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I’m a nervous flier.
I know, intellectually, that planes fly because, well, PHYSICS, but I cannot get over how unnatural it feels to be sitting in a massive and heavy metal bus, hurtling across the sky, held up only by air.
Still, though, I love to visit new places and very much dislike taking days to get there. So we fly a fair amount.
And nearly every time we fly, there’s a moment where we hit some turbulence.
Owen finds it all really fun; he smiles and laughs at how the pilot is making his “belly feel funny!”
I, however, feel absolute and deep panic. I break out in a cold sweat, I NEED to hold onto something hard and real, and I close my eyes and literally force myself to breathe. In and out. In and out.
I hate those moments. I feel caged and terrified and completely powerless.
But I keep a tight lid on that panic, because my kid is sitting next to me, and he’s smiling.
All I tell him is that the motion makes me feel a little sick. And since I get motion sick really, really easily…
He believes me.
The election last week turned my world completely upside down. I assumed that people felt the way I did. I just KNEW that they wouldn’t vote for a man like Trump, because people are good and want to do the right thing.
I didn’t realize I was living in such intellectual and economic privilege. I CAN use my vote to satisfy my ideals, because I’m white and educated and I have opportunities because of that. I had no idea, and I’m sitting with reality.
I’m also sitting uncomfortably in the position of hater right now. I really THOUGHT I was different than that, that I believed in the inherent good of people, and tolerance and kindness and equality for all. But I loathe Donald Trump, more than I’ve ever hated anyone before. I understand why people voted for him – I think, anyway. But I hate him, and I have no idea how I’m going to manage to listen to his words or see his face for the next four years.
And I feel like I’m stuck on a plane in the middle of heavy turbulence, and Owen’s sitting next to me, and it’s all I can do to keep breathing. In and out. In and out.
I feel a little sick.