Spinning Spinning Boxes - vertigo postOn my last transatlantic flight, I developed quite a case of vertigo. I’d never had it before, and, comforting enough, one of my travel companions had it right along with me. For days, we felt as if we were constantly in motion, swaying back and forth, in all we did from walking to standing still to trying to sleep.

During those days, even if I could sit still, the room couldn’t. It took 5 days for it to subside—and in that time, I’d become accustomed to it.

A friend of mine once said to me, “It’s a shame what you get used to.”

True. But, get used to it I did, and it wasn’t all that bad. The first couple of days it was rather unsettling. And then something changed.

I stopped thinking of an unswaying world as normal. I stopped looking for lack of movement. I expected the spinning, especially when I tilted my head to the side just a bit or when I bent low to pick something up, and that made it a very normalized friend that I expected to see and even welcomed into my day. I learned to walk through the slant, to keep my balance on trains and vans and even solid ground as if the rug weren’t being pulled out from beneath me.

The funny thing was, it didn’t take much effort. I didn’t have to put in a lot of concentration to stand still. And I didn’t have to put in a lot of effort to move with grace, either. The vertigo became a part of me, a part of who I was and how I moved and related to the earth and others around me, and it became an easy second nature.

On day five, I noticed a change in the afternoon. Everything seemed a little too still. I asked my vertigo friend if hers were gone, too, and she said, “As a matter of fact, it left today.”

We were both glad not to be overcoming it with every step, and yet…

There’s something to be said for outside-the-box thinkers. We get that way because we spent time in some kind of box.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. Her current writing projects, including her daily blog endeavor, #Project365, can be found at JodyBrown.com/writing.