I’ve recently developed a fear of flying.
This all started a few months back when I was taking a short flight from Richmond Virginia to the Newark airport in New Jersey.
The flight took off as normal and I was categorically not irritated. I just graduated, I am going back to Vancouver for a week to obtain a Chinese visa then I am going to China and Japan. It’s a good day for me.
Somewhere during the second half of the flight, we started to experience intense turbulence. In hindsight, it wasn’t that bad but I suddenly felt an unreasonable urge to think about death. I tried to calm myself down by making small talk with the person next to me which is something that I NEVER ever do. The woman sitting next to me felt my nervousness but none of this affected her while I gripped harder onto my seats and looked expectantly at the seat belt that was holding me in my seat while the plane is IN THE AIR. This is it? This is the seat belt?
I never thought about flying that much. The first time that I got on an airplane was my trip from China to Canada for the first time. I was immigrating with my family and the trip was so exciting. I asked my mom if I would have blonde hair and blue eyes when we landed. She said no. And ever since that flight, I’ve taken many more since then, nothing out of the usual happened.
Even this trip to New Jersey, the turbulence was obvious but nothing especially terrifying. But I felt scared. I thought about the premise of flying, I thought about people shaking the airplane from the sides because we weren’t really flying, we were just hallucinating flight.
I thought about the lot of that then I thought about all the tragedies that happened recently on airplanes. I thought about fear. I thought about fear before death. I thought about how I would handle the fear before death because that’s much more scary than death itself.
After that, I experienced two unpleasant flights. One from Vancouver to Tokyo where I felt like my ear drum was going to pop and one from Beijing to Vancouver where the luggage compartments kept opening randomly during take off. The purple lighting and condescension from flight attendants didn’t help either.
Now I am sadly hyper aware whenever I am on an airplane. I try not to think about it, with any bad situation, I just try not to think about it.