I often forget she isn’t American, but in moments, her voice echoes a backstory of fascinating and faraway places. “Sometimes it’s just so hard to communicate when English isn’t my first language,” she will tiredly sigh. “Especially, when I haven’t slept.” It’s in these moments that I am reminded that— no matter how much you love your job, lifestyle, and every future hope and possibility— there will be unavoidably tough days. Really, really hard days.

Literally, I have nothing to say to comfort you and tell you that it will be ok, because who am I to know the future? English is my first language, but I don’t know how to communicate anything that will alter the pain, discouragement, and utter disappointment that you face. Because there is nothing to say for certain types of heartbreak.

We can say, “It’s for our growth.” We can say, “All things work together for good,” We can say, “Don’t worry, you’ll get through this.” I know you’ll get through this because I know you. I know what you have gone through before, where you are now, and what you are capable of doing. But, why don’t we first sit with the emotion that there is NOTHING you can do right now about THIS, and THAT shatters your soul.

We lose people. We lose our health. We lose our jobs, boyfriends, potential boyfriends…It’s in these moments that fair has nothing to do with it.

Because it’s just so unfair.

I don’t know what to do or what to say to make any of what you face better. I don’t often know where to begin with my own life, so I’m not sure if I can be of any help with yours. I know you didn’t ask me to help. It’s just that, yesterday, I pictured myself in your shoes, and simply, the picture made it hard for me to breathe. But, just breathe. Simply breathe.

There are days that all I know and do is continue to wake up. Day-after-day. Some days, I feel like I’m five parts Khaleesi and three parts Disney Princess, mixed with a dash of Carmen San Diego and a splash of Wonder Women. I feel like the world is mine to conquer, and I’ve got ALL of this. Then, there are those ‘other’ days. ‘The others’ when the things that are breaking my heart and my body are all that I see. ‘The others’ when it feels like I’ll never “walk away” from this.

I’m going to be extremely open, raw, and vulnerable for a minute— not that this is different than how I usually write, but I need to break away from vague references and unspecific narratives; to make a point. The next part will combine a couple of stories. This will take time to unfold, but I hope that the words will weave together for a purpose.

April 2017: I broke my right fibula. The doctor said I would heal fine without surgery. This was supposed to be a “miracle” (not having to do surgery), but as Ortho visit after Ortho visit continued, month after month, I remained behind with my healing. September rolled around, and the doctor cleared me to fly and kitesurf again. I was in bliss and complete gratitude for the fact that I was flying and walking again. If you have seen me to be happy in photos and in writing, this is true, but sadly, I’ve been continuing to deal with an unresolved issue. Sometimes it feels like it’s attempting to steal everything that I have worked so hard to build. Sometimes, it feels like it will steal my hope.

I want so badly to be better, and I’m not. For months, I’ve been in constant pain. Finally, at the end of November, the Ortho wrote orders for an MRI; which was an undeniable confirmation that I’m not actually a baby or making up my discomfort, swelling or bruising, but my ankle is still broken. I sometimes wonder if this is like the women you see on reality shows or the news who didn’t know they were pregnant…until they had the baby! Like, “How the fuck do you NOT know you’re having a baby? Or, your ankle is broken?” I once again, don’t have an extensive command of English to respond to that. I don’t know why I didn’t know. Quite honestly, I am either more stupid than I thought or tougher than I imagined.

I don’t know why this is happening. I don’t want this to be happening. All of it is odd, unexpected, and really, really unfair. And for the women who can fix everything, do everything, have a job that requires them to solve everything and have everything under control, it’s now when we step back and wipe our hands and say, “I just don’t have any solution here. I’ll let this be.”

And so, I wear my boot when I’m not flying and try to hide the fact that it has a very prominent existence in my life. I don’t really know where we go from here, but I have a new Ortho who has better ideas and makes better plans. We are making plans, because sometimes, no matter how much you want to do one thing for yourself, you should do that other thing first. You should always do that other thing of taking care of you.

Because you’re this special piece of beautiful and the only puzzle like that in the world. This unfair world needs you to fight for your happiness like it’s your full-time job.

Recently, I met someone intriguing who I hoped to keep spending time with. But, when the words of warning tumbled out of his mouth, “I’m not ready for anything serious. I just want to be friends,” I balked. Those words were all-too-familiar and stabbed me in the certain place of that sore heartbreak where I am still healing. As this new person stood in front of me, saying ‘friends,’ but meaning ‘no strings attached lovers,’ the last eleven months clicked through my consciousness like a silent film. And so, I did what I did not want to do. I walked (or hobbled) away. We need to learn to leave what we want now for the HOPE of what we may have in the future. If anything, maybe our pain just teaches us to survive and like a miracle, we learn to thrive even with it.

It’s almost stupid to hurt about a man I so recently met because there are more men. There are always more, but can we just acknowledge that someone new doesn’t replace someone from yesterday. Can we just give ourselves permission to feel over the catastrophic losses and the minor stings— LIKE BOTH MATTER? That we don’t need one more person to tell us that there is another and it’s going to better this way. That everything happens for a reason. Fuck reasons. Shit happens.

Is it better to be broken, shattered, and uncertain? Once again, my command of English isn’t able to answer that. And since I have no positive spin to put on the end of this meandering article, I’ll just repeat what I told you last night, in my very American accent;

“Hope is everything. And, I’m sending you hugs from California. Hang in there.”

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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