THENOONANROCK

A few months ago, as I was training to be a flight attendant, I had this great idea for a blog. I posted a few articles…and then I went blank. I didn’t know what to write about. I wanted to follow my initial plan and be a travel blogger. The truth is: being a flight attendant in your first year is not all that exciting for the outside reader. No, I have not been to Fiji, no I don’t have “regular routes”….and no I don’t have any control over my schedule. They say the first year on the job is the hardest; I’m more than half way there and quality of life has increased exponentially, but I have not been inspired to write as of late, not wanting to share the woes of one who is paid to be on call at her comfortable apartment and flies for free whenever her heart desires.

Then, something happened. The unthinkable. As fate would have it I happened to be sitting in my parents’ living room on my day off, and my father received a call. It was from Grandpa. We are a very close family, so the call was nothing out of the blue….until I saw my dad, a decorated police officer of 25 years stand out of his chair, his face went white, and all he could mutter to his father was “what?”.

The whole family had been fighting along side my father’s brother Joe, fighting colon  cancer for about two years, so the second my 6’3″ dad clenched the counter, my mom and I looked at each other and knew, Uncle Joe died.

Instead, dad stood up, and said Lena died in a car accident. Lena is Joe’s 16 year old daughter. His 16 yr old basketball prodigy.

Lena??  No way. No chance is this call about Lena.

My uncle Joe is my Dad’s little brother. He’s got some height on dad, and definitely had some skills on him on the court, but they ALWAYS were a team. Then, I came along. I am the first born  of their second generation, and Uncle Joe treated me like a princess. He would sneak me out and take me to Sox games, getting autographs and catching balls hit by Mo Vaughn. He is the best uncle a girl could ask for….did I mention he coached my first basketball team????

Then my sister and the other cousins came along, and I can’t speak for them but I think they would individually say he always made them feel like they were the only person in the world.

And then came Lena. She was truly gifted. Schooled me at basketball when she was twelve years old, after that I always had an excuse as to why I couldn’t play her.

Lena really made an impact in our family. I will always be proud of her and I will always miss her, but she, at her young age taught me an amazing lesson.

I travel alot. I meet ALOT of people. Yet, i have met few people who have resonated with me. I wish I could say different, and It may be the state of my heart right now, but real love of a person, the kind you live for…family…..is the only thing that travels with you.

I have many people whom I’ve met in my travels who I am not related to. Family is what you make of it, and family is what I live for.

Sorry to disappoint those looking for a travel blog….but I’ve realized, an honest blog is more me.

#LIVING

 

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A Head in the Clouds

I’m sitting in my jumpseat, waiting to hear the two chimes to indicate the end of sterile flightdeck, hoping to catch a glimpse of our ascension. Finally, the captain indicates that we have reached 10,000 ft, and I am no longer a prisoner to my seatbelt.

Although the first thing I should do after sterile flight deck is start brewing coffee and preparing the cart, I run to the window. As much as I LOVE serving people coffee and cookies (wink), my heart yearns for the sky. Every time, all the time, the first chance I get, I look out the window and take in the view.

My head is in the clouds. That is probably what my kindergarten teacher told my parents the first time I got caught daydreaming in her class. Sorry Miss Sunshine, your thrilling rendition of “Jesus loves Me” does not compare to actually feeling the love of the universe and witnessing the miracles first hand.

Anytime there is an opportunity for me to gaze into the clouds I take it. I lose myself in the vastness, the openness…the possibilities. Being a flight attendant has been a dream of mine, because it provides the adventure, lifestyle and ability to travel that I have long yearned for, but being a flight attendant is not where my dreams end.

As soon as the pilot indicates we have reached 10,000 ft. I hop out of my jumpseat, head to the window, appreciate what I have, realize how huge and amazing the world is, and plan for what is next.

How could I stop now when this amazing world is waiting for me?

Just because I have achieved one goal does not mean I can sit back and relax, it only opens doors for me to set and achieve more.

When I view the world from the clouds I get real with myself, with my desires, with my dreams. I recognize that my dreams are big, but so is that world floating underneath me. Anything is possible. The fact that I am flying through clouds proves that anything can happen.

It’s time for you and I to get real about what we want. Men didn’t always fly, at one point it was deemed barbaric to even dream of. I’ll embrace my barbaric dreams, as achievements are dreams with hard work behind them.

We are all worthy of our desires, it’s just a matter of how big we dream.

#Living

Oh Dallas

20170420_190550.jpgOh Dallas, sometimes I wake at night thinking of you. I think back to the day I first saw you, sporting my new black pumps, my hair twirled in a bun, and crimson red lips. I stepped off the plane with such excitement and curiosity of what was to come. You were good to me that first day Dallas, I left that interview with a job offer in hand.

The next time I saw you was just a few short weeks later. I had no idea what you had in store for me, but I was ready and anxious to get started. It was the middle of march, and you were still cool and breezy. My first week with you I made new friends, learned new aircraft and was introduced to my new company’s culture.

The next six weeks were rough for you and I Dallas. My classes got harder and home seemed further, and your temperatures sky rocketed. You were not kind to me in my wool uniform, you seemed to make it your goal to make me uncomfortable. When the days got too long and stressful I would try to have alone time with you. I would walk for hours trying to discover what you had to offer. You had no ocean for me to hear and smell, no family for me to visit, you offered me very little aesthetically.

When the studying was finally over I couldn’t wait to leave you Dallas. I’ll admit, even now, I avoid any trip that will take me to you, but if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have today. I would not be flying around the world, I wouldn’t have all of my new friends, and my future would look a lot like my past. If it weren’t for you I wouldn’t be admiring the world from a different view, a view from the clouds.

You were tough on me Dallas, but you were the vessel that sent me on this journey.

Oh Dallas, I suppose I love you after all.

 

#LIVING

Ten Minutes to London

I’m nearing my three week checkpoint on the line. My feet are blistered, my eyes are raccooned, and I’m having the time of my life.

My first trip I had a layover in Fort Lauderdale with an amazing crew who took me out to dinner where they shared their insight and tips with me. Next, I was awarded an “on-premise-reserve” shift where you are responsible for sitting at the airport on call just in case scheduling needs to re-crew a flight last minute. I had read about “OPR” but I didn’t really know what to expect, I figured I would just nap at the airport for a few hours.

I drop my bags and check in for my shift and head to the concourse to grab a bite to eat before my nap. Ten minutes later, as I’m waiting for my food order, I get a call from crew scheduling and they tell me I’m going to London!

The scheduler informs me that the plane is already boarding so I need to get there as soon as humanly possible. No time to stress, trial by fire.

Six hours later we land in a sunny London and I am absolutely exhausted. We arrive at our cute boutique hotel in a gorgeous part of town. I immediately crash onto my bed for some much needed shut eye.

A few hours later I find myself hungry and in need of a glass of wine. I spent the next five hours strolling around the beautiful and historic city, stopping in bookstores and little shops, nibbling on appetizers and sipping on wine whenever a restaurant caught my eye.

Around 10 p.m. I found my way back to my charming little 5th floor room where I took a long hot shower and reflected on the amazing and unplanned experience I had just had. Twenty four hours prior I thought I was just going to take a nap in the crew room, and now I’m going to bed in London.

I slept soundly that night dreaming of all the adventures to come.

 

#LIVING

 

Never fly on an Empty Stomach

Ok so lets talk about work trips. During training the FAA requires that each Flight Attendant logs 5 hours of flying time, this time is referred to as a work trip. My first trip I was scheduled for a Dallas to Charlotte turn. I was so excited to get out of the training facility and up in the sky. Needless to say, I was too excited to sleep the night before and had to be up at 4am to get pretty for my flight. Well the cafeteria here doesn’t open until 6 am so I had the bright idea to just skip breakfast.

Fast Forward two hours…

My flight buddy and I arrive at the airport for our check in, grinning ear to ear, and LOVING the attention we were getting from walking in our uniforms. I’m serious, if you ever need a confidence booster, throw on a flight attendant uniform and walk through an airport, you will feel like Miss Universe.

We meet the crew we will be flying with, they were all so nice and excited to have us. All this time I am chugging starbucks. We start to taxi to the runway and we do our first ever live safety demo (what a rush!). 35,000 ft. later, we are up in the air and I’m serving first class. The flight starts to get pretty bumpy and all of a sudden the combination of no breakfast and way too much espresso gets to me. I drop my tray in the galley and run to the lav. I have never even been in an airplane lav before and the first thing I do in one is throw up…great.

All in all it was a great day with some amazing people, but trying to serve hot towels and warm nuts while you are sweating and trying not to be sick is one of the least fun things I can think of.

Learn from my mistakes, if you are flying, eat and lay off the coffee!

 

#LIVING

Flight Attendant Boot Camp

So here I am, about to round out my fourth week of flight attendant training, or what I fondly refer to as bootcamp, and instead of studying for my millionth exam, I decided to write my first blog post.

Like many people I was stuck in a dead end job hating almost every shift and bored out of my mind. I would try to imagine what I wanted to do when I “grew up” but travel was always in the forefront of my mind. Well, how the hell am I going to travel around the world and still be able to afford to feed myself? Do I marry rich? Well, I could try it but I doubt I would feel fulfilled for very long and I’ll wind up right back where I started. Do I join the peace corp? ehh, I’m not that rustic. Then one day my mom mentioned to me that airlines had been hiring new flight attendants. Ok, that sounds like something I could do! Six months later, I’m sitting here in my hotel room procrastinating studying to tell you about my new life.

I’ll be honest, training has been anything but easy. Our instructors have been absolutely amazing and completely supportive, but the curriculum is intense and can feel like information overload. A month ago the only thing I knew about airplanes was that there was a pilot somewhere up front driving and you aren’t allowed to pee when the fasten seatbelt sign is on. Now, I can evacuate an aircraft in under a minute and know where all the emergency equipment is located. Pretty empowering stuff.

Being stuck on this little campus 24/7 gets old. We are all missing our freedom and privacy but the reward on the other side is well worth the pain. There have been a lot of tears shed, but we are determined to walk across that stage on graduation and receive our wings.

Next week we will receive our base assignments and have two weeks to find a place to live. Until then, I’ll be staring at aircraft diagrams and yelling at dummies to “Jump and Slide!”

Can’t wait to fly away…

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