Friday, January 9, 2009


I'm not sure exactly what's causing my fear of flying. It could be anything. I seem to have some aversion to heights but then again, I don't quite fit the profile of someone suffering from acrophobia. It could probably be a mild case of claustrophobia but I seem to be less terrified of much smaller and enclosed places.

I could spend a lot of time listing possible reasons for this fear and still fail to fully understand the source. It's irrational, really. And I feel pretty stupid about it most times. But no amount of introspection and self-talk can completely remove the silent fear and hopelessness that creep in every time I board a plane.

The flight back to Manila last Tuesday night further drove home the point (the point that didn't need driving home anyway!) why I often fail to enjoy the experience. As soon as the airplane took off a strong smell of burning something wafted from nowhere. I thought I was the only one who noticed it, seeing that I'm possibly the most paranoid person on board.

It was very scary because I had no idea where the smell was coming from. And my fear escalated to an agonizingly catastrophic level when people around me, most of them guys, started reacting to the smell as well. I swear I can feel their fear fueling my hyperactive imagination already.

I was so scared that I didn't have time to feel afraid anymore (go figure). It was that terror that allows nothing but dogged acceptance on my part, which is probably why I appeared calm and unaffected. I was at that point feeling quite helpless already that I just figured there's nothing I can do anymore.

The smell of mysterious origins lingered for several minutes and there was nothing but silence from the flight attendants. Maybe because we just took off and they're still in their seats and oblivious to what's happening somewhere in the plane.

It was approximately a one and a half-hour flight. And I endured every damn second of it.

So how ironic can it get that someone who's soooooo scared of flying chooses to live hundreds of miles from home and embrace activities that would require frequent flying? But then, who said life is easy?

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