As a child I had the most vivid dreams of flying. I seemed to be drawn to the idea of flight on many subconscious levels. My drawings were of birds, butterflies and angels. The outside games I most loved were climbing high in the trees and pretending to be a pilot or a fairy queen.
When I suddenly became able to fly it was nothing like my dreams. In my dreams I had wings instead of arms. (It’s funny how I never had to eat in my dreams.) In reality, I seem to fly with just the thought to do so. At the age of fifteen I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The doctors did surgery, but something went wrong. They used some new technology to save me. A few days later as I lay recovering, I had one of my flying dreams. I woke up to doctors and nurses trying to get me down from the ceiling. It wasn’t long before I could fly while I was awake. I can’t tell you how exhilarating it felt. This big blue marble we live on gets more and more beautiful the higher up you get.
The doctors tried to figure out what they’d done that made me able to fly. They even tried it on a bunch of people who asked them to who had the same kind of tumor I had. Nobody else ever could. Finally some laws were passed that made it illegal for the doctors to try it anymore after some of the people died or went insane. The people who survived became depressed because they couldn’t fly – even though they were cured and could go back to their happy lives.
As you can imagine, my life changed drastically. It wasn’t long before everyone knew my name and what I could do. People started to have a lot of expectations about what I should and shouldn’t do. The doctors tried to get custody of me from my parents because they wanted to do surgery on me again and tests to see what they’d done to my brain. Even though we won, my parents took me away and we went into hiding.
Our new home was a whole new experience for me. We’d lived in the city, but we moved across the country to the most rural place you can imagine. My parents grounded me from flying and that was torture. I know they wanted to protect me, but once you’ve been in the air, it’s hard to go back to the ground. I wanted so badly to fly across the landscape and feel the clean wind whip through my hair that I ached with it. The people there knew who I was, but they accepted me when they saw that I was pretty normal. Once in a while, when I was pretty sure no one could see me, I did fly for a bit. Sometimes it was just to remember how to do it and other times I just needed to be alone with my thoughts and the wind.
I guess I’ll never know why this happened to me. I’d have been the world’s most normal person if I’d never been able to fly. Its funny how sometimes getting what you thought you wanted the most turns out to be really different from what you’d thought it would be. In my dreams it was always just me flying above the Earth feeling happy and carefree. I never dreamed that it would cause so many people to have bad feelings toward me or that it would make me feel so isolated. If I could share this glorious gift with everyone I would. To see the stars glittering above you and feel that you can reach out and touch them is so beautiful. I think that if more people could see it like I can; there’d be less fighting and selfishness. There’s enough for us all to share and it’s so magnificent. From up in the sky you can’t see the dirt and ugliness of some places. You also can’t see all the people. It all just looks so peaceful and majestic.
Sometimes I’m not sure if it’s worth it to keep my feet on the ground. When I see people fighting and arguing I want to fly off into the sky sometimes and never come back. Walking around seems so slow and boring – it takes so long for the scenery to change. Sure, it’s kept me safe and it’s allowed me to go back to living a pretty much private life, but there’s no exhilaration in it.
Now I sit here trying to decide what the next phase in my life will be. It’s time for me to go away to college and to decide how I’ll live the rest of my life. Will I keep my feet on the ground and plot out a safe, happy future or will I take flight again and reach for dreams that may be beyond my grasp? What would anyone else do in my place, I wonder?