And as I write that sentence, I feel tears welling up, blurring my current view, which is a street in the city of Nazareth. Yeah, you read that right. I’m in Israel. Not for work this time, but because I have days off. Always somewhere, for work and play.
That’s The Dead Sea
You also read that other part right. The part when I mentioned I don’t want to fly anymore. How could that be? “Kara- you love your flight attendant life!” Yeah. Yeah I do, and that’s partly why I am crying. The realization that maybe I’m not as happy as I thought I was in this flying life snuck up on me. I feel myself fighting the acknowledgement with every tear that slides softly down my pale, rose dusted cheeks. The idea that there is more that I want to do and be and see came to me when I found myself in Portugal, in a place that made me feel like I was on top, and at the edge of the world.
It happened when I opened the shutters and looked out from balcony of a quaint boutique hotel that had views of the entire city of Lisbon. It tickled my consciousness as I stared in a complete trance at a Palestinian guard and walked along a wall that exists to separate nationalities. I noticed the want to let go of something I have loved for so long while I was taught to make hummus, floated in the Dead Sea, and walked among the ruins in Caesarea.
Being in Lisbon and Israel has made it undeniably clear that I haven’t been this happy in awhile. I have been happy while traveling, insanely so. I am here, doing this travel thing, this blogging thing, and this adventuring thing, not because I am a flight attendant, but because I have somehow been building my dreams into realities. Right now, I’m traveling, and yet, I’m not getting written up by coworkers. I’m traveling, and yet, my schedule is not being dictated to me without a choice or control. I have been so much more peaceful. I am smiling and laughing. My stress level is almost non-existant. I am engaged and excited. I am not jet lagged. The weird part about all of this though is that I thought I was so happy being a flight attendant. So happy. And, I didn’t even know I was unhappy until I was given a chance to see something else for a minute. Maybe happy for me could mean a slower, and yet, still adventurous existence.
But, I don’t want to be done with flying- not now, not yet. This is the only “career” I have known. My ENTIRE life is built around the aviation lifestyle, let alone this blog exists because of it. And although the blog doesn’t require that I fly, the site definitely benefits from my current employment, both from the aspect of story as well as the monetary piece. I can’t live off of freelance writing and blogging yet. I don’t know how to take that step and walk away from the career, even if only for a few months. Where would I go? What do I do? How would my life be? What if I was too stationary? Funny how I fear “staying put…”
I’ve been crying through every sentence that I have typed in this blog. I feel like one does when faced with a relationship breakup. I am one part of a relationship that has been beautiful and wonderful for years; full of love. I have loved destinations. I have loved people. I have loved best friends. I have had so much. It’s hard to give up when there is so much to give up. This is the type of relationship that is expected to last forever. Forever. But then forever isn’t working exactly. Growing up happens. Changing and learning and a realization that the relationship doesn’t fit as well as it once did. For me, this makes me question my aviation relationship, like one would in a romantic relationship, “Did I outgrow flying?”
And maybe I have outgrown flying. Maybe just for now and not forever. Maybe forever. There are so many ways to live the flight attendant life. It could just be that the way I have been going at it for the last year needs to be shifted and adjusted in some way. I don’t know what that means or what that looks like. Hell, I don’t know what any of this means. I just feel happy to be in Israel and struck by the thought that there are other opportunities that might fit better for the goals that I have for myself. I know what I want for “my perfect world.” I just don’t know right now if I believe that I can achieve it. And unfortunately, right now, my perfect world of achieving all of my goals and dreams doesn’t have me donning the flight attendant uniform.
That idea of no more me paired with a uniform has me almost so terrified that I can’t breath. For just under six years, my life has been dictated by bid lines, airplane schedules, and flight routes. I went from being a shy, little girl who needed medication to find her happiness; to a vibrant, excited, purposeful woman who went to see the world. I somehow fell into an amazing and wonderful world that embraced me and showed me more than I ever imagined existed. I became more than I ever thought possible, discovering a confidence and sense of purpose that I had never experienced. Travel changed me. I fell in and out of love. I saw places and met people and had opportunities that most people never get. I built this blog, and truly, it has been my heart and soul, and has taken me places as well.
Baby blog is a big reason why I switched airlines, and now baby blog, my interest in writing, and entrepreneurial dreams have brought me here; to the place where I question, “Do I really want to fly right now? Is flying where my heart is, or is it just happen to be where my paycheck deposit come from?” I love flying, and I will always love flying, but there’s a strange truth about love:
I’m writing this as I’m “in it.” So don’t worry too much about what will happen. I’ll find my answers. Answers always show up. I will pray that I can find and hold on to the courage to face the next step with a spirit of acceptance and gratitude regardless of what the outcome may be.
I’ll pray that for you too…
life is full of steps