It took 20 minutes to descend from 35,000 ft to the earths surface below me and less than 20 seconds to plummet from the 18th floor of the skyscraper hotel I was staying in, all the way down to the ground.
Both were of course, gentle, controlled landings, but one can’t help but consider the potential outcome if any of the mechanics that can bring you safely and swiftly down to earth should fail.
It’s a bit hard for me to admit given all of my recent ‘progress’, but I’d be lying if I told you that part of me wasn’t looking out across that aeroplane wing as I left the Brisbane sunshine behind me, hoping that this time I wouldn’t make it home, that I wouldn’t have to be strong anymore.
That sadness that sometimes grips me was once again clawing for its freedom from that dark place where it quietly resides, deep within my soul; the same secret sadness I imagine some of you feel from time to time too.
It has been with me again for a while now, not quite taking over but loitering in the background, sometimes pushing forward a little, just to call attention to its everpresence.
It came and held me there in that flying metal tube, reminding me of my fears and nudging at my insecurities while paradoxically comforting me with it’s familiar embrace as we soared together, defying gravity across the mysterious blue evening skies.
As the sun set slowly over heaven and earth I absorbed myself within the breathtaking view, the yellow ball of glowing life melted away into an orange puddle, spreading itself across the horizon until it was quietly swallowed up by darkness, replaced by the twinkling light of distant stars that were seemingly sent to refuel our souls with hope of a new tomorrow and yet gently remind our egos of their true insignificance.
35,000 ft below, the world went about its business, oblivious to those floating high above, as we were oblivious to them. Each person in our little patch of the atmosphere was going about their unique life, we were brought together at this moment by hundreds of different reasons, we were people from different places, people with different experiences, different hair, different skin, of all different ages and different beliefs. But for all of our beautiful differences as I looked around the aircraft, noticed the crying toddlers and sleeping old men, I thought about how we shared so much more than just a common destination, we shared the incredible unique ability to think and question, each of us holding a unique dream and a unique perspective of not only life but this very moment. Together, whether we knew it or not, I realised that in that moment, we all shared the unique experience of person hood, and it was a truly magical feeling.
I took a deep breath and pushed back against the sadness, acknowledging its presence in my heart and letting it know I didn’t need it right now. This was my world, my choices and my perspective and it was beautiful. We descended from our secret little place in the sky back down into the chaotic city of Sydney below, welcomed by bright lights and beeping horns. I surveyed the incredible display of humanity surrounding me and I smiled to myself; this, was life
The titillations, tribulations, vicissitudes, and oxymoronic cogitations of a very lucky and unfortunate Neuroscientist with Bipolar Disorder
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