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100 Years

December 17th, 2003

So it’s been 100 years since the first airplane flight. Wow.

You know what I hate? I hate how growing older ruins things. Not just the “there’s not really an Easter Bunny, Santa Claus or Tooth Fairy” things either. I mean how growing old, and being introduced to a little thing called reality, makes us more fearful of the world around us. Such things as flying, for example.

The first time I went on a flight was when I was around 5-6 years old and my grandparents took my cousin and me to Disney World. I was so excited to be on the plane and thought watching the ground grow smaller as we took off was so cool. I went to Disney World again sometime when I was … um … who knows – 10? I honestly can’t remember. Again, I enjoyed the flight. Then we went to Disney World a third time when I was in high school, and while I wasn’t as thrilled, I certainly wasn’t scared.

Well … that has changed. The last time I was on a plane was in 1996 when I went to London. I was pretty apprehensive about flying, and I just so happened to come down with the flu right before I boarded the plane. Seriously – I was fine until I was sitting in a restaurant killing time before my flight took off. I have to wonder if it was mere coincidence or if I literally made myself sick from worrying. In any case, I spent the ensuing 10 days in my friend’s bed feeling horrible, only venturing out when I had to (like to see the most awesome Cure concert I’ve ever been to). It was disappointing to say the least to have missed so many sights because I felt so terrible.

So anyway … after growing older and wiser, and realizing that each time I set foot on a plane I could possibly die, well, I’m certainly in no hurry to get on another plane. September 11th didn’t help matters much either.

So I guess I’m just wondering how many of you out there is scared of flying, and if you don’t fly because of it. I figure I have to get over this fear because there are a lot of places I’d like to visit and I don’t plan on driving to all of them. Maybe anti-anxiety drugs would work? How does one stop obsessing over dying in a fiery crash? I realize that statistically speaking driving is far more dangerous than flying, but at least my car is planted firmly on the ground and I am in control of it (yea, the control freak in me is uncomfortable putting my life in someone else’s hands).

God, I hate what a wuss I’ve become. :p

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  1. michael
    December 18th, 2003 at 02:24 | #1

    I must have been the opposite. When I was a kid and rode the little roller coaster that just went in a circle I freaked out. Now, knowing how safe it is statistically speaking, I have no fear.

  2. December 18th, 2003 at 09:53 | #2

    I’m an aerospace engineer – and if four years of studying aircraft design didn’t put me off flying forever, nothing will. I know how planes are designed and built and I know the kind of people designing them… and it’s a bit scary, but I’m all right with it. They design with a nice safety margin for error, a ton of redundancy, and they test like crazy. It’s all good. The best part of flying to me: turbulence. I love it – it’s like a roller coaster. =)

  3. December 19th, 2003 at 11:51 | #3

    I’m sort of the same way… I don’t get nervous flying or anything, but each time I get on I do realize that I COULD die. Especially if I’m alone and think about how my parents would deal with it, fun thoughts ;) In some sick way, I enjoy flying with my parents AND brother to have the peace of mind that we’d all die together and none of us would be stuck alone. Sick huh? :)

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