This post is dedicated to someone who I love very much, who is like a little sister to me and who understands this life all too well. This is for the girl who feels fly life’s subtle sting sometimes. When hearing the click-click of the hotel room door is not comforting, but in fact isolating. In another city where the name escapes, it doesn’t seem to matter where now or where next. Because it’s a little bit too much on days like this; in times like these. It just feels so lonely lately.
This is for her. This is for me. This is for you. Because we have all felt so lonely…
For the first time in awhile, or that I can ever remember since beginning fly life, I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to be single and this admittance terrifies. Because they say that you find someone when you aren’t looking. I’ve spent the last seven years simply living, learning and loving every city that I could possibly land myself in, not looking, and look how far that got me? Pretty much all the way around the fucking world…
Because as hard as anyone of us tries to not need people and connection, we can’t escape the necessity of love in our lives. We were created for connection. We were created for community. We were created to be part of something bigger than ourselves, and when we float from city to city and country to country, there are little pieces of our hearts that pull away. It’s like our soul says, “I don’t exist here exactly. This is not my complete place. I am just stopping by.” Loneliness tugs at our hearts, sinking deeply in our souls through every diet coke we serve and behind every smile we flash. It’s the smile that translates to, “I’m happy to be here. I’m happy to serve you. But, I’ll never see you again.” We pack our suitcases with a little tinge of sadness wondering if quite possibly, with every wonderful adventure, there could be something deep and meaningful that is missing.
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It’s not about knowing that people love and miss you and can’t wait to see you again. We know this. I know this. My “little sis” knows this. It’s about falling asleep in an undisclosed city, in an unnamed hotel, at an hour that you don’t know what, knowing that no one can keep up with you and you can’t even keep up with yourself. You’re everything that everyone wants to be. They just want to live a day in your shoes. You love your shoes, but are slowly coming to the realization that if you want a different color or a different size, you’ll have to change the lifestyle. You’ll have to change the job. With this life the trend includes this subtle, unspoken and hard to communicate aspect of loneliness. These are big shoes to fill.
Maybe it’s just a life thing and we all feel so lonely lately.
I was scared to go back to Florida last week, because I feel so lonely there. I know people, but it’s the kind of knowing where they don’t really know me and I don’t really know them. And, I’m tired. Just so tired. Recovering from jet lag. Conquering mountains of laundry and re-packing for another trip. I spend a lot of time alone. As crew, honestly, we all do. It’s this intensely social existence interrupted by periods of intense isolation, in cities where there are no connections. We aren’t a part of a community that is consistent or constant, except for our fly life. We exist in a churning and changing entity where we feel like we belong; sometimes. Then we leave or they leave. The trip ends and everything changes again. We must find ourselves in a new environment and we must discover who we are again. We are so good at being chameleons.
It’s lonely because no matter who loves you when you are New York and they are in Charlotte, your life can only include them in moments. The ‘I miss yous’ and ‘See you soons’ find you in London today, but Los Angeles tomorrow. They think your life is glamorous and you do too, but you can’t explain just how much a normal day at a museum with them, in a normal city means. Because you don’t want glamour, you just want to know they are there for you and you will be there for them. The problem is, you don’t know where you will be tomorrow and you know it’s selfish to drag someone through your crazy life with you. You place a little bit of a guard around your heart, throwing yourself into everything that the flight attendant life is instead, because that will take care of all the loneliness.
You can’t pack all of your relationships with you all of the time and you feel so guilty for this. The guilt begins to pile up like an overweight bag, reminding that maybe with this perfect life you are losing what you care about most and who cares about you. You keep falling asleep alone in hotel rooms where the numbers run together and you don’t know if you’re in 215 or 512 or, “Was that the room number from last week’s trip?” You begin to wonder if it’s worth it. You’re not sure, but it sure as hell is addictive. Your drug of choice: Flight attendant life.
This social lifestyle of cabin crew covers up many an isolated existence. Don’t let the pretty smile and flashy uniforms fool you. You never really know how alone that bubbly, charming, and “happy” flight attendant feels. We aren’t complaining about it, these feelings just come with the territory.
“Little sis,” there’s a little children’s bedtime song that goes a little like this:
“I see the moon-
The moon sees me-
The moon sees somebody I want to see-
God bless me and God bless he-
God bless the somebody I want to see”
We look at the same moon Darling, and when I fall asleep on the East Coast and you fall asleep on the West Coast, both of us feeling so lonely lately, know that we’re looking up at the same moon, and know that I’m thinking of you.