Five Things a Year of Flying Taught Me
By: Ashley Geyer
My reason for writing this list is that I want whoever reads it to be confident in themselves— in their dreams, in their choices, and in their hearts. It took flying for a year for me to truly accept these lessons and I believe that they can be applied to anyone’s life. There is so much more in store for your life than where you are right now, and you are much more capable than you think.
1. You are capable of much more than you ever thought you could be.
All my life, I wanted to be a flight attendant, but because of the difficulty getting into the industry, I used to tell myself I could never get a job flying. It wasn’t until one day when I was less than happy at the job I was doing that I told myself I had nothing to lose and applied for some crew positions. Now, I’ve been flying and living my dream for a little over a year. And you know what? I’ve never been happier or more hopeful than I am right now.
2. None of your skills or past experiences are waste.
Did I think the year after college I spent working in CVS as a supervisor would ever help me in my future? No. Has it? Absolutely. A flight rarely goes by where I don’t encounter a situation where I’m not reminded of “that one time at the store…” In any job you work at you’ll be dealing with people or problem solving on some level. Be proud of the experiences and skills you’ve gained before flying and utilize them to the best of your ability once you get in the air. When you look back, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve grown and how much you’ve learned over the years.
3. It’s okay to have more than one dream. I’ve met plenty of medical personnel, college professors, and fire fighters turned flight attendants. You’ll be amazed at all the work backgrounds your flying colleagues have. When I was in college, I was studying to become a teacher. Never once did it cross my mind that my teaching skills could be combined with flying…that is until I was in ground training and realized airlines have instructors to teach you about safety and passenger handling. Now one day if I gain enough experience I could combine both my dreams of flying and teaching. So, don’t let anyone tell you that your dreams are too big or you need to pick a particular career path. This is your life and you can do anything you want. If you feel in your heart you are meant for something you probably are. Just be open to the opportunities you find. Life never happens as you expect it.
4. There are bigger problems in life than gaining ten pounds. When I was younger, gaining weight was the end of the world. That changed when I began flying. I still care about being healthy and do consciously watch what I eat now, but I’ve just realized there’s much bigger problems than a number on a scale. Flying brings you outside of yourself. There’s going to be times you’ll hear about passengers traveling for sad reasons. There may be days that you personally help first aid or comfort a very ill person. The safety and comfort you work so hard to ensure every day will absolutely humble you and help you realize what real problems are.
5. Pursuing a long distance relationship is not insane. People may try to tell you otherwise, but their opinions only have as much value as you allow them to have. Long distance relationships can be hard, but if you’ve met the right person it makes it worth it. Dating someone far away makes you truly value the time you spend together. It forces you to actually talk about things rather than bottle up problems because when all you have is a video chat window you realize that an honest conversation can sometimes make you feel better than a hug or kiss. You’re the one who knows what you value in a partner. As a flight attendant, you’re the one who can literally cross oceans to see someone you love. A lot of people may not understand that, but that’s no concern to you. Trust your heart no matter where it leads you and do NOT apologize for following it.
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