Rekindle your Passions

 

Sometimes, when a person is being dragged down by nearly every aspect of life, they have to stop and really think about what they love.  At that moment, they have the opportunity to reconnect with the passions that used to drive them.  Not long ago, I found myself giving up on and turning away from nearly everything I ever loved, and nearly forgetting HOW to love at all.  Sure, I could like things, but it was always transitory and a little hollow. There was no incentive to try or do anything because the reward for success was so small.

One of the things I used to love, and am learning to love again, was flying.  I did quite a bit of it, but then my fear and social anxiety raised their ugly heads.   I wasn’t successful in getting my license, and later financial troubles took me away from flying altogether. This hurt a LOT.  Eventually I got tired of it hurting and started caring about it less.  When we give in to fear and pain as I did, we die inside.  Sure enough, I started caring less about other things too, like art. Art is the one thing I’ve loved since babyhood.  Then various disasters struck and I started running from my fear and pain there too… it was a decline that ate away at my joy.   Only now, coming out on the other side of it, can I see just how much.

I once started a flight diary. I lovingly described every detail of my aviation experience. I stopped when I quit flying. The question now remains, how do I want my story to end? In defeat, or victory?  A famous aviatrix once believed that success lay mostly in tenacity, in not giving up. I was very good at giving up. How about giving that up?  When I started this process, I wondered  “do I have what it takes to say ‘from where the sun now stands, I will give up no more, forever?’   I wasn’t sure if I did or not.

I started rereading some of my old favorite authors, did art about flight again, read AirNav to get a look at what’s in my area. I felt tension build inside me, fear mixed with happiness.  It was rocky and I still don’t have it down perfectly.  I have setbacks.  Still, overall, I felt more passion and joy reenter my life.  In essence, I re-found myself.

You can do this too.  Is there something you’ve given up because of fear or loss of hope?  You can have it back again.  Let’s feed the joy and let it outshine the fear.

Looking Down at the World

It’s an interesting feeling, watching the world from the cockpit of a small plane. I used to fly. I even lived at a small airport for a while. Any old (air)port in a storm, as they say. When I lived at the airport, I usually flew in Cessna 152b trainers. They are small planes with two seats, a high wing design, one propeller, and a 108 horsepower four cylinder engine. They fly at a speed of about 80-110 miles per hour, and they weigh around 1500 pounds fueled. You can easily tow them on the ground without help.

I loved flying in those little planes. We rarely went out at night, and of course we always had rules of safety and politeness so we would avoid annoying people on the ground. Of course, by that I mean we didn’t want to annoy people on the ground, but I suppose you could read that the other way, that we also avoided the annoying people who were on the ground!

Either way, we didn’t fly too low, or in certain areas where it might be safe, or too close to man-made objects.. I learned how to do all kinds of things in the air. Various kinds of navigation, different turns, staying steady with my course, crossing hills or mountains safely. The world flattened out, hills looked insignificant, and suddenly roads were just valuable navigation landmarks. I’d look down at the freeway, see the cars crawling there like ants, and laugh like a loon. “I’m up here!” I’d cry. “You’re down there!”

Towns and fields, forests and waterways all spread below me. One of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen was at six thousand feet, above the clouds It was like flying over a sparkling white plain, with hills and clumps of puffy white and nothing but the blue, blue sky above. That was glorious! Another beautiful sight: a night flight, with a full moon in the sky and the wing gone silver with the light.

When I was new to flying, the sight that amazed me most was simple. The left main tire, in its fairing, sitting just below and next to my window. I’d seen that wheel touching the gritty pavement as I’d started the plane and taxied out to the runway. Now, below it, there was nothing under it but a thousand feet of space. That, and green fields, hills, rivers, roads, and a whole world to be flown over.