I lay on the half circle box, my side folding over the foam.  My face translated the burning felt by working muscles.  I exhaled in an attempt to minimize the discomfort, gritted my teeth, and thought, “It’s ok.  I know when this will end. Only. [Breath]. Four more. [Breath].  Leg. [Breath].  Circles.”  Done. Sigh. Ouch.


I love Pilates, weight lifting, and my bike rides, but to say the classes, or the workouts, or the hill climbs are easy, would be grossly inaccurate.  It’s not ever easy, and on the days that it is, I know that I am not contributing my best.  On the days that I think it should be easy, because I am getting stronger, resistance is added.  It’s hard work, but manageable.  Maybe not so manageable in the moment, but I understand when the hardest parts will end, and because of that, I find the energy to handle it.

This understanding needs to translate into other parts of my life, particularly that of the lifestyle of a flight attendant.   I am currently experiencing the discomforts that are attached to the job.  My relationships are suffering.  My finances are suffering.  My home life is suffering (today I move to nowhere again).  I am so challenged to see that all of this will be ok.  That there will be an end to it.  I can’t see that.  I see my sadness.  I see what I am losing.  I see myself doing exactly what I did five years ago, four years ago, three years ago, two years ago, but I’m not twenty-three anymore.  This life is exactly the life that I choose, exactly the life that I love, exactly the life that I find myself feeling so much resentment towards at times.  At this time.  I can’t envision what it would be like to own a home, and be in that home for more than a week out of a month.  It seems like a concept from Mars.  The idea of coming home to a boyfriend every single day is…what is that?  And a pocket puppy.  I’ve wanted one of those before.

Flight attendant suitcases

what I know- suitcases

I can’t deny the fact that I struggle with this lifestyle- loving it and hating it.  On days like today, I have to hold on to a lot of trust, and choose to focus on the many wonderful aspects of this gypsy life.  I have to hang on to more belief than I actually have.  Belief that I am strong enough to work through and get past the hardest parts.  That there are only a few more reps, and then a rest.  That I have almost cycled to the highest point of this hill.  That I will feel so great when I look back to see what it is that has been accomplished.

Karalee Mulder

I have to have the wisdom to know that I will look back at these times in my life and think, “That was amazing.  That was the best time of my life.”  I am not complaining about this life that I have been gifted.   I am more than privileged.  I am more than lucky.  But, I am human.  This [flight attendant] life knocks me on my ass sometimes.  And sometimes, the only response I have is to grit my teeth, and breath.  I’ll simply relate it to pilates- in one hour, I will walk out the door feeling taller, stronger, and more optimistic about the day.

Encore Pilates Ft. Lauderdale

I’m just hoping I see that door, or a light, or find a lightbulb soon.  Maybe it will happen on my eight day trip that I start tonight.  Maybe it will happen when I see Bergen for the first time.  I’ve been wanting to visit that place for awhile…

Norwegian Dreamliner


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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