Abruptly, I stop mid-chatter. ‘Woah. I sound like I’m all over the place, don’t I?” A half smile crosses his face while a head tilt of amusement appears in the space between my words. In his calm and calculated manner he simply and directly answers my rhetorically phrased question— “Little bit…”
His acknowledgment to my millions of plans, but no decision on which goal and direction I should actually tackle first, rolls loosely with a cadence so signature to his personality. I find his style and approach to life comforting. Solid. Analytical. Patient. Accepting of what life throws while continually striving for more. He isn’t ‘all over the place’ but in contrast very ‘together.’ Not only is his demeanor opposite to mine, but so are his days. He swivels in a characteristic office chair working on characteristic office things. He types words on a company computer and calls people from a company phone and looks at spreadsheets (or this is what I imagine he does). The only thing not so characteristic is how drinks that office’s water machine water out of a coffee mug. When I ask about it, he gives an explanation that makes sense. His work, on the other hand, doesn’t exactly make sense to me, but still, I find it absolutely interesting and oddly refreshing. We both work in the same industry, but our roles— and the way our days roll— are so different. His environment appears so much more constant while I exist in a world that is so not.
I would like to think that I’m NOT all over the place, but even to me, I sound more than a little “up-in-the-air.” Maybe the sky will always be where I exist best (or where I find it easiest to exist). The pace I understand is three states, three countries and five cities in one week. “What are you going to do in The UK?” a friend asks. “Oh, I’m already gone,” I reply in a rushed text before the private jet departs again.
I don’t know of a time in my life and career when I felt so alive with growth, challenge, and possibility. Externally, I find myself handling it with poise and positivity, while internally I am the tumultuous white-wash of surf leftover by a crashing wave. I never want to live a life of ‘leftovers’— one void of intention and direction, but I find myself secretly floating along in a current of insecurity. “What if you don’t make it? What if I fail at that thing– the thing that I really care about? Can I really do it?” I’m sure I’m not the only one that quietly questions like this.
My job of flying on private jets is all so good and incredible, but I never hustled and hurt to solely work for billionaires and be tied to their schedules. It is probably the most AMAZING job in the world, but I never did this fly thing to just do this fly thing. I did this for the story, for the adventure, and quite honestly, to support my writing habit. I am beyond grateful for my job and find it a bit strange that, in all its competitiveness and instability, flying feels like my one “sure thing.” It feels like the thing I worked for and can achieve; as opposed to the crush who does not crush in return, the book that will never write itself, and this website that requires so much more investment. Do you ever feel that the things that you want do not want you?
It’s been one year exactly since I worried that I would never fly after breaking my ankle. Do you know how that fear was answered? Unexpectedly and unbelievably. My first call back into private aviation after the injury was to work on a business jet configuration of an Airbus A320. The only one like it in the world and a plane that no longer exists for contract flights. Pretty much impossible in a ‘get-the-fuck-out-of-town’ sort of way (like for real though). I have seen more miracles in my life and more impossible moments that I can even fathom. I know that I was never forgotten and that my life direction fits me better than everything I thought that I wanted for myself. I know this, but I do not always feel this. Sometimes it’s easier to see the fear as opposed to believing in the faith.
After meeting a new corporate flight attendant girlfriend for coffee this morning, I drove away wondering what I would really do in the next few months if money was no consideration. She encouraged me to spend that time I said I wanted to spend in Copenhagen and write that book. She encouraged me to go and do it. I’ve saved so that I can take time away and commit myself to writing a book and yet, as the date approaches for when I planned to do just that, I find myself making excuses and asking waaaaay too many questions. When you are afraid, you often do just that— justify why it’s better to stay in what you know than step completely into unknown opportunities that you know you want.
Everything that I am doing now— the flying and the home-time— is so so good. Leaving something bad is a lot easier than putting something good on pause or saying ‘goodbye.’ I’m not considering quitting flying. I love the incredible lifestyle that I’m blessed to live. I just need to determine what is the most important priority and take steps now that create the life I dream of living in the future. If you find yourself ‘all-over-the-place’ like I know I am, you’ll need to learn to prioritize. I only have so much time in my day. We only have so much time (which is very little) in our lives. If you want to do those things you dream of, you will have to create the time and space and invest the energy necessary to see your future hopes to fruition.
Part of me is held by the knowledge that my job on private jets was SO HARD to get and to become successful at, that I question why would I place my flying career second to things that may never be successful. But what about my heart? What about those secret hopes? What about those things I am so curious to see if they can become in this world? I believe that living with failure is better than existing with the regrets of “what if.”
So, what would I really do if I had all the money in the world? If I knew that the jet trips would keep coming even if I stepped back and prioritized something else for a minute? What would I do then? How would I spend my time? Who would I spend my time with? Where would I spend my time? Do I need to step back in order to make forward steps into my other interests and desires?
I think we can both agree that I have a bunch of questions. I don’t have the answers to these now because I’m scared. Just a little or a lot scared and to both of us, it looks a lot like “a little all over the place.”
Curious. Bubbly. Creative. Curating a life I don't need an escape from and inspiring you to do the same.
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