Flying Lessons

When you come to the end of all of the light that you know and step out into the darkness of the Great Unknown… Faith is knowing that one of two things shall happen. Either you will be given something firm to stand on, or you will be taught to fly.


I can’t remember the first time I heard this quote, but I have loved it ever since. It comforts me to be reminded that things always have a way of working out. It may take a while to comprehend what is happening or why, but eventually understanding comes. Hindsight is 20/20, they always say. In the meantime, during those darker times, those murky times, those uncertain times it is important to know that things won’t always stay that way.

Easier said than done. I know.

I personally prefer the first scenario given, that I will be given something firm to stand on. If something I can feel beneath my feet is good, then something solid and immoveable—something firm—is even better. It is the flying part that I have trouble with because it does not come naturally to me. In fact, unless you’re a superhero, it doesn’t come naturally to any of us. But sometimes, flying lessons are the only option we’ll be given. No less. No more. And that can be scary because it not only requires endless patience, but trust as well.

For months now I’ve found myself sulking around in one of those murky places… waiting to see if I’d be graciously given something firm to stand on or shoved headfirst off a cliff and forced to fly. In more specific terms, I was waiting to see if the company I’d been working for (on a contract basis for the last five months) was going to welcome me into the official fold or choose to go in a different direction with another candidate.

I equated getting the job with a great big slab of granite. A vast, strong, solid piece of property to stand on which I could call my very own. I would carve my name in it and decorate it with potted plants and adorable picture frames. Conversely, I equated NOT getting the job with flying… blind… in a hurricane… without a parachute or floatation device. Betcha can’t guess which one I’m doing right now?

Yup. I’m flying. But miraculously, it isn’t the death-defying, teeth-chattering, knee-knocking, goose-bump-inducing terror trip I was expecting. It is so bizarre. Sitting in the conference room, on an ordinary Wednesday, I knew from the look on my boss’s face that I was not about to hear the news I’d been hoping for. And I’ll be honest, I was crushed. Hot, fat tears splashed down the front my favorite periwinkle sweater the entire drive home that afternoon. That evening I cried so hard I gave myself a migraine. In fact, I cried so hard my teeth and gums and eye sockets hurt.

But when the sun came up on Thursday, I was over it. By Friday I was even MORE over it and when I agreed to stay on another week and showed up for work at the very place where my services were no longer desirable, I was completely over it.  No leftover attitude. No residual bitterness. Just peace, calm and contentment. I’m not exactly sure what happened… other than the distinct possibility that although I am flying, it is not without a net. 

You see, while I’ve been wading around in fear and uncertainty, worrying and fretting  about the unknown the last five months — my soon-to-be-husband, family and friends have been weaving a pretty tight mesh beneath me. Making it clear to me that even though there is no giant slab of granite beneath my feet for TOMORROW, being angry or bitter takes too much energy away from the things that I have TODAY.


11 thoughts on “Flying Lessons

  1. I can’t remember where I heard or read this, and I don’t know if some randomly (probably) misquoted quote helps, but here’s my two cents: Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. Sappy and corny, but true, nonetheless. You’ve got soooooo much to look forward to and be excited about in the coming month!!!! And this is just what I think should happen: You and Lee should move down here to New Orleans and you should work as a graphic artist in the film industry with Caleb and you and I can go to lunch on Fridays and have spa dates on Saturdays and we can start a supper club and you and Lee can get a dog so Caleb and I can dog-sit (just throwin’ that out there). Now, doesn’t that sound like a whole buncha fun?!?! Seriously, I’m glad you’re looking at everything through a half-full glass, my friend.

    • 😀 Paige, I LOVE your solution!! If Lee didn’t have such a solid job here in Ohio, we’d probably be tempted! But seriously, I like your quote at the beginning. And I am banking on that being the case for the future. I truly believe that everything works out the way it was meant to be. Thanks for making me smile 🙂 And congratulations on your wedding!

  2. “my soon-to-be-husband, family and friends have been weaving a pretty tight mesh beneath me.”

    I was skeptical about the metaphor, while enjoying the writing. Then you wrote what is in the quote, and it all came together, the last masterly stroke. Bravo.

    • Thanks Donald! I’m glad it worked for you in the end. I have always wanted to write about that quote that I used in the beginning because although it is supposed to be comforting no matter what the situation is, I have always found that the flying part seemed MUCH harder and was therefore lesss desireable! 😛

      • Yeah. Expressions can be like that. For instance, people are fond of repeating Nietzsche saying of “That which doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” I mean they say it as if the first category isn’t relevant to the second one. 🙂

  3. So well said, of course. I am very proud and happy to be your “net”. It means to me that you are “up there” taking chances, experiencing a full life. Love, Mom

  4. Great Post! I love when you can lean for support or have a flying partner with you when it comes to your family supporting, cheering, protecting, etc. you along the way:) Good Luck Sweetie – You are Beautiful!!!

    • Thank you Renee! I appreciate the encouragement. You are always so positive! It’s refreshing 🙂 And yes, I am so thankful for my family who always has my back and cheers me on. We should never take them for granted. Thanks for teh reminder. Hope all is well!

  5. Just remember you are alive and well. That is all that matters. I hope that I carry that with me from here on out. All that is going on in the world and all the people I know who have cancer it’s getting to be too much for me. And I know things are going to get worse. I tend to fall apart quite easily so now I have to buck up. Dam I am even going to have to get a job at some point! Ugh. 🙂

    • Thank you Linda. I know that health is something we so often take for granted. I hope you are doing well and feeling better every day. I wish you all the best as you keep on keeping on like you always do!

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