No, even though it may seem like it, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I’ve just been laying low and getting back into the swing of things after returning to the Netherlands. I’ve not been feeling particularly bloggy and I figured I’d wait until I did rather than trying to force it.
Anyhow, this is about my 101 List entry about flying home to Canada by myself, which I DID! Yay me!
For many of you this probably doesn’t seem like the biggest accomplishment in the world, but for me it’s been all about getting over my fears. For the last 11 years I have never gone back to Canada without my husband. Partially because I just hate being apart from him, but also because he acts like a buffer for me when I fly.
I gained a lot of weight over the years while I was living here and the bigger I got the more I hated flying. I tolerated it when my husband would come with me because I’d just take a seat on the aisle with him next to me, that way I didn’t have to worry about being squished up next to a stranger. The stranger thing also had multiple levels of discomfort. Firstly, I just hate being that close to someone I don’t know. I’ll always put a seat between me and the stranger in the movie theater, I’ll choose an empty row of seats on the tram or train rather than sit next to someone. Antisocial? I dunno, but that’s just how I am. On top of that, with my weight issues and insecurity about that, I loathed the thought of sitting there all tense and trying to squeeze myself into a smaller form so that my hip doesn’t invade someone else’s seat or my shoulders don’t allow them to sit comfortably, or worst of all… put them through an entire flight without an arm rest because my giant butt won’t let it go down.
These are the thoughts of a fat person when they have to fly somewhere.
It’s funny because you hear a lot nowadays about overweight people and flying. How they are thinking about making them pay for two seats or tax them higher, how people hate sitting next to them. Hell, even one very famous over weight person was removed from a flight because the pilot felt it was unsafe because he didn’t fit properly in a single seat.
That horrified me. What if that happened to me and I was all alone? I’d be mortified! It scared the bejesus out of me and for 11 years I let that get in the way of me going home on my own to see my family. So we’d only go every 2-3-4 years when we could afford for us both to go.
There have always been a lot of arguments FOR me going home alone. I’d get to spend more time just with me and my family, it’s crazy expensive for us both to go home, if I go by myself then we have all of his vacation days to do other things. It all makes a lot of sense, but I never cared. I was not going home alone, no way, no how.
When I made the 101 List, I decided to add it because it’s something I knew I had to do. My mother had already come here once by herself, yet I wouldn’t. I HAD to get over my issues with flying by myself and make the effort to break the ice so that I could get home more often.
My first plan of attack? LOSE SOME FUCKING WEIGHT! Pardon my French.
Flying wasn’t the only thing that my weight got in the way of over the years. There were a thousand reasons for me to take control and try to do something about it, but my upcoming flight definitely served as some major motivation not to give up along the way. I was going to fit into that seat come HELL OR HIGH WATER!
… and I DID!! After a year of psyching myself up for it, dieting and trying to get past my issues, I stepped onto the plane 70 lbs lighter, slipped into my seat and tried to stop myself from squealing with delight as I discovered all the things that had changed. The seatbelt fit, no more asking for an extension!! HOORAY!!! SWEET, the armrest goes down!
I even had a stranger sitting in the seat right next to me, who did not have my hip invading his space and was able to rest comfortably on the armrest and sleep most of the way to London. Thankfully, that was the only flight that I had someone right next to me, because I still didn’t dig the close proximity… but for an hour, I sat there taking up only my own space, perfectly delighted with myself.
The other flights were pretty great too. On the long flight home I even had three seats to myself and was able to lay down and sleep a lot of the way.
Do I love flying now? God no, it’s a long trip home and it’s tiring.
Did I like being away from my husband for three weeks? No, I missed him. I was ok, but I missed him.
Did I love being able to spend three weeks with my parents, seeing friends, speaking in my own language, and being around my own people again?
OH HELL TO THE YES!!! … and I can’t wait to do it again!