Falling in Love: One Flight Attendant’s Confessions

I'll take my suitcase and go

I thought I understood that travel, the flight attendant life, and my life in a bag to be a slow killer of relationships.  I thought that I knew that goodbyes hurt and missing doesn’t become less painful with more exposure.  I thought that I determined I was not going to deal with distance in dating.

Apparently, I think too much.

They say that one finds love when not looking.  How about when not even slightly interested?  I’m too busy, and too ambitious, and too much of a flight attendant to be in love right now.  Apparently love doesn’t care much about convenience or expectations or should bes, for I have fallen.  I keep thinking that I don’t have time for this, and doubt that love conquers all, because that ocean separating, it’s still just as deep.  Those kilometers remain just as many.  The mile measurement that I understand is still more than thousands.

Tears stream down my face, falteringly captured by FaceTime, a wonderful invention, but a constant reminder that distance is never conquered through technology.  And in the moment I am angry.  And thankful.  And vulnerable.  And hating.

I am angry because he is right there- but not.
I am thankful that it’s possible technology connects us, but furious for how it fails.
I am vulnerable because he sees the side that is not always optimistic, not always beautiful, and not always perfect.  I guess love may not have the power to conquer distance, but it always allows for truth.

flight attendant in love

I am a flight attendant so, for one, most of my relationships contain an element of far away, and for two, I am a flight attendant, so distance is irrelevant, correct? How misconstrued these beliefs are.  My life isn’t anywhere, which makes having a relationship somewhere more than a challenge.  I hate Florida, feel at home in California, and tell someone that lives in Europe, ‘Savner deg.’  I have been in 4 countries, 3 states, and 5 time zones within two weeks.  How does one love with that life?

I know people do it all of the time.  My situation is not unique or special.  I always thought I wanted to date foreign.  I assumed that you make it work.  I also saw it as an excuse to spend time in other countries.  It sounds wonderful, and exotic, and the best way to live.  But the sound, never included the knowledge that it would feel like this- like it does.

sad flight attendant

It’s pathetic for the strong, independent, entrepreneurial woman to feel so helpless, knowing that there is nothing to be done to change the situation.  He tells me for as much as I cry, I really should invest in waterproof mascara.  He unselfishly always thinks about me first, and how he can make me be happy, or happier.  I’ve never been so adored, and appreciated.  I feel lucky to have met, but also, in a way unlucky to have fallen.  He can’t simply hop on a plane in the morning, and show up in the evening.  I can’t do that either.  Our responsibilities and commitments make commitment impossible…well, I know it’s not impossible, but it is difficult.  And it’s a difficulty that I don’t know I want to face.  I don’t know which decision to make;  is the love worth the pain, or is it better to let go now?

And then I know that I can’t say goodbye, not yet.  Not just because of an ocean, and maybe that’s how people handle distance.  They handle it because there really isn’t another choice.

It’s not just me that feels the hurt.  He does too.  We keep ourselves busy, and in the busy it doesn’t bother so much.  I had considered myself a veteran to the ache of oceans away, and time zone challenges, not immune by any stretch, but familiar, so familiar. But with him, I have discovered a new level of familiarity, a new understanding.  I think back to last year in Hawaii when the best friend dated her California boyfriend, and how not so understanding this girl, me, was in the process (Sorry Emily).  I had no idea how she felt, and I see now that I could have been more sensitive.

I don’t know how to conclude this.  I just told everyone a lot of everything.  I wonder if it’s fair for his sake, or for mine, to tell you about this part of my life.  But then I think that this is what I do.  I almost gave up this blog for someone once.  Never again.  And, maybe, of course, someone, somewhere has felt the missing- the unavoidable inconvenience of falling in love.


(this is only a photo.  The person has no part in this post)




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
Francien says May 13, 2014

Dear you!
I’m writing this from Japan, on a layover without husband and kids. I feel compassion and I just want to let you know that separated love does consist. It’s not easy but it’s not boring either. It makes me a vulnerable and a strong mother, women and wife at the same time.
Let’s have coffee whenever you are in Amsterdam. You are mostly invited to peek into my different but happy life!
Hold on Kara, you are the best.
Love, Francien (KLM-flight-attendant/Purser for 15 years)

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