Recently, I’ve come to understand something I didn’t really, completely “get” before. It’s this realization that it’s really hard to “become a flight attendant,” but not for the reasons you might think. Where the challenge lies is that it is difficult— and sometimes impossible— to make an utter life switch and total 180 degrees into a different direction. I’m not saying this because being a flight attendant is new for me, but what is new is juggling where I am now with the opportunities presented in front of me.
When I first began my aviation career, I had one choice in airlines that wanted to hire me. I had no other choices of jobs in general. I didn’t even have a full-time job to quit so that I could fly. I had nothing holding me back and everything driving me forward. It was a wonderful place to jumpstart my flight attendant career, and I’m so lucky I was in that place to be so mobile, adaptable, and pivot in an unplanned direction.
It’s not like life and your responsibilities are put on pause when you try to juggle getting yourself to a flight attendant interview and then make it through training. Sometimes, it’s really hard to do what you need to do, for you, when there is so much going on around you. Moms, I’m especially talking to you. Thank you for what you do and who you are. By far, you must have the most challenging (and rewarding) job in the world.
Life is this juggle and we have to learn how to say “No!” to distraction and “Yes!” to where our intuition leads us. I do believe we have the answers and can find the answers to where to go next and what to do with our lives if we stop to find stillness and thoughtfully contemplate the true desires of our hearts. There are times when I feel unsettled or uninterested in my next path or next “thing,” but ignore those feelings because I talk myself into thinking, “You are overreacting. Everyone would KILL for this opportunity.”
Let me remind you— “Live YOUR dream.” No one else will be stuck with the long term consequences of your decisions but you.
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I find myself in the space of feeling drawn, called, purposed to build this blog to be better, pursue writing more deeply, and go back into corporate aviation (post ankle break). But, I am teased and tested by all of the possibilities presented by commercial airlines. And I find myself saying, “Wow! I never knew it was so hard to become a flight attendant.” There is this difference in ‘knowing’ something and knowing something. I think that’s why you, reading this, understand me and we relate. Flight Attendant Life is this entity that you can explain and depict, but until you “live it,” the explanation has little emotion attached. Every day, I learn something new about this career, growing up, me, and what you might be going through. I’m grateful for that. Life experiences are the foundation for creating your future.
I have two pieces to leave you with; for those two polar opposites who are struggling with the decision to fly.
I used to do this thing, where I couldn’t decide if I would want to go on a trip (for fun). I would pack my bag, not exactly sure where I was going and not sure if I even wanted to go. I would tell myself, “Decide later. Just go to the airport. Drive to the airport.” Through that command, I learned that, sometimes, the hardest part of my trip was simply ‘getting started.’ Just going. Just doing it. So, if you can’t decide about making a career switch, or this airline, or that corporate job or quitting, maybe you just need to, “get in your car and drive to the airport.” Just go. You need to drop everything and just go for it.
But maybe, your life and thoughts show a slight resemblance to my current space. There are tons of opportunities ahead of you and your biggest challenge is to know which to say, “No” to, and which to step into. Deep down, your heart knows— just that FOMO is real. It’s totally real. The ‘what ifs’ scare you and the past reminds you of how your decisions lead you through more struggle than you care to deal with again. Let me remind you, that struggle— and the decisions you are faced with now— have built you into a better person, better employee, and better gift to this world. Stop thinking about the FOMO and what other people believe is the best path for you. You know. Somewhere, you know.
My dad has this advice when it comes to marriage, and which he has said to friends before. I think it’s applicable now. “If there is any ounce, question, second-guessing, that this is NOT what you want to do,” he says. “You shouldn’t get married today.” The things you really want, you don’t doubt. Like Chris Sacca says, “If you’re not all in, you’re out.”