Here I sit, aboard a Boeing 777 to Italy pondering the concept of power. Perhaps the feel of the plane’s thrumming jet engines beneath me fueled this line of thinking, or maybe it’s simply just been a concept on my mind as of late. But as I sat, curled up in my seat next to my brother, hoping sleep will overcome my stiff, aching muscles and grant me brief reprieve, we hit some pretty rough turbulence. The call to paper took hold and, well, here I am.
It’s 11:36 p.m. and soon I’ll be thrust 6 hours ahead, the threat of jet lag looming; but at this very moment, that doesn’t matter. I’ve never been a huge fan of flying, but in the last 10 years it seems my anxiety over it has tacked on a few more layers, making things like turbulence send a shot of adrenaline piercing through my veins, causing me to grip my armrest and doubling my heart rate as it softly echoes against my eardrums. The turbulence is over … for now. But it brought me back to the word “power” and what it stands for.
I’ve had turbulence in my own life, as we all have at one time or another. But it’s only been in the recent days that I’ve fully wrapped my mind around just how much power I give those rattling winds, whether they’re person, a job, the past, the future. All I can control is myself. It’s hard to loosen the reins of control and let go of the things I can’t navigate or alter. But, while sitting here, looking out my oval window at nothing but pure darkness, I realized just how much I am not in control of. Holding on tightly to those ropes will only shackle me to the web of fears I’ve woven over the years. Whereas letting go … letting go and finding breath is releasing me, ever so slowly. And those binds – they’re dissipating.
It is now 12:04 a.m. as I lift the slate over my window to a powder blue sky seared by a crimson sun dipping into a burning orange horizon. Though I know I’ll have more rough gales awaiting me, I’m finding that it isn’t necessarily about giving power to something and finding a way to take it back. It’s about realizing it was never something to be controlled to begin with. So, as I continue to release my grip on the things that once stifled me and ride out the adrenaline of trepidation, I hope to continue finding pieces of tranquility. I’m starting with this trip, with the warm energy my Romanian relatives always seem to bring me. Because, as a wise person recently said to me: “Yes, there are things that scare me sometimes, but I like to try doing them anyway.”