I have to admit- the airport part of this trip has had me nervous. I typically google several helpful tips to get the best out of my travels. However, with virtually no travel over several months, the tips online were scarce and outdated. So- I pave the trail. I have done it before, but this time, there was certainly more anxiety.
When the pandemic first hit, I distinctly remember having the thought that everything I thought would never change, did. I never thought I would live 5 miles from a Walmart I couldn’t even visit. I never thought all the borders in the world wouldn’t welcome my American passport. I never thought that, as a doctor, I would watch millions of people die and have absolutely no clue how to save them… in my own country.
It’s a strange thing to have your ground taken from beneath you. The ground you have always stood on, certain unalienable rights, truths, foundations- all changed, all taken away. Sometimes I wondered how it would end. I would be lying if I told you I never thought the world might have been ending.
Many people have told me over the years that I am so brave and so adventurous. I have seen parts of the world that most people will never see in their lifetime. Those journeys built me. They built confidence. Each time, I learned something new; about myself, traveling, and the world around me.
Yet somehow, with all my life experience with traveling, this time- it was different.
Starting off the biggest global changes of all time from the other side of the world- away from everything I love, it shook me. I learned a new type of fear. I honestly wasn’t sure that I would ever leave home again.
But here I am, 16 months later, on an international trip to Peru. Am I crazy? Maybe. But what I will not be is scared. I will not live my life in worry. There were too many soldiers who fought for me, too many doctors who served for me, too many generations who raised me, for me to stop now.
This morning I left my hotel in a Lyft, headed to DFW. My old stomping ground. A place I know like the back of my hand.
My hands were shaking as I gave my negative Covid test results to the check-in attendant. Once I was through security, I headed to one of my favorite places- the lounge. As I sat there, I took a deep breath, “it’s really happening.”
We eventually boarded the plane. I picked my favorite seats weeks ago. Near the front, by the window. After we took off, they delivered our drinks and our meals. I got my headphones out and browsed through the movies. And it hit me again- I’m doing it. I’m pushing past my fears and “what ifs” and taking back my life. I’m looking my anxiety in the face and saying, “you can’t stop me.”
So my question is simple, what are you afraid of? What has fear told you is impossible? Where has anxiety put you in the passenger seat?
Take back your life.
Did you hear me?
Take back your life!!!
Because if there is one thing we should have learned after a terrible pandemic, if there is one silver lining, it’s that sometimes life doesn’t give you second chances. So stop waiting. Live now.