Moving Past Anxiety

anxiety /aNGˈzīədē/ noun a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome

The trip to Boulder, Colorado was monumental for me and my journey past fear and anxiety. Admittedly, breaking boundaries was not my strong point, but damn it, I was 30 now. Time to get it together, Sarah.

My mom had begun planning her wedding shortly after our trip to Colorado. Her fiancé is from England and so of course a destination wedding was in the works. And the best part!?…all of the US family was to travel there for the wedding. I mean, I had the chance to explore the English countryside with my husband and our two children, my sister, my brother and his girlfriend, and my mom and her soon to be husband. Sounds magical, right? No. Not for me. Remember the sweaty palms of ’17? Yeah, they were about to make a comeback.

The wedding was scheduled for May 13th, 2018. We would be boarding the giant metal death trap, I mean, airplane, on May 10th. By January of 2018 airline tickets were purchased. No going back now and I had 4 months to mentally prepare myself for the flight from Orlando to London. Y’all, my inner dialogue was going C R A Z Y. “Sarah, you flew to Colorado and you were fine. Flying is statistically safer than driving. You get to go to England, suck it up, woman.”  Along with all of the unsolicited advice and comments from friends and acquaintances.

I had my passport, my babies had passports at the ripe old ages of 10 and 7. Tuxedos, full length bridesmaids dress, flower girl dress, all purchased, altered and ready to go. I had started a Pinterest board where I was saving all of the cheese and chocolate stores in quintessential English towns that I just had to visit, along with old churches and cobblestone markets. I was so ready for this adventure. I was actually starting to feel excited.

Until April 17th, 2018.

That afternoon I was casually scrolling through Facebook, when I started noticing quite a few of my friends sharing news updates about an engine exploding on an airline flight and a poor passenger had been partially sucked out of the window. Oh my god. I was past sweaty palms and knot in my stomach. I could feel my throat tightening underneath my clenched jaw. I couldn’t breath. I was suffocating at just the mere thought of having to board a plane in less than a month with everyone I love more than life itself. I immediately called my mom. (Side note: Isn’t it funny how at 30 years old, your mom is still the person you call for help?)

My mom lives in North Carolina, a solid 6 hour drive from my, then home, in northeast Florida. So her physically coming to my rescue was not an option. She answered and I could tell by the tone in her voice that she knew what this call was about before I even said a word. She had been on Facebook and had seen the news as well. “Sarah, sweetie, it’s ok. Just breath.” Easier said than done. I was pacing in my backyard, still not saying a word. Just heavy breathing accompanied with a random “woo” sound as I was seriously just trying to focus on not hyperventilating and passing out. She stayed on the phone with me for 3 hours. Assuring me that flying was still the safest mode of transportation and how this unfortunate (and scary as hell) accident was rare. She did the typical mom thing of trying to divert my attention to all of the fun things we would be doing while we were there. But, c’mon, just as irrational fear had started to fade from my memory, this very real terror along with crippling anxiety was in full focus. It was taking over me and I was letting it. Fear was trying to rob me of more adventures. Even worse, fear was trying to rob my children of adventures (because at that moment I SWORE that we were not going to England)! I was melting down outside in attempts to hide my fear from my kids. I didn’t don’t ever want to let MY emotions hold them back from seeing this beautiful, crazy, intimidating, glorious world of ours. This was my biggest barrier to date and my children, unbeknownst to them, were helping me break through it. I could do this.

Orlando Airport T -2 hours until takeoff.
“I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.”

May 10th. It was time to board our overnight flight to London. Apart from a few take off tears ( and maybe a few more “woo” sounds) from yours truly, that flight was a dream. My son sat next to me and we ate dinner, watched movies and fell asleep. We woke up somewhere over Greenland and were given scones with clotted cream and hot tea.

Good Morning Greenland!
He was so excited!

We had the most wonderful time in the English countryside. I watched my kids run through rolling hills dotted with sheep, we ate fish and chips with mushy peas picnic style, we went to Stonehenge and spent an entire day roaming around London, touring the Tower of London and getting lost in the British Museum. We saw the Rosetta Stone and the Roman Baths and Buckingham Palace. It was just amazing y’all! And yet again, if I would have let fear and anxiety take over I would have missed it all!

So what I’m saying to all of you beautiful people out there is don’t let the fear take over! You will miss out on the most entrancing thing ever…..your life!

Ok, so now that you all know more about my back story and all about the nervous wreck I once was, we can get on to what this blog is really all about….McGinns On The Move! It gets fun from here on and I will share all kinds of tips, ideas, suggestions and Ca-Razy stories about my families journey to where we are today and where we’re going next!

Keep Moving, my friends.

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