It’s started already. The knowledge that this is the last weekend before I have to fly to LA has set the butterflies fluttering in my stomach, and it’s frustrating the hell out of me.
The stupid thing about my nervousness when it comes to flying is that I used to be incredibly relaxed about such things. As recently as three years ago I travelled to Tokyo without any real trouble. That was perhaps the first flight where I felt any kind of nerves, but it was very mild by comparison; I certainly wasn’t worrying about it a week or so beforehand.
There’s a kind of logical illogic behind my new-found anxiety. It’s a fairly simple thought process: that if something goes wrong in a vehicle on the ground, it’s less likely to be a serious problem than when you’re 30,000 feet in the air. In a car, whether you’re driver or passenger you feel like you have some semblance of control over your fate. On a plane you’re essentially putting your lives in the hands of pilots, co-pilots, air traffic controllers and aeroplane manufacturers.
In truth, this all stems from an even greater fear – the fear that I won’t live to see my son grow up. It’s an entirely selfish fear; my son and wife would, I’m certain, be strong enough to cope without me. But I want to be there for them. It’s partly why I never wanted a job where travel would play a big role. The fact that I couldn’t guarantee my safe return is something I have a big problem with.
It’s perhaps silly to worry about things you have no control over. Maybe it says something about me that I need to feel that I’m the master of my own fate. All I know is that something I should really be looking forward to is turning into something I’m utterly dreading. And I wish more than anything else that I could change that.