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Chasing dreams: From treatment to bush pilot in training

Deion P. Morry
After years of getting high, blazed or whatever you want to call it, I reached that point where I wasn't happy about how I was doing. Now I'm doing something that makes me happy. Proud. Jeffrey Schäfer photo

Imagine getting into a cockpit of a Cessna 170 tail-dragger. Imagine getting the chance to be in the pilot seat. Imagine getting the chance to learn how to fly.

So here I am, sitting in the cockpit as my instructor Dwayne King radios flight control for clearance to take off. As the radio sounded, "175Alpha you are clear for departure to the South" I push the throttle in and the plane gusts forward.

The ground starts disappearing, as we lift into the air. All I can see are tops of mountains. I'm so nervous my stomach starts to quench as my flight instructor smiles at me. As we level off I pull back on the throttle.

This is my first time flying. My dreams are coming into view. All these years and I'm finally sitting in the pilot seat of an airplane. Ever since I was a little, I wanted to fly, to be a pilot. It's a dream come true. Life is not always so easy. Take as an example the following example of a narrative essay I wrote for class.

It is about a troubled time in my life:

So you could say I smoked weed to ease my mind. But from my 17 years of life, I've learned that problems you have are problems that make you stronger. Even though I have an addiction, I know what I can and can't do. I know my limits, and through time we get older and learn from our mistakes. As we learn, we make better, wiser decisions because of what we have gone through.

On this day, everything at home was falling apart. My uncles weren't getting along. My parents were constantly talking about family problems. I could hear them arguing quietly. My sisters were crying in the background. My eyes started watering as I got up. Going into my parent's room, I noticed everyone's eyes turn towards me; my thoughts were racing. The room was quiet, all I could hear was my heart pounding. Next thing I knew I was in my room digging for my 12 gauge shells in dresser drawer. My dad was standing there watching me in the doorway. I started sobbing as I reach for my shotgun in my room.

I walked into the living room, and my dad grabbed the stock. We wrestled for the gun. My mom grabbed the barrel and called my uncle Frankie for help. We were all fighting for the shotgun. Rolling around on the couch struggling to get it free, finally I gave up. Lying on the couch, my heart was racing. As everyone got up, it was quiet and Frankie put the shotgun away. I walked into my room. Everything was surreal. My parents just stopped me from shooting myself. For the first time, I didn't feel like getting high. I sat down on the bed and cried.

Then I asked for help. After years of getting high, blazed or whatever you want to call it. Finally I knew I had to reach out. I reached that point where I wasn't happy about how I was doing. That's when I chose to go to treatment. Coming from a small village of about 400 people. I was scared, nervous of what people would think of me. I just kept telling myself and telling myself that it is for me. Everyday in treatment, we talked about goals.

Now here I am reaching one of my goals. Now here I am sitting in the cockpit with the throttle in my hand flying through Mother Nature. The skies are blue with clouds here and there. Everything I dreamt of was finally coming into view. Now the journey begins, faster and easier than I had thought.

Deion Morry is an honor-roll student and a Junior at Nunamiut School in Anaktuvuk Pass. His essay "Chance at My Dreams" started out as two separate narrative essays. He combined the two to demonstrate his own personal development from despair to hope in a positive future as a pilot. He wrote these essays in his high school English class. His teacher is Colby Root.