Kara Mulder

 Monday 2030 EST: It’s check-in. I’m working “a turn” to OSL. A turn is a two-day trip at my company. It’s somewhat of a joke between longhaul. Our trips are usually so long that a two-day trip seems quick, like a blink-of-the-eye or a snap-of-the-fingers. To me, it also feels like a waste of time, especially since I’m not even working the return flight. The Royal Family is on this flight— not the British one, but it’s a Royal Family none-the-less. It is exciting, but standard to Scandinavian culture, everything is low-key and down-to-earth. The family is not flashy or needy or entitled. They are kind and respectful, which just makes me love Scandinavia that much more. I’m not even sure how to explain what is happening or should I say, not happening in my personal life. I’ve been crying a lot, making a few mistakes, and being treated ‘less than.’ I’m maybe a bit over-dramatic, but…Heart. Is. Breaking. I don’t like this space.

Tuesday 1300 (Whatever time zone Oslo is in): It’s definitely winter. I think it’s strange how one month ago, I was sporting bikinis every day, the warm Philippine sun bleaching my already bleach blonde hair. I’m so bundled up right now. I planned to go to the city, but a line for train tickets, the cold weather, and my exhaustion have me retreating with a coffee in hand, back to my hotel room. I spend the rest of my night finding much joy in creating YouTube videos for the channel.

Wednesday 2020 EST: I’m slammed with freelance work. I squeeze in a workout before showing up to the plane. I’m not working this flight, so I ask the pilots if I can sit up in the flight deck for take-off. A passenger comes to the door to say hi during boarding. He asks if anyone of the four of us are Norwegian. The Captain says no: Austrian. Swedish. Belgian. American. I love the cultural diversity where I work. It’s quite amazing. De-icing makes us a bit late. I turn on my phone in Ft. Lauderdale and see a text from him: “Did you land yet?” I’m glad we’ve somehow survived my trip to the Philippines, but I don’t think we really survived being apart. I don’t know what we are, and I don’t like where we are, but he’s talking to me. I wonder if “talking” is enough. I told him I would be around for about 18hrs. It actually turns into 8hrs. I know I say. I don’t feel guilty though. I just feel tired.

Thursday 0345 EST: My alarm blares. I have to catch a commuting flight to California. I’m going to my parents for a couple of days and then to LA for a few more. I’m at the airport again and waiting for another flight. I do a lot of this. The flight is full, and I don’t make it, but my bags go. I walk over to a flight departing to Los Angeles. There’s a seat for me on this one. I rearrange and rent a car and hope I can sleep on the plane. You become really good at having no control in this industry. You become really good at changing plans.

Friday 0400 PST: I slept from 1600 yesterday till 0400 this morning. I’m proud of myself. It’s good to be at my parents and see my— or their— puppy Maui. I like being home because it feels like love. I wonder if I will ever find a love like theirs. I wonder how much longer I can keep up this insane schedule, coupled with way too much I’m adding on in my freelance and blogging career. I just want to sleep and sleep and sleep. And, I want to stop feeling this heart stuff.

Saturday 0630 PST: I don’t want to leave and go to LA, but I have to take the rental car back. Fireplace evenings and playing fetch with the puppy have been nice. My parents laughter and love fill this home. I’m lucky to see this, to have this, and to have grown up with this. I’m lucky to have a home in LA too. I love my beach house life, but only spend 4-6 days a month there. I realize that within three days I have been at all three of my homes. It’s an amazing and crazy way to live.

I spend the afternoon with my favorite girl in the world— Alana. Our time together begins with me sobbing— in tears. I hate that my heart hurts right now when there is so much good in my life. She is this positive force that lifts me up, encourages, and challenges me. She’s right that I shouldn’t care so much. We walk the trendy neighborhood of Abbott Kinney in Venice, drinking perfectly designed coffees and playing “the vlogger” and “the blogger” at record shops and juice kiosks. My world feels right this minute. This year will be good. Alana and I are both going in good directions, whatever that direction may be for me. It often feels like too much of everywhere, but I’m determined to make it a good everywhere.

Sunday 1145 PST: Emily shows up at my front door. She’s been my best friend for over seven years. Our adventures together span the world. Today, I want to go to the restaurant Lemonade in Manhattan Beach. I want cake, I say. Emily asks me if she should fly somewhere to go on a blind date. I say, “Of course.” She asked if I would do that. I said I would have before, but not where I am in life right now. I’m not drinking or dating till July I say. To this she responds with, “But what about Valentine’s Day in Hermosa?!?” I smirk and shake my head. This is better for all of us I think. We can’t stop laughing today. It feels good. We laugh and laugh and laugh. We watch the surfers and the waves. We sit on the couch at my house and joke about reality TV show stars. I’m so lucky to have this best friend I think. She is the constant that never disappears. We all know I need a constant.

After Emily leaves, I start back on my projects. So many things. I’m overwhelmed. Tired. Very tired. I remember that I should call work to see if I can fly out of Los Angeles instead of commute back to Ft Lauderdale. I know that if I do this, I won’t see him for probably two months. That it could be really done. I don’t know what to do, but I know I need to pay off my kite board, and I know I don’t want to commute. There’s a flight I can work from Los Angeles to London. I make day off pay too. “That sucks,” he texts. I shrug as a tear slides down my cheeks. What am I doing with my life I wonder? The only thing I know to respond with is, “Yeah…” Thankfully texts can’t communicate tears.

Monday 0600 PST: I wake up determined to start today with optimism.  I slide to my knees and start a thought-hopping prayer. I’m thankful God can translate this Kara gibberish. I start reading about love and worth and value. I start writing in my journal about trust and faith and provision. I want so badly to be someone who is more than she has been and be someone who is unafraid to reach her potential. Last night my friend Rob texted me, “I must say, I appreciate your tenacity to keep moving forward.” My response was that tenacity looks a lot like alligator tears and snotty nose crying. That’s what being a flight attendant looks like some of the time. That’s life on certain days. It’s just messy. But today has started bright, with blue skies.

My big brother happens to be in town, so we go to breakfast. He and I never talk, and I haven’t seen him in a long time. It’s nice to see him for a bit. Really nice. After he leaves, my day will be full of some writing work, hopefully seeing Alana or Emily again, and catching up with my friends Esmy and Julie. I’ll leave again tomorrow afternoon. And as much as I get overwhelmed by going, I am excited too. I always get excited about going to London and Scandinavia. I always get excited about the adventure. I continuously have the hardest time wrapping my head around how I live the life that I live, have the friends that I have, and go to the places that I go. It’s incredible, but it’s lacking. This year, I’m working towards a home. Towards a better place in the sense of space in my heart. Towards love, peace, acceptance, and belonging.

I hope I’ll meet you in this dream I’m creating. 


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.

  1. Hi Kara,I’m Billy.
    Just wondering if Norwegian Airline is hiring flight attendants right now.I am a current flight attendant for a small regional airline.And just wondering if you could send me the page to apply to the airline.Any help with be appreciated.

Comments are closed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}