It seems to be a divided road, or maybe I should say; ‘runway.’ Either people— observing us as flight attendants— wonder how in the world we can do this crazy job, or they observe us with wonder, secretly hoping to land a career as cabin crew. I think it’s rare for someone to think ‘only in the middle.’ Individuals scurrying through airports, stressed out and tired, walk up to ‘The Flight attendant Uniform’ and say, “How in the world do you do your job? It just seems horrible! And, staying up all night and the timezones?!? Oh— I just couldn’t!” This is when the flight attendant uniform (or at least myself), crunches up her shoulders a little bit, purses those Ruby Woo lips, smiles,and says with a half-laugh of exhaustion and gratefulness, “Yeah— it can be overwhelming…
but it’s really fun.”
There are those who cannot fathom how flight attendants do what they do, and then there are those who wonder in fascination about the job that allows adventure and new destinations on the daily. It’s that look of curiosity and wistfulness that says, “I want to do that and be that uniform someday.” I wasn’t one of those little girls or college grads who had that intrigue and hope about flight attendant life. I was one of the nose scrunchers and eye-roll judgers who thought commercial airports were a version of evil that I didn’t ever want to call my office. And then, I took that one runway and it got me into this flight attendant world. It got me into a world I didn’t just ‘kinda like,’ but absolutely feel ‘meant for;’ whether in one moment I’m loving it and the next hating it. You can never love what you love all the time. You will always have to accept the pitfalls, failings, and setbacks. It’s funny how life throws you from one ‘runway direction’ and flips you straight into another. Conditions change, and you will always need to be ready to adapt and accept a new flight plan for your life. You don’t forever have to love being a flight attendant. It could simply be good right now, but take note if you are feeling dull, numb, and purposeless. It might be the moment to pick a new runway.
I woke up this morning with thoughts of my European Airline and global-lifestyle fleeting through my mind. A smile registered on my face over how that adventure became my adventure and how that experience changed my life. How I— a girl from a incredibly small farm town, growing up in the country— ended up flying on big jets across the world. How I, a girl who was supposed to find a Christian husband in college, and could only go to private schools my entire life; was pushed into a bigger, broader, and more beautiful world. A world that forced the questions of, “What do YOU want? What do YOU believe?” It was a world that forced me to accept people, chip away at prejudices, and learn that deep down at the core of ‘being human’ are the same innate desires— no matter if growing up entailed a small farm town or a big city like London. At the root, we all want to be loved, and we all hope to belong.
My friend Nicole wrote a caption on her instagram account, and it hit me as very true and somewhat sad. She said,
“It’s a weird life when you know all the hotel staff better than your neighbors, you buy more travel size products than regular ones, and the answer to any invite is, ‘I don’t know— maybe.’ Traveling for a living is fun, but everything comes with a cost.”
That cost she is talking about; not everyone will be able to handle it. It’s the cost that you will never find reimbursement for if you only ‘kinda like’ a flight attendant job. If you are a flight attendant and you currently hate your job, that’s normal. Love goes through phases and sometimes love means hate. Hate means you still care. Indifference is where all becomes dangerous. If you have tried to like being a flight attendant, but only ‘kinda like it,’ maybe you need to give it a little more of a chance. But, if you tried, and it still isn’t setting your world ablaze with passionate excitement, you’re never going to make it. You won’t be completely happy or fulfilled. Your life will turn into a grind of existing. Honestly, I don’t care if you are a flight attendant, accountant, investment banker, pilot, or barista, if your job fulfills you and has the potential to fulfill future dreams for you, stick with it; but if you are going through the motions and have been for awhile, have you considered other options?
What are you scared of?
What are you curiously intrigued by?
What have you said you might hate, because— if you are anything like I was (or am)— it seems like saying, “I’ll never do that, go there, or live in that place,” is a good indication of a direction that my life might take. Also, a practice I have been making a reality: If it scares me, I need to take a closer look and at least try. Maybe that’s why I decided to become a corporate flight attendant. It’s not my comfortable world. It’s new and unnerving and I’m bound to make mistakes, but I’ll never have to wonder, “What if?” Go in the direction that scares you.
Life has no middle runway where we should live ‘kind of liking it.’ If you don’t like being a flight attendant yet, give it a chance. If you’ve given it a few years of a chance, and it’s still not your jam, find what makes your heart soar. This will take investment and work, but you are the type who is inherently valuable. You’re worth it. You’re worth fighting for, so fight. Fight for your dream, your life, and your destiny. Life is too short to pick anything that you only ‘kind of like.’ It’s like marrying the boyfriend you just thought was ‘kind of’ good for you. It’s like going on vacation to a country you only, ‘kind of’ wanted to hangout in. Why do we do this to ourselves? Please don’t spend your money, time, or invest in relationships in ways that you are only halfheartedly into. Find your heart hopes and follow those. Stop living in no man’s land and middle runways. They don’t exist.