Once upon a time a naive, brown-eyed, girl took job as a regional representative for a company with a head office located across a grey and blustery sea. Her position required her to visit this main office in the heart of a big, exciting city at least twice a month. To our innocent protagonist, this seemed like a brilliant idea that would be filled with exhilarating, exotic adventures. Who doesn’t want to live the glamorous life of travelling for business? She could see herself drinking hot lattes in plush airport lounges, dashing from cabs into hotels wearing long trench coats and cute heels, eating dinner in nice restaurants with interesting colleagues.
But sadly, as the star of this fairy tale soon found out, travelling for work often involves getting up before 5am to catch a 7am plane, spending the whole day within the four walls of a conference room and catching the 7pm flight home only to stumble home at 11pm to crash into bed. This was not the glamorous travel promised in the stories.
And the heroine of our intrepid tale – she was afraid of flying. Crossing the windy waters twice in a day in a small, propeller plane is no trivial matter for this nervous flyer. It took all her will and all her courage to board those twice monthly flights.
While the occasional nights out in sparkling London, lunches along the South Bank, visits to free museums and long walks along busy streets was just as good as expected, this job, this life, it simply wasn’t one that our heroine wanted. In this fairy tale ending our wide-eyed girl didn’t lose her sense of wonder but wisely learned to take even the most glamorous stories with a pinch of salt. And she discovered that in spite of her fears, she can fly.
Today I say yes to London and all its glamour. Yes to travelling for pleasure, for fun, for freedom, but not for business. And yes to knowing I have the courage to master my fears.
Do every day something for no other reason than that you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test. – William James