The only word that encompasses the way I feel right now is: fatigued. I could sleep for days if I cleared my schedule. The last time I had more than one day off was 18 days ago. At this point, it is effecting my normally upbeat personality and my interactions with friends, family and passengers. Finally, I have four days off. I have been looking forward to these four days off for a very long time. So, why am I considering picking up a trip over two or three of these days?
The past couple of days have been rough for me. I had plans to relax. I really did. I swear. But my plans (as they often do) changed last minute. Now, here I am, in a day room texting all of my friends through watery eyes to see if there is anyone available to play Monday-Thursday when I should be resting up for my redeye flight tonight. The last thing I should be doing with this fatigue is a transcontinental redeye but…
Such is life.
I guess I can admit to y’all that I keep my life going from one adventure to the next or one work trip to the next, so that I don’t have time to think about how I hate being unsettled. I haven’t felt settled for almost two years now. Routine is something that is undervalued by “groundlings.” (You can thank Kara for this term.. Hehe.) I hope that none of you take it for granted.
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I flew almost 125 hours last month…! One hundred. Twenty. Five. Hours. I came from regional reserve where I maybe flew 60 a month, but was guaranteed my minimum hours. I’m not used to actually FLYING this much and most flight attendants fly between 80-100 hours per month. Needless to say, I am one tired gal. I cannot believe I have allowed my level of exhaustion to reach this point. I used to read about Kara’s fatigue, but I never have experienced it until now. Now, I understand. The littlest things make me tear up and the other day when alone in Paris, I found myself dozing off on the public train. How scary is that? I never thought that would be possible for me.
Rewind to me laying in bed trying to find something to do. All of my friends are busy, as expected for a Monday-Thursday. So I am back to square one. What should I do with this free time if I have no one to spend it with? Why shouldn’t I earn money if I have nothing better to do? These are the same thoughts that got me into this fatigued mess. Maybe I shouldn’t work because I might hurt someone if I don’t catch up on my sleep soon. That might be a good reason. It’s a viscous cycle. Someone I am close to strongly disagrees to me potentially working some more. “I will be mad at you if you work,” he urged. “You need a vacation.”
He’s right. I do. But where do I go? My mom’s house is under renovation, so I can’t go staycation with her. All of my flight attendant friends are busy and my friends with normal jobs have to work Monday-Thursday. So, where do I go? He insists that I get a room somewhere exotic and take some time to relax alone. “Get a massage, have some rum drinks and sleep.”
This is the problem I am currently having that some other young unsettled flight attendants may run into as well. I don’t want to stay in New York, but I don’t know what to do with myself for four days. New York is where I reside, but it’s not home (if that makes sense). I don’t want to stay here on my days off.
The world is at your fingertips when you are a crew member. You have everywhere and yet sometimes nowhere to go. The flight attendant life can be glamorous, but most of the time, it’s not. Where does one go when they can go anywhere in the world, but no one to go with and no home?
I could go anywhere
but right now,
I have nowhere,
and no place.
These are real flight attendant problems. I’ve been flying for a year and a half now, and I still haven’t figured it all out but I just take it one day at a time. Sometimes, I even have to just take it minute by minute. And for now, I’m just going to go take a nap.
You can follow Meghan’s adventures on Instagram @flywithmeghan.