Archive for the 'Trips to the States' Category


More on going “home”

I have been thinking the past few weeks about my wariness about going back to the US for a visit. I could blame it on me being a “bad flier”, or maybe I could recognise that there’s more going on there.

I’ve spent more than half my life away from the place where I grew up. When I go home, inevitably we all fall into our old roles, and my maturity falls away. I end up regressing to the teenage state. It’s even worse when my other sister travels up to our hometown as well. Guess who else is going “home” when I do?

At least this time I will have Mr Moggs with me (maybe I should start calling him “The Duke”). He’s never met my youngest sister, and we’ve both not met her child or my other sister’s youngest two. The Duke (hey, I like it!) and I have been married almost 9 years, and most of my family have only met him once.

Then there’s my middle sister’s husband. He’s a crap stirrer if there ever was one. Oh dear is he one. Not to mention the general embarrassments that are sometimes brought up by relatives or friends. It’s not that I’ve pretended to have a perfect past. It’s not that I’ve pretended to be someone I am not. It’s that by living so far away, by forging a life among strangers, I have been able to let go of things I should be able to let go. I don’t know if it’s typical, but I feel that around my family I am trapped by others’ definitions of who I am and reminders of past screw ups from which I’ve learned and moved on.

This anxiety has overshadowed everything and is making it hard for me to write or even concentrate on anything. Not to mention the fact I feel like I need to stop eating for a few weeks to minimize my cowishness.

But then I remember that I just need to breathe. All this projection is not going to prepare me any better for any obstacle that might come up during my visit. If anything bad happens, I am not likely to be able to anticipate it. I need to let go.

I am going back to possibly say goodbye to my parents. I am going to take nice photos of the beauty in an early New England autumn. I am going to show my family that I love them and have a nice visit. Then I am going back to my real home here in London.

Hopefully I will be able to churn out a less neurotic entry on a totally unrelated subject before I leave.


Visit booked- let the dreams of plane crashes commence

I am not a “good” flyer. I was at one point, but something changed. No, it wasn’t 9/11 that made me a coward. It seemed to develop one day out of the blue when I had no plans on flying any time in the foreseeable future. I’ve flown since I suddenly developed my irrational fear, but it wasn’t nice. The flights I have taken since then were short hops compared to the ones we will take to the US and back. Yeah, I hate flying so much that we did an ocean crossing. At least that had the bonus of being an incredibly cool thing to do.

So, in anticipation of the fact that I would probably need to fly home at some point, I enrolled in Virgin’s Flying Without Fear online course. I sort of read the emails, and they actually helped a lot. So I suddenly realised I am not afraid of flying, but afraid of giving up control. It’s the same thing that probably compels me to use the passenger side invisible break pedal when in the front seat of a car. Yes, I am a control freak of sorts, and we come in cute and cuddly bundles such as myself. I’ve considered doing the in person course, but we’ve not had the extra money for it.

So without the irrational fear, I decided to look at Youtube videos of Virgin flights so I can get an idea of what to expect on board. Most included footage of the in-flight video and game system, with not a few shots of the navigation map. These maps include information like the wind speed, how fast the plane is going, and oh yeah, the outside temperature. Know what the temperature at 37000 ft in the middle of summer over the Atlantic? Answer: -64 F. For some reason, even though it makes perfect sense and I probably already knew that it was cold way up there, seeing that in blue and white on that little screen freaked me out.

I sort of dealt with all that, or at least I thought I did. We’ve now booked the tickets and know where we’re sitting. I am keeping myself calm about the whole thing, and I don’t want to resort to trying to get a new GP to prescribe me some sort of sedative to fly. When I am awake, I feel fine about flying. When I sleep, well I have dreams of planes falling out of the sky.

Not only that, I have dreams about doing an Atlantic crossing again. In these dreams, everything is rosy and nice. Usually they have the same people in them as the dreams where the planes fall out of the sky like a friend of mine from Buffalo who has very little connection with our trip to the States other than we might possibly see her if she can afford the trip to where we are staying. Really not enough of a connection to make sense for her to be in both the plane dreams and the dreams about ocean liners. Obviously, my brain isn’t totally convinced by the stuff I am willing it to believe. It’s sending me these oh so subtle hints whilst we sleep.

Of course I am going to do my best to board those flights and not freak out. I’ve really put this off too long in part due to this fear. If I could channel my 16 year old self, the one that valued adventure and travel so much that she loved flying and was sorry when a plane she was flying on landed, I would.

May 2018
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