Facing My Greatest Fear

Guess where I’m going. My first plane ticket after the traumatic plane experience 6 years ago.

A photo posted by Angeli Marie 효선 (@meloncreme) on

It’s been a while since my last update. I haven’t worked on Day 2 of my Real Men fanaccount. I’m terribly sorry. I’ll get to that as soon as I get time to put watermark on the photos. There’s just a bunch of pictures to go through and I’m not always on my laptop.

Anyway, I’m not here to talk about the fanaccount but I’m here to write about something else more important, well at least for me.

I used to travel by plane but 6 years ago, I had a bit of a horrifying experience during a flight. I was on my way back to Tacloban after a short trip to Boracay with my parents and sister. When the plane took off, I felt like someone’s hands were tightly wrapped around my neck strangling me to death. I couldn’t breathe and I was struggling for air. It felt like all my blood vessels were going to erupt and I could feel drops of sweat trickling down the side of my face and neck. And since the weather wasn’t good that day, it took a bit longer for the seat belt sign to go off so my sweaty palms gripped the armrest tightly as if my life depended on it while I waited for the flight attendant to come. I spent the rest of the flight inhaling oxygen from a mask connected to a small oxygen tank. But it didn’t help to bring my breathing back to normal. I only felt better after we landed. Since then, the thought of getting on an airplane again scares me more than a horror movie scares me.

From then on, I refused to get on a plane even when my cardiologist told me it was safe for me to do so but I was just too scared to give it another try and so for a couple of years, I traveled to and from Manila by car. It was definitely not the smart choice because not only was it expensive but I also had to travel for hours. Like why suffer for hours when you can get there in an hour by plane? People told me that several times but I just wasn’t ready. There had to be some good reason for me to be brave enough to willingly take the risk.

And I finally got that good reason. There’s a Korean Cultural Center here in the Philippines and every year, they hold a Korean speech contest. It used to be open for their language students only but couple of years ago, they started accepting applications from non-KCC students. I so badly wanted to join the contest so I decided to give it a try. And because of that, I finally gathered enough courage to face one of my fears which is getting on an airplane.

I was having second thoughts actually. I wanted to back out because I was starting to get scared but the flight was already booked and there was no turning back. The night before, I prepared myself emotionally, mentally and physically. LOL! And when I woke up the next day, I tried not to freak out. I just thought it was just like any ordinary day and there’s no reason to get worked up. My mom arrived from Manila that morning. I was about to leave when she arrived. I tried not to cry when she told me to be brave and pray. Everyone in my family knew how big this moment was for me. Before I left the house, I gave my parents a tight hug just in case it was the last.

“God, please don’t let this be the last hug.” was all that I could think of that moment.

I thought I’d never get to see the clouds from above again.

A photo posted by Angeli Marie 효선 (@meloncreme) on

To be very honest, I was secretly wishing that time would freeze or slow down so I’ll have more time to prepare myself. I tried to distract myself. I was at the arrival area waiting for Paul oppa’s plane to land. When he arrived, I talked to him for a bit until it was time to board the plane. I was half excited and half scared as I climbed up the stairs. When I settled down on my seat, I listened to some upbeat songs on my ipod and closed my eyes and offered a silent prayer. I’m not very religious but I prayed hard to God to keep me calm and not to panic and take away all the anxiety I felt that moment. When they closed the doors and the plane started heading towards the end of the runway, I started to panic a little for a fraction of a second. But I just concentrated on the song that my ipod was playing. I don’t even remember what song it was. When the plane picked up speed, I had a smile on my face. I was thinking if I die right this moment, well at least I gave it a try and I was proud of myself. I was getting ready for that moment when the plane’s wheels finally leave the ground and when that moment came, the sudden change in altitude made me struggle to breathe for a few seconds but I was able to recover from the initial shock. I opened my eyes and looked out the window. I was so happy and I wished my mom was there with me that moment. I would have hugged her and cried happy tears.

When the plane finally landed, I hurriedly sent a series of messages to my mom and all my friends. I was like a kid who had way too much sugar. I was very hyper I could’ve jumped up and down if it weren’t for my heavy bag. I received a lot of “I told you so” messages and all I could do was just laugh at myself for being such a coward for years. It felt very rewarding that even if I had won that speech contest, I bet it will not beat the feeling I felt when I alighted the plane. I wish I had done this earlier but well, better late than never, right? Mission accomplished.

I will be talking more about the speech contest on my next post.

 

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