“Thank God I’m going to Sweden tonight…” I thought to myself as the rhythmic rotations of my legs propelled me and my mint green bike with the pink basket through the muggy Florida air. Summer has certainly greeted Ft Lauderdale with its warm hello; my sticky tan skin shimmering under a hot morning sun. I want to escape this heat for Stockholm’s perfect and mild May days, but disappearing from the South Florida summer is not the true reason that I am so happy I am flying tonight. I am so happy I am flying tonight, because I hurt.
Three days ago, I clutched the back of a Waverunner, speeding across a flat sea. I watched the palm trees breeze by, soaking up the tropical heat and bright Mexican sun. Wind whipped through my salt water infused hair, while I rested my head against his shoulder. I sighed.
“This is such a beautiful moment. This time here is so precious. You will probably never have this again. You may never see him again. Please remember all of this. Hold onto this feeling. Remember this place in the way it is right now. Treasure this in the way that you can, even if he doesn’t. Because, this is beautiful and it will be gone soon.”
And now, it is gone.
I know how these feelings and experiences work. I have experienced similar feelings of wanting to keep the magic and the person and all of the memories current, so I followed up the thoughts of losing and wanting with a different current of reality:
“Because next week, when you are in Sweden—or next month in LA, Copenhagen, New York—you will have another moment that is not this one, but similar. Just as magical and just as moving; one that you will want to hold onto forever. You will find someone else you deem perfect for you. You will arrive at another place you never want to leave, but you will leave. You will leave and you will learn and you will have these memories to treasure forever. And you will be ok. You will face another hello, the next goodbye, and a new destination. You will have something else to replace this.”
You will be ok.
You will have a moment when you tell the Universe, “Thank you so much for not giving me what I wanted.” Someday, all of this messy pain, hurt, incredible adventures, and flight attendant shit will really be worth it. You will see.
And so, this is what I clutch onto more tightly than I did to the idea of him or to the back of that Waverunner. It’s important to recognize when we love the idea of someone, something, or some place or when we actually love that someone, some place, or something. “I would love to fly international trips only,” you wish with breathless wanting. “I want to date a foreigner.” “I want to be home more.” Ok— that’s great, but the international trips come with no scheduling choices and bad pay. The foreign fling includes distance, culture differences, and visa issues. Being home adds more reality to your life than the dream land of cabin crew existence you have become so accustomed to living. There are good things to every wish you have, but the challenges will present themselves as well. There is a cost-benefit to every choice you will make, and the outcome is often out of your control.
It feels like it’s been awhile since I have truly looked forward to flying. It feels good to want to go to work, especially since I’ve lost my fascination for flight attendant life. I don’t know who I am flying with. I forget all of the destinations on the pairing. I’m not sure how many days I will be gone. I just want to put distance between everything that I feel like I’ve lost. I want distraction from the disappointment and I need jet-lag to numb my emotions. Remember my drug of choice— Flight Attendant Life?
Heartbreak, loss, and longing are all part of our stories at some point. The cutting truth and reality of my adventurous and curiously passionate personality is that I fall “all in” and examine the world with such wonder that I can never leave a place or a person without being touched in some facet, and sometimes very deeply. And it’s wonderful, and its wearing. It wears me out and breaks me down.
And somewhere within that, I know I will be ok; just fine in fact. What bothers me more than knowing an interest (a him) is not interested in anything with me, is that I don’t know what I will do with my job, my home life, my career— any of it. I’m more lost with me than I feel that I lost him or a place or a future hope. I’m frustrated, because nothing is black-and-white, cut-and-dry, or an easy decision.
Because, today; I love flying.
My ribs hurt too much to kite.
I don’t want to be stuck in one spot (hence why I keep working as a flight attendant).
I want a relationship, but don’t know how to keep one with me wherever I go (and keep the same one).
Have you ever felt like, “If I was meant for this, why is it so hard?” I feel like in many ways, I was meant to pursue flight attendant life and blog about it, but it’s not the easiest path always. I would love to tie these thoughts together with my epiphany of wisdom that finds the silver lining and lesson in all of this crazy messiness, but I don’t have it today. I just don’t know, but I want you to know that I do realize I am blessed. I am grateful for the opportunities I have. For the people I have had the privilege of loving. For the moments that make me long to bring the magic back; the moments that make me want to hold onto magic forever.
Travel NEVER leaves anyone unaffected. Ever.
“We do that by numbing the pain with whatever provides the quickest relief. We can take the edge off emotional pain with a whole bunch of stuff, including alcohol, drugs, food, sex, relationships, money, work, caretaking, gambling, affairs, religion, chaos, shopping, planning, perfectionism, constant change, and the Internet. And just so we don’t miss it in this long list of all the ways we can numb ourselves, there’s always staying busy: living so hard and fast that the truths of our lives can’t catch up with us. We fill every ounce of white space with something so there’s no room or time for emotion to make itself known.”
― Brené Brown,