“Little Spritz. You good?” I look up, because he’s almost 6’5.” Tall, well-dressed, charismatic, kind, he is the antithesis of every pilot meme you have ever seen. This crew nicknamed me Spritz two years ago. It’s a perfect moniker for me. They are perfect. I don’t know where he came from, but I wish that I could clone him and keep him around. Always. The entire operation he runs is everything a flight attendant dreams of in private aviation. All the pilots are fantastic, professional, incredibly good at their jobs, and helpful if I need anything. I ask one of them to check on my linens at the FBO. He immediately jumps up; on the mission and happy to do it. Can we just pause and say, “Wow.” @CFA_Life…what is going on??!?! You don’t have to do dishes onboard and when you arrive back at base, cleaners clean the plane. Everytime. This plane is the dream job that I don’t even believe exists. Because it doesn’t. They are unicorns.

I find myself overwhelmed by gratitude for their generosity, kindness, and support. Flying with this team could not have happened at a better time. Just when I needed encouragement. Just when I lost my stable and insanely good paycheck. Just when I doubted my abilities, felt continuously under appreciated, and constantly judged for NOT being “perfect,” this crew has once again landed in my life, reminding me that, “Girl. You got this.” Sometimes, that may be the only reason people or opportunities enter and then exit your world. You simply needed confirmation that ‘All things work together for good,’ and you are exactly where you need to be, right now. Not there. Not in her job. Not in that place. You need only be you, in this moment.

I’ve been told that, as a corporate flight attendant, you should always have your own back in private aviation. I agree with this statement, but don’t become so jaded that you forget that there are incredible lead FAs who love you, pilots who are beyond great, and clients who value you. That you don’t have to continually fight to prove yourself, prove your worth, or show anyone you belong. Because you inherently do belong— when it’s a fit. The people worth your time will already know how wonderful you are, no convincing needed. Granted, that does not mean that you get to be sloppy or unprofessional. If you want success, excellence is implied.

I needed someone to help me remember that I do love my job and crying every time you have to fly is not normal. It actually means that something is wrong (but not with you). Just because no jobs exist or you have “the best job that exists,” if it doesn’t fit the life you envision for yourself, no one is forcing you to stay. I don’t feel that I have found my fit. In a job, in a person, in where I live. I’m a chameleon (which is a necessity as a contract cabin attendant), but hopefully I’m growing into what is my match. Here’s to hoping and hustling for that Malibu dream house.

After flying on only one aircraft for the last six months, I am experiencing a reintroduction to the contract world. I have to say, it’s going better and it’s more fun than I expected. I’m scared of it, too. Not because it’s as nerve racking as it was in the past, but scared I will allow my job to take over my life again. I’m readjusting my personal life for my professional life again. Consider me vain but I enjoy making money, and hell, if I’m getting sent to Hawaii, San Juan, and Cabo to earn a paycheck…who doesn’t enjoy dollars in their pocket? Flight Attendant Life is still an addiction for me.

Even after years, the instant gratification of ‘get the trip, get them to like me, get the pay.’ Rinse and repeat— it’s hard to beat. There are five thousand justifications I make up as to why ‘yes’ is better than ‘no.’ I’m certain that this means I’m back on the path to burnout, buuuut… (I really don’t have a defense for myself). When I’m busy flying and taking trip after trip, I have less time to think about what I really want or what might be missing. If I’m stressed about someone else’s food preferences or have only slept one night in the last five, I don’t consider my deep down dreams and what I want for myself. Because I (and you) understand a flight schedule and catering list. I don’t understand how in the world I will achieve the things I won’t speak about beyond my super inner circle. Because, what if I fail? What if I’m wrong? Sometimes, I want an aircraft home where I am the only flight attendant and have my set crew. That feels safe. But I know, that if that was meant to be my story, I would have that— or I will have that someday. You can’t be kept from where you belong.

In 2008, at a very different and depressing time in my life, I yelled at the Universe that I had no purpose and no place. The past ten years of my aviation success has less to do with what I feel like I have done for myself and more of proof that the hopeless and lost prayer I screamed out in desperation is being answered. Every day. Not in one moment, but through all of these experiences that are both beyond my wildest dreams and harder than I imagined. Even when I struggle through the uncertainty and frustration of pay cuts or trips gone bad or not getting what I think I want, I think back to my prayer a very long time ago. I wasn’t left there. I won’t be left ‘here.’ Neither will you. There is a story that is waiting for you, a story that needs you. All of the missed opportunities and rejections are the pivotal points where your destiny is being defined and directed, NOT dismantling. 

I feel challenged in this phase of my narrative, and if I was anyone else, the advice I would give is this: “You are exactly where you are supposed to be. Be grateful when it all goes right. Be thankful in the times you THINK it’s all going wrong. That’s probably just your limited perception. The truth is, I got you, Girl, and you got this.” 

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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