1. When he didn’t like me.
  2. When they didn’t like me.
  3. Catering gone wrong.
  4. Being SO single
  5. How it would all work out

When he didn’t like me.

I always thought it was my job. The boy I liked couldn’t keep up because the job I loved got in the way. So, I was fierce with my job, independence, and sensitivity towards the fuck-boys who ghosted. I cried, for good reason, over the boys I thought were for me. Who had to be for me. I wondered how I went so off track to have missed getting married in college (which was why most Christian colleges existed) by almost fifteen years. I was told ‘good luck with love when all you want is travel,’ and so I cried. I cried because all I wanted was not just travel. I wanted a him to understand the part of me that loved travel and loved home. I wanted to be seen as not just pretty, not just smiley, and not just for my job that both found and lost dates.

I didn’t need to cry about unrequited ghosts. Now, I want to write them all thank you notes for letting me get away.

When they didn’t like me.

If the tears were heavy when the guys didn’t like me, you should have been there when the private jet operations and decision makers said one day, “We adore you,” and a day later, “Get lost. We will never work with you again.” I mean, at least they told me (but funny enough, they called for trips at least seven times after they promised we were no more). The other one, the one that stings, I never got a reason out of. But I cried. A lot. Private aviation can be like a few dates that go really, really well. You are giddy and know it’s a perfect match. Then, out of nowhere, something hits sideways, and the perfect match is history before it even started. Private aviation is one of the harshest environments, a very good teacher in some ways.

It’s hard to let the criticism or the critics who speak behind your back go. “If they just gave me a chance,” you plead, eyes filled with tears. Well, maybe they gave you the chance to find a place and airplane and company that values you for so much more. You aren’t as replaceable as they make you out to be.

Catering gone wrong.

If you are a corporate flight attendant who has NOT cried in an aircraft lavatory for even 3 seconds over catering gone wrong, bless. I aspire to have your grace, composure, and poise. For the rest of us who are honest, we’ve cried over catering. The funny part about it is looking back, the WORST catering days are the ones I laugh about most now.

Being SO single.

How many layovers did I cry myself to sleep because I was SO damn single? Oh, too many to count. I laugh now, but for those of you who are single in aviation, I’m sure you’ve felt that tinge of sadness. Like, you have travel, but wow, you’re getting more single by the minute. I always questioned if travel was worth it but what I didn’t understand was that I wasn’t trading love for my love of adventure. It was on a trip I met the love of my life, and it’s not because of him I wanted to do something else for a job. He has never once discouraged me from pursuing things that I love, jobs that I love, or places that I love. I somehow LUCKED out with him, and I’m so thankful we choose each other.

And what’s funny about it all of this is that it doesn’t feel like I was single for SO long. Instead, I find myself being SO THANKFUL that I was single for most of my flying career. I find myself slightly wishing I could live my 20s one more time, but with a little more smarts and a bit more savings;) (i.e., become a pilot or a corporate flight attendant earlier). I’m glad I met him, but I think God knew that I needed time to see the world solo first.

How it would all work out.

More than once, I cried because I saw no way that it would work out. When I broke my ankle right when I was getting into private aviation. How was I supposed to make it broken? How would I support myself? When I fell in love with an Australian when the world closed due to a global pandemic. There was no way a long-distance relationship could work then!? Borders were full-stop SHUT. I have cried and contemplated the impossibility of so much in my life, in my career, knowing there was no way in hell would work out.

Funny enough. It did. It always worked out.

‘Working out’ doesn’t mean you don’t feel the pain of circumstances or the hurt of a mistake. Life is filled with consequences and undeserved heartache, but in the worst moments, miracles appear out of nowhere. You may find yourself saying one day, “I guess I didn’t need to cry so much about how it would or wouldn’t work out.”


About the Author

Hello, I’m K. J. Watts, but my friends call me Kara. I fell into the sky and have worked as International cabin crew, on private jets as a corporate flight attendant, and earned an FAA Private Pilot Certificate. Over a decade ago, I started this blog, which developed into a love for writing and a debut memoir based on Flight Attendant Life. A California native, I now live in Sydney, Australia, where I enjoy spending time with my husband, writing, and surfing.

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