Up in the Air
As I fly through the air, I look up and see a blanket of clouds and it takes me back to being a child and my idea of heaven. I thought that when we die we would be up in the clouds enjoying eternity there with God and all of our loved ones.
But seeing this view also makes me think that this is a very small plane, and there are so many possibilities of what may happen during this 2 hour flight from Airlie Beach to Cairns. The day before we departed from a 2-day/2-night sailing trip and now somehow we are flying on a chartered plane.
We never know what each day has to offer and when our last might be. I am in a small 10-seat plane and it easily could have a malfunction or issue as we go through bits of turbulence.
We could have to make an emergency landing or heaven forbid crash. As all of these thoughts run through my head I realize that I want to make every day count, I want to thank God for all my blessings and not live a life in fear.
Hi. I’m Katy. And I joined this Great Enlivening about five weeks ago.
To give you a little background on myself I was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. I went to school in Mobile, AL, at a small Jesuit college and then returned to Montgomery and have lived and worked there for over 10 years. I have an amazing family and wonderful friends but I feel there has always been something missing.
I feel like I have lived most of my life in a state of fear, fear of someone not liking me, fear of taking a chance and making a big mistake or even the fear of ending up by myself with no one to share this life with. But as I have gotten older I realized that I have no guarantees in life about how long I will be here; I want to let go of all the fear and do the things I thought were not possible – like traveling the world.
I traveled overseas in the past but never for this extended time or without a plan. Don’t get me wrong, I have not abandoned all caution, there are some things that I know I have to maintain. For example, I am of Irish decent and have fair skin, which requires a good amount of shielding from the sun. I have tried to stay protected but when you are in the water on a sailboat there are not too many shady spots.
As you can guess I left our two-day adventure with a couple of red areas, but that is what aloe is for. We had an amazing time on the Broomstick, the fastest lady in The Whitsunday Islands.
While on the boat we had the opportunity to help sail the ship, go to one of the best beaches in the world, Whitehaven Beach, and snorkel.
But that was not enough for Rachel, Natalie and myself, we decided to take things up a notch and sign up for scuba diving. We were surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef and figured that if we’re here we might as well go for it – go big or go home, right? Then we realized that out of 25 people on the boat we were the only three that signed up.
So when the hour came to board the small inflated raft to take us to the dive boat it started to hit us. We received about 10 minutes worth of instructions, signed our lives away and were suited up with a rather heavy tank of oxygen and told to go overboard. With two practice maneuvers with our instructor, nicknamed “muscles” by our captain Rob, we were swimming out to our dive spot. That’s when fear creeps in, the idea we were about to dive down and not be able to quickly swim back to the surface if we freak out.
Panic sets in and I see Rachel and Natalie discussing the idea of not going 12 meters, lets just go down maybe half that distance. We tell our dive instructor that we are not comfortable with diving far and he agrees to our ideas. Now we just have to actually press the button to deflate our vests and sink into the water. I am not going to lie, I was scared and was not sure how I would react. It took about a good 5-10 minutes for me to relax and actually enjoy being down with the coral and fish. It was a brand new experience being so far from the water surface, I had to remind myself to breath normally, don’t take so many deep breaths and make sure I pop my ears so they don’t explode.
Those may seem like simple tasks, things we do everyday without even a thought, but for me in that instance it was so important and not easily accomplished. If you ask any of us I believe we would say that we enjoyed the experience and are happy we did it, but would we do it again? Not any time soon. But for me this is just one way I am escaping my old life and breaking out, trying to not let the fear rule my decisions and take advantage of all the opportunities God has given to me.
I resurface from my thoughts and once again clouds surround us, I know that all I can do is hope and trust in Charlotte, our pilot, that everything will be clear on the other side and we will emerge to a open blue sky.
Its just like life, we don’t know what tomorrow or the next year will hold but I believe that God has a plan and will see me through. In my life I always associate songs with certain time periods or even specific days. My theme song for this trip is Coldplay’s “Adventure of a Lifetime.” As I listen to it the words speak to me “Everything you want’s a dream away, under this pressure, under this weight we are diamonds taking shape.” I believe that there are so many people that live their lives with dreams that never become reality. I want to make the most of my life and I know that this is where I belong right now. Traveling the world with two amazing women, taking in all different cultures, seeing things I only dreamed of and knowing that I will never be the same.