Prelude to myself… & a challenge

I have so many entries that are just sitting around waiting to be published. Are they not good enough? Why does it take me so long?

See, the problem is I’m way too critical and indecisive. I have this vision of how I want things laid out, what to follow and which images are most suitable. I guess that’s not really a problem, but it sure becomes one when these visions change more often than I blink. I’m conscious of criticism and judgement. My intuition is crazy accurate; sometimes it scares me. I hate that I care so much about what others think. I mean, why? Why should I care?

This is my life, the thoughts I generate are my own. I form my own opinions, decisions and lifestyle changes. Why should I allow anyone else influence my personal thoughts. If I let that happen does that mean what I do next isn’t really what I want to do?

I battle with myself trying not to slip into a world of controlled societal bliss. On one hand I have my grand plans, things I long for and feel I will accomplish someday when the time is right. On the other, life seems to run away from me looking back pointing fingers and laughing because I can’t seem to catch up.
What if I’m not meant to be where everyone else is at my age? What if life has bigger and better and certainly more exciting plans for me.
I accept this. I accept the fact that despite what I may currently think, I am definitely not the only person with these questions. Nor am I the only one that is thinking about this right at this very moment.

So what’s the secret?
Well that would be no fun.

My right now secret; happy. Just be happy for me.
And the hardest part? Be happy for those around me. Genuinely happy. Understand that I cannot control anyone or anything in this life. I can’t change anyone’s thoughts and decisions. I can only make my own.

I have what I have because I made it happen. If I want more, I will have to achieve that. But for right now, I am happy right where I am. I’m happy that I’m beginning to shape my life the way I want it. I’m not quite at peace with myself, but that is the direction I’m aiming for.

Most of us travel, and we have some great stories. But never one the same. I want to share my travels with you, so I will challenge myself to publish one entry a week from my summer months of 2014.

Ps: Happy Fall!

Among the shades of Green

As I began my day this late morning, convinced it would be like any other lazy Wednesday ….which today began with some last minute errand runs. The beaming sun playing hide and seek every few minutes, showering us with warm droplets in between. I completed a workout which for once made me feel good. Walking out of the facilities I felt refreshed and eager for the plan-less day. Returning home, the sun now beaming causing a sauna around me, I grabbed my camera and headed for the door once more.

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Forests. Standing proud and tall, each branch fighting for a sky view. This is my happiness. Among the shades of green.
After a days showers, you can just imagine the freshness, the fragrance. As I breath in, my chest expands, my eyes widen and I smile. Pebbles crunch beneath my running shoes still coated wet. I feel myself slow down from my usual ‘road runner’ self. As the sun peeks through the leaves, leaving dry patches around me and as the warm wind blows, the leaves dance around me. This sound reminding me of a water fall in the distance.

I startle a butterfly who camaflauges into the background. My eyes try to catch up with it as it swirls skyward and back down again circling me several times. I reach my hand out hoping for a soft landing. No luck, I continue my journey. Snapping photos, I am taken aback by natures beauty. It’s capabilities and the fact that I’m here blessed with the gift of sight to be able to witness it’s magical transformations. I breath.

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I stop and admire two more butterflies chasing each other. Zooming past me I can hear their wings flap. Imagine the delicate strength.

This is why I take these moments to myself, to remind myself that I think I have it pretty good. This is what makes me rich and happy.

I could spend hours if not days between the bark, but my stomach reminds me that I must return. I turn back and spot the light at the end of my journey. I head in the direction of home, hoping I will have the chance to do this again real soon before my life is the skies resumes.

I think I’ve made new friends, the butterflies return and send me off as I step into the concrete jungle.

Drafted

Tears were bottling up in my eyes. I was furious. I could feel my ears getting hot and tingly. Surely I was beat red.

This was my first taste of “Anything can happen at any given time”

After my Reserve schedule, or in human terms, on-call, where I sacrificed my life for two months and practically lived in the UK part time… I was finally able to bid on my most desired flights. And so I bid. AVOID UK!

To my surprise, my first real flight schedule was pretty incredible for someone who just started on the line. Three layovers in Barcelona and a Rome! Rome was the one I was looking forward to the most. Main reason being, there lives a young lad who I haven’t seen in 11 years. And we’re suppose to be family. After arranging our mini reunion, all we were waiting for was the day to come.

And so it came.
Here’s the play-by-play.

Suitcase zipped, lunch ready, snacks packed, uniform on, shoes patiently waiting at the door. A quick last minute schedule check; happy to see familiar names on the crew. Twenty minutes later and I’m scanning my airport security pass and pushing past the heavy doors. My suitcase trails behind me.

Post briefing, we pick positions on the aircraft. I of course, due to my seniority (or lack there of) am last to pick. At this point I was ready to shut the aircraft doors and take off. This was a big step for me. I needed this moment, to once again unite our family. Nothing mattered, not even that I was left with a position I only knew about from what I read in my manual. Never actually having worked the Club Section, I was petrified. Word got around pretty quick and I had help within minutes. I relaxed. My destination was about to change and all within those same minutes. I hear the faint calls of my name. My supervisor rushes on board and by the time I had a chance to process the information I was no longer going to Rome, but to Manchester! For 48 hours!

I was being drafted!?!? But I had plans! In Rome, not Manchester! I was finally going to reunite with a cousin who I haven’t seen in over a decade! This was NOT happening.

Being introduced to the second crew, combined of 6 young girls, who have been travelling together the last few days, I immediately felt tension and I knew exactly why. They were all French, and I speak none of it. The theme of the flight was “forgetting” to speak to me in English. Most of the 6 hours, I spent alone. Even during our duties the only words exchanged were “Please pass the orange juice” or “Do you have ginger-ale on your side?”

I speak the truth when I say I have nothing against French or French people. I actually love the language and am learning it at the moment, but I managed to gather one nasty impression of the culture within this short time. No details shared, but I’m sure you’ve guessed that this was not my best flight. Actually, it was horrible. What made this whole thing even worse was that I realized Rome and Manchester had two very different climates. My suitcase was prepared for extreme heat not Alaska! All I had were sun dresses and flip flops. I was on the verge of a breakdown, everything was crumbling before my eyes. And this wasn’t even that bad. Would I be able to handle this? These last minute changes. Would I ever be prepared for this? Nope, you can never be prepared for this job. The trick is, and I learned it that day is to stay calm, take it for what it is. I signed up for this job knowing my life would be on the go. The routines were over, it was just an adjustment.

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Manchester wasn’t so bad after all. And the two days gave me time to rest and visit the city. Since I had no proper clothing and I was not going to spend my time sitting in the hotel, I had to go shopping. Primark saved my life and my wallet. While browsing I ran into a colleague of mine from my training class. Smiles and giggles erupted. In moments we were engulfing each other with hugs. She was flying out the next morning, so we decided on dinner that evening. Others who joined us, were also from my training class. All of a sudden I’d forgotten what I had felt just a few short hours ago. This IS what I was meant to do, this is what made feel complete. That at any given moment things could turn upside down, and just when you think the world is against you something amazing happens. This was my lesson. Who would have thought that from my miserable flight where I was sure I would have the worst two days of my life abroad with no familiar face around I ended up with not one, but two crews filled with those who I shared this change with.

So what did I learn? To be patient and calm. To appreciate what I was given, because not every person gets the opportunities I do. And what I thought was the end of the world for me was merely a small stepping stone. It could have been a lot worse.
But more importantly, I learned I needed to reorganize my suitcase!!