Well, where to begin.
I had no intentions of going to The Millennium Jam, http://www.millenniumjam.com/eng/index.php, it wasn’t anything even on my radar. It is an event all the way in Belgium in Europe and I am desperately afraid to fly.
All I can say is that I was encouraged to go by someone I really admire and that that encouragement and reaching out was everything.
I even tried to self-sabotage and that same very special person wouldn’t let me do that and was really there for me. I had actually a couple balloon angels is what I will call them and I wish I could go into more detail but I can’t but if it wasn’t for these angels, I would not have gone.
I do want it to be known though how powerful our encouragements are to one another and how powerful connecting over art can be that it can cause someone like me to face one of their biggest fears which is flying and change their life forever.
I have missed funerals and weddings because of my fear of flying and this was my first time on a plane since I was 16 years old, I am now 33. I am Meg Ryan in French Kiss when it comes to flying.
I flew on a total of 6 planes on this trip!
I decided to look at this trip as a Hero’s Journey and considered it a time to find my courage.
My husband made an amazing sacrifice for me to go. Not only was the plane ticket expensive, he had to take care of our autistic daughter all on his own and be Mr. Mom while still working outside the home and being Mr. Dad. He had a very challenging week. I was gone for 9 days total. I left the U.S.A on a Thursday Nov. 5th and arrived in Sunparks, in Mol Belgium Friday Nov. 6th at about noon.
The Hero’s Journey
Stages of the Hero’s Journey
“There are twelve steps to the hero’s journey. According to the Oracle Education Foundation Library, those steps are as follows.
- Ordinary World: This step refers to the hero’s normal life at the start of the story, before the adventure begins.
- Call to Adventure: The hero is faced with something that makes him begin his adventure. This might be a problem or a challenge he needs to overcome.
- Refusal of the Call: The hero attempts to refuse the adventure because he is afraid.
- Meeting with the Mentor: The hero encounters someone who can give him advice and ready him for the journey ahead.
- Crossing the First Threshold: The hero leaves his ordinary world for the first time and crosses the threshold into adventure.
- Tests, Allies, Enemies: The hero learns the rules of his new world. During this time, he endures tests of strength of will, meets friends, and comes face to face with foes.
- Approach: Setbacks occur, sometimes causing the hero to try a new approach or adopt new ideas.
- Ordeal: The hero experiences a major hurdle or obstacle, such as a life or death crisis.
- Reward: After surviving death, the hero earns his reward or accomplishes his goal.
- The Road Back: The hero begins his journey back to his ordinary life.
- Resurrection Hero – The hero faces a final test where everything is at stake and he must use everything he has learned.
- Return with Elixir: The hero brings his knowledge or the “elixir” back to the ordinary world, where he applies it to help all who remain there.”
quoting from link to website above this outline
I was in my Ordinary World and then had a Call to Adventure, it took form in a few emails and a quite literal call, lol, out of nowhere. I attempted to Refuse the Call to adventure out of fear. I had a Meeting with a Mentor who was able to encourage me and embolden me to overcome my fear and I was given advice that I needed in order to get to where I was going and I was readied, I had no idea how to get around in a different country alone and I had someone to hold my hand quite literally through it. Any excuses I could throw were dashed with solutions. Getting on that first airplane was my Crossing the First Threshold.
I had to take 3 flights to get to Brussels Airport. From Brussels I rode my first train ever to Antwerp Berchem with a couple people going to the same destination. From the train station in Antwerp we were picked up by Hank who is just a lovely wonderful character and were shuttled to the Sunparks Resort which is where the Millennium Jam was being held. I have been dying to go to a balloon convention and cannot believe still that this happened that I got to go!
I stayed in a Bungalow with a wonderful French woman named Genevieve. Day 1 was just getting there and volunteering with making decorations for the lobby, which was my first time being in a room working with other balloon artists. I was so nervous and unsure of myself, lol. I met some cool characters and it was interesting to see what balloon people were like. I just made a bunch of lines of quick links. That was pretty much it for my first day.