Tonight, while listening to a waitress talk about her forthcoming ATC (air traffic control) career, I thought to myself, "You know, if I don't work in the airlines, I think I might just die." Yes, die. I can't put it into words how much airplanes are in my blood. I write this from a hotel in Bangor, Maine. I can't tell you how much this life does for me.
We have a long layover so we had time for some beers, the first officer, with a few in him, said "I have been meaning to ask you this, but I don't want to hurt your feelings, why the hell are you wasting your life away here?"
He's so right. This is the second worst airline in the United States. I was going to keep my identity private, but now you all know who I work for, the second worst airline in the United States. But in my mind I have it so good. I have GREAT senority, I know the job well, so I hardly have to think, the only things I don't like about it is I make NO money, and my flight benefits are dumb.
He's not the first person to tell me this, he is at least the fourth, and thats only the people I can think of right now. One was the first officer I flew with last trip, he was a big part of me examining my relationship with Charles. I thought about him for days after we flew together, I thought the amount I was thinking about him was not appropriate for a woman with a boyfriend, which made me start thinking about the nature of our relationship.
He took a liking to me right away. He was handsome, with grey hair, and very professional and distinguished. I enjoyed his company. One night we had a long layover and the captian decided not to come down with us for drinks at the hotel bar, so it was just him and I. It was basically like a date, but he knew I have a boyfriend.
We talked about life philosophies, our careers, and all of that kind of stuff. During the conversation he said something that really pissed me off. He said...shit, what did he say? He said something like "Don't let yourself get used" which I took as "You work for Wal-Mart airlines, your being used you big sucker." I felt offended, I felt like he was talking down to me beacuse I am younger, seeing me as naive. But what he was saying wasn't much different from what the F/O tonight said. I am obviously better than this job. 4+ people have said this to me, perhaps I should take it in.
Maybe what I should be doing is putting this extra energy into my career, instead of into my boyfriend. I think about how much I am depending on him for my future right now. It's true, I want to be a stay-at-home parent, but with the relationship I have that would be a boring life. But if my life is exciting now, sleeping in hotels all over the United States, how cool would it be seeing the world?
But there is always the depression to factor in, I am doing well now, but if I slip back, my airline is a soft cushion to fall into. The expectations are low, I make 20K a year, they can't expect too much. If I am depressed and disheveled and feeling tortured as I do my beverage service, no one will do anything about it. No one did when I started, woah was I bad off, so no one would if I "relapsed."
But maybe thats not a good thing. If the bar is higher, I am forced to meet that bar. Maybe I will be depressed, but I will be forced to be pulled together and depressed. Maybe the higher bar would keep me from getting that deeply depressed. And why would I get that depressed again anyways? I am in my element in the airlines. This isn't college all over again, it's a world I feel very at home in. God, can I say, again, how much I love my life flying?
So I think I really need to re-examine my life plan. I think my expectations of myself might have been lower than neccessary. OH MY GOD I am so glad I have a therapist! This is where I need to take this, because I have NO CLUE WHAT THE FUCK I SHOULD BE CHOOSING in my life right now! But you wanna know what, right now, I feel like I should be breaking up with Charles, and applying for a new airline.
But I am drunk.