You’ll be back to work soon I’m told— just need to give yourself time to heal up. A half-smile crosses my face as a pang of sadness hits my soul. But, I don’t want to go back. I don’t know how I can make myself go back. I feel lost and uncertain, like the feeling you have after graduating college that questions, “Now what?”
Because ‘Now what?”
I never felt like I belonged on the ground, and that was where I was spending the majority of my time before I broke my ankle. Sadly, the forced time away from work may have saved me from drowning…or quitting. Or, maybe this pain will give me the courage to move on and do bigger and better for myself. Life is too short to work a job you don’t enjoy and build everyone else’s dream before you own. It’s also too short to start thinking you aren’t good enough, know enough, have flown enough, or whatever other ‘enoughs’ you are being told.
No— I don’t miss my current job. What I really miss is the job that I left six months ago. My friends tell me that I seemed so much happier then— flying to beaches all over the world and kiting. Some parts were happier, but I can’t ignore the fact that I left for valid reasons. It wasn’t perfect. I loved the job as much as I hated it sometimes, but what was good about it is that I belonged. I truly felt welcome; like my work mattered that I could be trusted to do a great job.
Have you ever felt overlooked by a romantic interest, boss, or job opportunity? Have you ever been the perfect person and yet you were passed by— leaving you confused, frustrated, and questioning?
Why didn’t he notice me? What did I do wrong? Why isn’t all of my training, personality, and job experience enough? Why won’t you trust me?
When you are at the end of giving all that you can give to prove yourself and still it hasn’t been enough, what is left?
Resignation? Discouragement? Doubt?
There are many moments when I think that I should have never left the airlines, especially as I fast approach the day my medical leave ends with no guarantees to fly. Terribly, I’ll admit I want easy, but the life that I’ve asked for cannot manifest itself if all I will accept is simple, easy, or convenient. Epic lives usually have had epic falls and epics highs. In a world where there is an app for everything, there simply is no app to quickly snap your life together, and there will never be.
Although I don’t feel strong enough for the wait and the pain resulting from feeling overlooked by my employer, broken bones, or disappearing love interests, I’m surviving it. I’m surviving it while praying that I will have my dream job back. When I say ‘back,’ I don’t mean going back to the same that I had, for I have changed. It’s like, in college I had this great boyfriend. Years later, after breaking and I started flying, we met up in Portland, Oregon. When I got back to California, I cried on my drive from the airport to my house, because I knew he was wonderful. I was wonderful, but we would never be wonderful together again. Sometimes, what you have is only supposed to be for the time that you have it. So, I don’t want the dream job of last year back. I want the dream of this year. I want the dream where I won’t be stuck in the United States for endless months at a time. The dream that allows me to once again belong and feel like my life and work experience, mind, and personality is respected and wanted.
In my career, I’ve been trained to fly on over nine different aircraft; under both European Aviation regulations and FAA requirements. I’ve worked international and domestic; short hops and long haul; wide body and narrow body planes, and yet, I was not acknowledged as capable enough to serve crudite and figure out how to reheat food. Please do not misunderstand this statement. In no way am I discounting the amount of training and care that a corporate flight attendant needs to be successful. In no way am I saying I do not have leaps and bounds to learn. In no way am I suggesting that safety is not part of a private cabin attendant’s tasks. In no way am I implying that a company is right or wrong for the way that they choose to do things, but what I am saying is, “TRUST ME.” Just trust me.
I deserve better.
Maybe, people only trust you in relation to the amount that you trust yourself. Maybe I have not trusted myself enough, for if I had trusted myself, my life would look differently and feel differently. I wouldn’t feel the sadness of being overlooked, but instead, the empowerment that comes from choosing your path; knowing full well that the real deal will always acknowledge me for the incredibly talented woman and flight attendant that I am. If you are not acknowledged or recognized for who you are, know that that is not someone else’s job description. You must first appreciate yourself— DAILY. \
In addition, please don’t be like me and start believing you are ‘less than,’ because the flight attendant job you so badly wanted passed you by, someone you love has neglected you, or you are struggling to “find your place.” You and I are both more than enough, and if a company or person doesn’t see that, maybe it’s the point when you say, “Thank you for the lesson. I appreciate the learning, but I’m ready for something greater than this.”
There are a lot of emotions that come up when you break your ankle. Trust me on that. I’m sorting through it. I’m sorting through that I don’t need to miss him; that I don’t need to worry about my career; that I don’t need to concern myself over the fear that I won’t be able to “handle it.” Because I trust myself.
And I trust my God.
If you don’t believe prayer or God, that’s ok. There are days when I don’t either, but please trust that, “The Universe has your back,” and trust that “all things work together for good.” I trust that I have faced insurmountable discouragements and roadblocks before, and it’s worked itself out. Whatever it is or whatever happens, between me and God, we can handle it.