I have less than a week until I’m leaving the only city I’ve called my home for 20+ years, and starting a completely new life with an office in the sky. To be fair, I have to successfully complete 4.5 weeks of flight attendant training in Phoenix first, but the anticipation is pretty intense. My highly competitive nature is intrigued by the real possibility that I may fail at this new challenge and return to where I started. But I also know myself well enough to realize I’ll never be satisfied unless I try something drastically different. I have my sunny disposition, intelligence, acute attention to detail, and youthful malleability to work to my advantage. So far, I’ve memorized airport city codes (204!), FAA policies and procedure, and put all my memories and possessions into about a dozen boxes. Everything is slowly starting to materialize, and I’m taking a moment to reflect on my old life as a wide-eyed ingenue, and then take off into the future. Literally.
Despite my enthusiasm, leaving turned out to be harder than I thought. When I initially applied for the FA job, I was at the perfect mental place for a clean break— single, bored, recently graduated from college and ready for a career that didn’t leave me feeling like fried Hell when 5:00 rolled around. And then, I fell in love. It was so effortless and natural, despite being ridiculously inconvenient timing. All of a sudden I started asking myself if I couldn’t stick around just a little while longer. He is very comfortably settled with a house and a good job, and all the time in the world for us to grow something lasting together. I started reconsidering my prime directive. Maybe we could travel together a few times a year and I’d be happy. Maybe all I needed was a short vacation from Chattanooga. In the end I got the call for an interview with the airline, and a good friend miraculously came through to take my place on my apartment lease. I was chosen as a flight attendant new hire with 4 others out of a initial group of 50. Thankfully my new guy is very supportive of the relationship hurdle my leaving will cause and recognizes I’ll go stark raving mad if I don’t make my own mark on the world.
Right now is the moment of inertia before things take off, and I’m going stir crazy. I’m leaving bright and early Sunday morning with naught more than an open mind and a full suitcase. In the mean time I wanted to get this blog up and running so my family and friends can keep tabs on what I’m up to. I am organizationally challenged when it comes to remembering everyone’s emails and addresses, so I figured it’d be easier to create an independent location for interested parties to come peruse at their leisure. I anticipate updating at least once a week, and eventually turning this space into more than just my experiences as a trainee. One of the mouthwatering perks of working for an airline is the free travel, and I plan on taking full advantage of these benefits. Already friends are asking me about buddy passes and the ones who are scattered across the globe have given me open invitations to visit. My friend Jessie’s blog An Unsettled Life has especially whet my vagabonding appetite.
So, this is me; Carmen*, the winged wayfarer. Peripatetic extraordinaire armed with an abundant combination of naiveté and enthusiasm.
*name changed for privacy.