I took a flying lesson last weekend. I know I'm amazing, fearless, like Amelia Earhart, blah, blah, blah.
I did feel pretty fearless ... after getting off the plane at the end. I did not feel fearless on my third bathroom visit prior to boarding the tiny Cessna as I cursed Groupon for making flying a small plane with my husband seem like a good idea.
|Could my smile be more forced?|
The flight instructor was brave to
snap photos while I was at the helm.
I had a steady balance of fear and excitement, which probably wasn't surprising. The thing that did surprise me about flying was the relationship to air.
"Well, duh," you're saying.
But really, holding the yoke (that's the steering wheel thingy) is not a smooth experience like driving a car on a straight road. It's more like driving one of those old time cars at an amusement park, where the wheels hit the metal track in the middle and you veer left, then right, then left again.
You are both working with and fighting against the wind at all times. That's the thing about air: it just does its own thing. And you need it to do that. You need it to push down on the wings and also hold them up.
But it doesn't know (or care) what you want to do. If you want to go left, it may push you right, making you fight for the left turn. If you want to climb, it may hold you down, making you pull harder on the yoke to gain the altitude.
|For you pareidolia fans:|
clouds on the water
Though I was at the controls, I never really felt in control. Though I tried to grip the wheel into submission, I found I had to loosen up and let go (actually, the instructor had to gently remind me several times that my knuckles were turning white.) This is a hard lesson for a control freak like me.
In the plane, I could only move the wheel and the pedals. As a writer, I can't control publishers, readers, agents, fate, luck... I can really only control my pen and paper. (Goodness knows even my computer has a mind of its own too.)
Sometimes the wind will push you down, and when the wind is too strong, it may seem impossible to write at all. And sometimes the right character, the right feedback, the right opportunity will push your wings to the sky and you'll soar. All you have to do is let go.
So what's the dumbest thing Groupon has made you do?? : )