Yes, ladies and gentleman, what Donna is saying OUT LOUD throughout the flight is what ran through my head every single flight. I'm an anxious person naturally, but so long as my hands (and mind) are busy, I'm the most efficient person you'll ever meet. I just have to be nervous enough is the trick. Don't tell my Husband, ok? So why DID I fly? Why did I subject myself to the agony of pushing through the panic?
At the time there was nothing more thrilling than seeing new people, new places, and getting paid triple what I'd been earning at Blockbuster and Starbucks. Who am I kidding, that was always my motive for flying. Before flying, I had dreams of devouring languages and working linguistics for the military. I still dream in languages other than my own. I bit the bullet and suffered in silence, hyperventilating from my jump seat so I could bear witness to castles, deserts, and cities that never sleep.
The rather ironic bottom line is that I never once landed in NYC nor Paris, and the only time I flew First Class I was a passenger. The very first time I flew First Class was on the very flight taking me to Chicago's O'Hare airport from Atlanta. Chicago was to be my new "home" for a few months as I settled into my new position as a regional Flight Attendant, flying 50 seater Canadaire Regional Jet. I was a solo Flight Attendant with 50 passengers and I averaged 3-4 flights a day all over the East Coast and some of Canada. I loved every waking minute of it. I loved how busy I was, which in turn didn't give me time to panic that we were ALL GOING TO DIEEEEEE!!!!
I of course didn't die, and neither did you. But the panic was always real and in the back of my mind. Living with the panic was no joke either. Will I ever be able to fly again? Maybe. But I do much better as a passenger these days. It's been 4 1/2 years since I flew last. I aim to change that in the next 6 months.