I just had the best weekend in London. I love that city more than you can know. I had a fairytale there last year—one that I won’t really go into too much detail— but I’ll let you in on a bit of a secret. I fell in love there, but not in the way you are probably thinking.
I fell in love with the idea of someone. I fell in love with the prospect of a certain lifestyle. I fell in love with being treated like a princess. And then, I walked away. Well, flew away, but you get my point.
Before this “last year,” I disliked London. A lot. I find it almost strange that now I have so much appreciation for the city and carry a mix of nostalgia and regret for the place and the person. I cannot go there without thinking about him and how I did the hurting. Dating and relationships are scary as the possibility of someone getting hurt is real. So real. And the one who does the hurting often carries a little bit of guilt, wishing that, “it could have just ‘worked out.’
I still wish I could have had my London Life, in that way. With a someone who gave me everything and made my world more simple. No longer would I work so hard to take care of myself. No longer would I have to adventure alone. No longer would the question to, “Are you dating anyone?” be a solid, “No.” Instead, I would be part and supported and “with someone.” I wouldn’t be alone.
That feeling of ‘alone’ is hard to handle in flight attendant life. It’s a quiet, lonely struggle of both flight attendants and pilots. It’s a quiet lonely struggle of humanity. We all want to find our place, our person, and our purpose, and it’s most discouraging when all three of those are messy, muddled, and unclear.
Fast forward to now, and I’m learning to thrive amidst another potential “fairytale” gone array; this time with my heart a little sore, sad, and uncertain. But ironically, I am more happy, grateful, and inspired within this space than I have been in awhile. I’m almost shocked about this. I realize that I may not be living a London fairytale in the way I had pictured or have the Ft Lauderdale relationship that I deemed perfect for me, but I sure as hell am living a “real life” fairytale. One that is authentic, up-and-down, exciting, surprising, beautiful, heartbreaking— everything you could ever imagine that reminds me that I am ALIVE. And being alive— fully, completely and passionately— is the best gift I could ever ask for.
What doesn’t happen in our lives— by our choice or by no choosing at all— is preparing us for adventures, purpose, and fulfillment, “far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams!” (Ephesians 3:20 MSG). Fairytales only exist in real life if they include good and challenging, upsetting and awe inspiring, success and learning.
I judge my life with the scale of perfection, teetering precariously to an ideal that I (or you) will never achieve. Can I challenge myself to move and live and exist constantly in the realm of “It’s not always all good, but it is enough. I am enough. This flight attendant life is more than enough.” Can I challenge you to live your real life fairytale?