stop me. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. I have had some great experiences and travel opportunities but I am mentally and emotionally taxed after even a quick 45 min plane ride. I realized on my most recent trip just how deeply my fear lives within myself. I cannot even sleep on a plane because my whole body is tuned into sounds, sights, smells and motion leaving me so taxed when I finally get to my destination that I feel it will take days of rest, miles of running and hours of hot yoga to sweat it all out.

I also realized on my cross-country trip, that the only thing worse than my experience is that of the person sitting next to me. Which is where I’m really going with this post. I wanted to take a moment to say thank-you to the friends, family, flight attendants, and even strangers who have held my hand through these moments with me, not passing judgment and understanding (or at least convincingly pretending to understand) and provide empathy for my crazy. Whether the people I love and trust are sitting next to me or even on the other end of the phone hearing or reading my cries for prayers and positive vibes; sending me words of encouragement, buying me a drink, offering conversation, even just a smile. I cannot thank-you enough. Many people don’t understand and honestly, sometimes I don’t even understand because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense but I simply can’t help my reaction when the fear sets in and I thank you and love you, each and every one of you, for friendship and love. It is priceless. You are priceless.

Don’t ever let your fear, whatever it may be, get in the way of living.


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