On one flight from El Paso to Alamagordo, New Mexico I was on a eight place twin engine plane sitting next to a pilot who was taking a flight home. We had to fly through a lightning and thunder storm and the turbulence was unnerving to say the least. This kind man held my hand and talked calmly to me until we landed. He suggested that I look into getting my pilot’s license to get over my fear of flying. It sounded like a practical solution, so I signed up for ground school as soon as I got back home. I got my pilot’s license and learned to love to fly; it was empowering and a major confidence booster.
I was also afraid to go anywhere alone. It probably stemmed from the time I got on the wrong school bus, no one noticed and I ended up going to Elk which was about 45 minutes south by bus route, of where I lived. By the time I finally got back to Mendocino, my mother came and pick me up and I was extremely traumatized.
So my husband began to make a habit of inviting me to dinner on Friday nights. I had to take the BART train and find the restaurant, which was always different. It didn’t matter if I showed up on time or fifteen minutes late, he never showed up until ten to fifteen minutes after I arrived and had ordered a glass of wine. I had to talk to the bartender and it forced me out of my comfort zone.
It was hard work. It made me struggle on a regular basis. I knew it was for my own good, but I wanted nothing more than to rely on him to get me where I wanted to go or see to the details I didn’t care to manage.
It is amazing how I now see I drew him to me and he helped me overcome many of my idiosyncrasies. Even though the marriage lasted only five years, it was filled with a lifetime of valuable lessons and more often than not, left me with a sense of gratitude.