They call sentences like how these words are titled, self-fulfilling prophecies. But I can’t help it. I think you’re going to give up on me. 

More accurately, you’re going to give up on my profession. I’m a flight attendant. Once, I worked for the airlines. Now, I work on private jets. Both include their own sets of monsters and magicians, creating a world of war and wonderful. I surfed in Cabo one weekend, snowboarded in California a few days later, and found myself enjoying a Gold Coast summer the next. I love the variety and opportunity to see the world that being a flight attendant offers, but I would be lying if I never admitted that the lack of being home doesn’t hurt my heart. 

I leave, a lot. Often. Unexpectedly. Unpredictably. The take-offs would be less of a jolt if I had an inkling of when they would happen or approximately what date I might land home again. I don’t always know and if I do, I might tell you. Maybe we plan an evening out, and then my schedule changes. I let you down again. I don’t know if you think I’m letting you down, but I’m so tired of letting you down. I’m tired of letting me down. 

I trust that you like me. At least I thought you did— when I was home. I even trust you. What I don’t trust is my schedule; my crazy, chaotic, uncertain and unpredictable flight attendant schedule. A schedule that has me “forgetting” to tell you that the six days I will be gone has now turned into six days plus sixteen more. It sounds like less if I don’t completely add them together. If I keep them in compartments, in the way that I compartmentalize my job, my relationships and myself— I can survive the magnitude and the mountains ahead. 

I can’t face telling you the whole truth about my schedule because its entirety can be overwhelming. Besides, the trip might cancel. I know it leaves tomorrow, but still, it might cancel. I promise. I’m not a flake. It’s my flakey job. I can drag me through the emotional highs and lows, but the guilt I feel sharing the pressure with you doesn’t seem fair. You don’t deserve to be inconvenienced by my schedule. You should really consider giving up on me. 

How do I choose you first when I have to support myself AND support myself out of a schedule like this one? A schedule as nuts as the one experienced in aviation. I don’t want this to be my life forever, but it’s an opportunity to make a living; one that gives me time to pursue and pay for my other interests. It’s not a bad life. It’s quite an amazing life, actually.

The places I get to see in a month or the unconventional work hours allow for surfing on a Tuesday and leisurely coffee dates mid-week. The perks are incredible, the downsides manageable. It’s only that Flight Attendant Life is one of ‘no control’ and the more quickly and calmly I accept my helplessness, the less painful it will be for everyone. You must go to work, and so must I. Inconveniently, my work permeates my entire existence— for better or worse.

I battle with how many days I travel. I want to say it’s a lot, but worse than a lot, the challenge is that I never know how many days or when I will go or return. It shakes me up and anxiously sets me back into its rhythm of nonstop movement. I become dizzy by the whirlwind of my job. I fade away when far away. This must hurt. Please know that my quiet disappearances are not because of you. I am tired of missing people. I have never stopped missing people. 

In the past, I didn’t think it strange to be away half the month, every month. Most people look forward to a weekend getaway with friends, on occasion. When the occasion happened that I didn’t travel for five weeks straight and stayed home and dated and made friends and became recognizable in my community, it felt as if I was on the most foreign trip of my entire life. You don’t know what you have by having home. You don’t realize how beautiful it is to travel with people you love instead of who you are assigned to work with or work for. I just pray that home won’t feel so foreign and fleeting for me someday. I just pray for a home and a person. 

My soul doesn’t feel lonely, it feels full. I’ve never felt so whole in so many ways. I am happy with the person I’m growing into. I’m happy with who I am now. She isn’t perfect, but she means well. 

Dating is the afterthought to everything else. This would not be so much of a negative, except that you are a gem. A man I may have always been looking for but I’m currently too distracted, looking up my trip sheet. Can you just hold for a minute? Please? For the minute when I get my shit together and the moment I am ready for you?

The short two and three day trips turn into three and four months since we’ve had dinner, a laugh, some gelato and shared a kiss goodnight. I shrug, an act of resignation to my fate. There are so many pretty girls in LA. You’re going to find one. You’re going to give up on me. I’m not the easiest woman to date. One day, I’ll go away and come back to the reality that you are gone. Forever. 

I always come back, eventually. Will you stay? Will you wait through the storm and instability of my schedule. Are you strong enough for that? How far can I push your patience with my schedule? I endure it, but I know what will be rewarded at the end. I get a paycheck and chalk up an experience. You are navigating a new and strange world. For that, you amaze me. You are a brave man. 

I could be the biggest gamble you will ever take. I consider myself a lucky one, though. I would hands down, head high, in 110 percent confidence— risk on myself. Every time. My job might not be worth your time, but I am. I am worth the wait. I promise I am worth your time. I won’t promise that this will work out. 

I wrestle with my truth that I want a meaningful relationship, home, a puppy, and children but ‘Professional Traveler’ is my job title and being gone is a responsibility. So, when we date, I play coy; not admitting that it may be a month before I have a moment to see you again. To me, this causes anxiety but to you, it must be crazy. I want to say ‘I’m sorry’ but sorry implies that I will change. I probably will not. It’s your choice to take me with my schedule— loved and accepted as is.

I get dating is a jungle and a woman needs not let the good ones get away, but being a flight attendant is a mine field— too many missteps, and it’s sure to mean career suicide. I feel obligated to work when I’m asked. So, I let you down instead of letting work down. You take this well. You seem proud of my successes, drawn in by my ambition, and ever understanding in the uncertainty. I just hope you’re not going to give up on me. 

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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