I planned to be in LA right now, at my Hermosa home. I was going to go to an air show this weekend with a couple cutie pilots. On Tuesday, I was looking forward to adventuring to London. Then Norway. Maybe Paris. And I was just going to stay. Stay until I decided that I should go visit my best friend in Colorado so that we can write our script, laugh about last year, and talk about the next. I had decided on plans. I planned my life while waiting on crew planning to plan my schedule. And they must have got the memo that I was busy living. After two weeks post grad waiting and wondering when, my schedule was filled. For this, I should be thrilled, and I am, but when you are in California, mid-important email, a FaceTime call incoming from Norway, laundry in the wash, prepping for an upcoming meeting, building websites, and branding companies, ain’t nobody got time to fly back to Florida for work.
I know what you are probably saying. “Gawd, Kara! Rough life. You have to fly to Copenhagen, Stockholm, and The Bay Area?? I really feel sorry for you. Reeeaaaallly.” Well, before you judge #Karaproblems, let me tell you, first, that I am so excited to fly, and SO excited it’s for who I am flying for, and so excited for where I get to fly, BUT, there is a point when a girl just wants to plan something, and see that plan happen. “You’re in LA, right?” he asked. “No.” I responded. “But I thought you said…” “Yeah. I thought so too.”
Another lost. Another loss. I liked that one too.
How many times have I said, “Yeah, I’ll be there.” Or “See you tomorrow.” Or “I work in the morning, but I’ll be back in time.” How many times? How many times have I let someone down because he or she was counting on me to show up? And I didn’t. Because I couldn’t.
So many. Too many.
I have to filter those I allow in my life. Not all can understand, and even the ones that do, are hurt by the unpredictability, and my lack of availability. Many assume that I have an aversion to commitment, which to this I raise a hand in objection. This lack of commitment is simply that I want you to know that you can count on me, and I know, based on my lifestyle, this is not usually probable, or possible. I hate when I break promises. I hate to disappoint.
I want to tell you that you can count on me, but even I wouldn’t put my faith in a flight attendant’s fleeting ways. And in this instance, I am not speaking for all flight attendants, I only have jurisdiction to speak for myself. I have let too many people down by unpredictable schedules, changed plans, and unknown futures. It’s less painful to never commit. To say maybe to everything except what crew scheduling tells me, and what I tell me to do in my business. I was told by work that I will get a schedule. That I should look at it, accept it, and move on. That 90 percent of my life will be flying, and 787. 5 percent coffee. 5 percent me. And even with all of this, I still consider my job one of the best in the world.
But when I sit, in a Ft. Lauderdale coffee shop, knowing that someone I care very deeply about was counting on me to show up in Hermosa today, to be the “daughter” that she needed, and I’m not there, I ache. Because of my job, because of my choices, because of my lifestyle, I am not there. Will it be like this always? Will it always be, “I am not there?” The people closest to me are hurt most, and no matter how understanding, there is only so much ‘flight attendant life’ anyone can take.
The flight attendant life is beautiful, wonderful, magical.
The flight attendant life is lonely, unforgiving, and challenging.
You. Can(t). Count. On. Me.