Taken Off and Safely Landed

My daughter’s first solo trip

As my stomach rolls with the woozy feeling one feels during turbulence, it’s important to point out that I’m not actually the one on a flight, my daughter is. Determined to travel alone and gain confidence and independence, my 21-year-old has embarked on her first solo travel trip. 

This has been a few years in the making. 4 years ago she left for a high school trip that would set her burgeoning anxiety disorder aflame. That trip had her believing that not only would she never travel again, but that she would also never eat in a restaurant nor be able to calm the constant turmoil in her mind and body. 

A lot has happened in those 4 years, tears, fears, and a slow resolve to not only challenge her anxiety but to make peace with it. A lifelong companion that she could take along for the ride but ride she would indeed!

Our relationship changed a lot through those years too. I felt a revisit to the days of her younger years when she needed me far more mentally to lean on and physically to be near.  It was challenging for both of us considering I had my own challenges to deal with. We sort of fell into this symbiotic “there for one another”, struggle buddies if you will. And that became our new normal. 

But slowly and with massive amounts of courage, counseling, and education, my daughter has incrementally opened her world wider and wider. This leaves me with where I am today…proud yes, but also knowing I have to make yet another mental shift. Much like the one I had to make 4 years ago but with a 180 twist. The comfort I felt being her support system is no longer needed in those extreme ways. My mental pivot now must be to recognize that she’s on her way in the best possible way a parent can want for their child. To see her no longer as the fragile person struggling who “needs” me, but the brave, strong woman she has become. If I am being really honest, I feel a tinge of being left behind. Being that she is an only child, our bond has been particularly intense. I know this is what you wish for as a parent. A child who grows into themselves fully, independent, and capable. Especially after how arduous the past years were. 

As I sit and watch the flight tracker app of her plane, I know she has taken off and I have landed safely.

Love,

M ❤ 

**This blog was written by one of my close friends for her brave daughter ❤ Well done everyone ❤