2 Minute Read
There’s always that part of an epic journey when I worry I might not make it.
It happens to me on long haul flights. I’m usually in deep discomfort, with painful muscle spasms, dehydration and intense headaches. And to be honest? I’m slightly freaked that I won’t make it through to the other side.
I remember my first long-haul flight. I hadn’t slept for 2 nights before I boarded the plane. Mid-flight, I was so desperate for real rest that I didn’t even care if the plane went down, because I couldn’t stand being awake anymore. I know that sounds dark and dramatic, but as someone with a tendency for chronic pain, psychic sensitivities, and a low-tolerance for stimulation (oh, and a economy-class budget), long-haul flights can feel like a waking nightmare.
If you’ve ever been brought to the very edge of your own sanity through physical pain (I certainly have)—or grief or sadness or rage (been there, too), then you know this feeling.
It’s ruthless and brutal and nearly unbearable.
For me, long haul flights are always that metaphorical microcosm of times in life when you just don’t think you’re going to make it. For me, it reminds me of times I’ve spent in the hospital, times I’ve had my heart broken, times that loved ones have died.
You know, when the worst case scenario is your actual reality.
But there is great power in continuing on; more power than we can ever know until we are through it. This is one of the gifts of being human; that our efforts do not go unrewarded.
At the end of our journey, we can look back and say: “I made it through the unimaginable part. Perhaps I’ve changed. Perhaps I don’t even recognise myself. Maybe I’m still lost, and maybe I’m still hurting, but I’m here now. I’m in this body, with this mind, and that pathway through pain is now etched inside me.”
You can use that pathway as a flight map: one that will serve as a talisman for endurance; a reminder of how hard you had to push yourself to keep going.
It will always be there with you, whispering, “keep flying.”