How That Works

I have this best friend. She isn’t a flight attendant. She’s a creative; an inspiration. She makes me think about life differently, often in the moments when I desperately need to think differently. I hope you have people in your life that are like this. It’s like air—absolutely necessary to truly live. 

My friend’s name is Alana. She is a travel Vlogger, cinematographer, Hawaii raised, LA living, gem of a woman with a contagious laugh and sparkle in her soul. We always make time for each other when we are both in town, partly because we find so much encouragement in 3hr lunches, coffee dates, and vlogger/blogger work sessions, and partly because we laugh a lot when we are together. And sometimes, laughter is the beginning of solving the problems you believe to be unsolvable.

Alana Fickes Kara Mulder Travel blogger vlogger


I’ve had some of those feels recently— that my life and current situations feel impossible. Over the past two months I can honestly say that I have been very discouraged. Sadly, I have sunk into believing falsehoods about myself and my life. That my relationships, my airline, East and West Coast living, blogging, and the nature of my existence and what I hope for for my life feels impossible. It’s not! Absolutely not! I have allowed myself to write this short story that is so depressing and complete fiction. Today, thanks to Alana editing my notes and words, I’ve written the end to the beliefs I have entertained.

Kara Mulder Travel Vlogger

This end was facilitated by a simple sentence. Four words, that when my best friend put them together, made something finally click in my brain. “That’s how that works.” Alana was referencing what happens when one begins to look around themselves at what everyone else is doing, how everyone elses’ lives are, and asking the dead-end question, “How should it be for me?”

The most beautiful thing that I could have ever done for myself when I became a flight attendant was to not ask what it would be like or what to expect. I didn’t google, question, or relate the career I was entering to anything else or anyone else. I didn’t discover “how it worked” by someone else telling me, but I learned how I wanted to work in it, because I threw myself whole heartedly, with a clean-slate and unencumbered judgement into the complete utter possibility of existing as a flight attendant. 

I’m not telling you to not do your research. I’m not telling you to not read this blog. I’m simply saying that there is something beautiful about discovering for yourself and actually determining in your own mind how it will work. Life will work in the way that you decide it will work. If you are like me and say to yourself, “I can’t have a boyfriend, or a happy relationship if I am a flight attendant who is gone all the time,” that’s probably exactly what I will get— NO happy relationship. If I tell myself, “My airline is ruining my life, and I never get the schedule that I want,” there’s a fair chance the outcome will equal life ruined and horrible schedule.” For the girl who is known for positivity, I too struggle with doubt. I’m influenced by the voices of well intending friends around me, telling me that I would be happier here or there, or that I’m impossible to date. Instead of saying, “Shut your fucking mouth,” (because sometimes you have to be firm with those little voices in and outside of your head), I’ve been listening and responding with, “Well, I guess you might be right…”

Wrong. How would someone else know what it’s like to be you and live your life? That doesn’t make any sense.

According to research, what happened when I chose to believe other peoples’ opinions about who I am and what matters to me is that I “shut off the outside world and limited the options that I see around me.” I know logically that my life is wonderful and fun. I notice the successes, but I haven been unable to celebrate or envision the insane amount of possibility around me. I’ve been asking questions that don’t serve me and listening to the answers from people who don’t even know.

…So how does that works? Not well. I’m living an amazing life, but it feels like I’m slogging through mud. I want to feel and believe that I am soaring! I want to be dreaming, believing, and hoping. Stop asking everyone else how your life works and tell them how your life  works. You will see the views and hues you look for. Your perspective determines the photo.

Flightdeck photo

I’m shifting my perspectives. I am going to be extra intentional, taking stock of the things that I do want in my life; the talk that I talk to myself and the listening that I give to the people around me. I’m going to stop asking everyone else what they think of me. I’m going to stop asking everyone else where I should work and what I should do. Cause, all things considered, I asked for this dream that I am living, and I got it. I asked and I received. And, all things considered, I feel it beautiful. 

I’m asking good, amazing, positive truths starting today; beginning now.

It’s going to be your job in life— first before any other role you take on, whether flight attendant, or other— to decide for yourself what you want your life to be and what you want manifested. What do YOU actually want? Sorting through the well-intentioned friends who offer their unsolicited advice can be a mine field, but you are brave. Let’s be brave together. 

And my other piece of advice— search out someone who will say what Alana just said to me 10 minutes ago. “I’m just going to endlessly support you in what you want!” 

Alana Fickes Kara Mulder

About the Author Kara

Curious. Bubbly. Creative. Curating a life I don't need an escape from and inspiring you to do the same.

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1 comment
Alana Fickes says November 12, 2015

You are the most amazing person place and thing!
I am so moved reading this, what a brilliant friend you are!
You not only courageously opened up to me about deep down fears, but you stayed open and truly heared my advice. And more importantly made your own decision about how you were going to use it.
It’s so hard when you’re in a vulnerable spot not to be reactive, and only hear what you want to.
I’m so overjoyed that you were able to find meaning in my words, you do the same for me ALL THE TIME!
I’m really flored by the trust we’ve built. I love you! You are my Rowing Crew.

Ps So well written! I felt every word, you clever sorceress!

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