Hello and welcome to my exciting Good Friday (because apparently it’s not only Friday – which I never know – but it’s Good Friday)! I don’t remember days of the week. I’m challenged by time zones; staying up until weird hours of the night wondering if it’s time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. That’s probably why I’m currently sitting on my couch with Henry eating vanilla ice cream out of a coffee mug while listening to “Bleeding Love” on a throwback Spotify playlist. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter, because days don’t really end. Days just are, and I live in a dizzy daze in this crazy, beautiful, odd addiction I call the Flight Attendant Life.
Tonight is going to be a little sneak peek into the newest addition into my crazy, beautiful, odd life – a relationship. It’s been a couple of months now so it’s still new to me. But, at the same time, starting a relationship at the age of (almost) 23 and starting a relationship at the age of 17 have been two very different experiences. 17. That’s how I old I was when I started my previous relationship. I little innocent 17-year-old girl in grade 12. Now, I’m two weeks away from turning 23, I’m 6 months into a career I never thought I’d be doing, and I’ve moved out into an apartment in a new city with my best friend. When you’re 17 and in high school, you eat lunch with each other at the cafeteria table and go to the movies on weekends when you aren’t swamped with calculus homework. When you’re 23 and in the job that I’m in, you see each other whenever your schedules actually match up and you rely on phone calls at any hour of the day or night.
When I started flying, I was single. This made this lifestyle very easy. I never had to consider anyone but myself. When I took off on a pairing, I sort of switched to my “other life.” My friends and family knew that they would hear from me again only on Facebook or when my pairing ended and I was home again. I never really considered what it would be like to live this life with someone waiting at home for me. And by waiting at home for me, I mean waiting in a hotel room in a different city (most times a different country too) until both of us are finally done flying for the day. People warned me when I started this job. They said if I started dating someone, that they better understand how hard it is to date a flight attendant. They didn’t prepare me for what it would be like to be a flight attendant dating a pilot – that’s a whole different game! Now, I can’t speak for him BUT the truth is dating a pilot while you’re a flight attendant is not a fairytale (as much as I wish I were a Disney princess in this scenario). What the experience is though is unique. It’s a process of learning better ways to communicate within distance, understanding that jet lag sucks, and maintaining patience amidst changing schedules. At times, it may be a lot of work. We are no longer willing to take the time to discover who someone is and what is uniquely beautiful about them. Dating just doesn’t work the way it once did, and I’m not even sure what way that ever was anyway.
All that being said, time together is critical to build, and maintain communication, and connection. Aviation takes couples apart, but if those two people are honest, and make the most of their time together, this sets them up for greater success. I keep reading this over and thinking to myself that I sound like a crazy lady. My last relationship was over 4 years and this relationship is barely skimming the surface of 4 months yet I’m talking about it like it’s been 4 years. Time in my eyes is a personal measurement. Some people can date for 4 years and never really reach a full connection. Some people can talk for 2o minutes in an airport security line and have an instant connection that makes you feel like you’ve known them your whole life. It’s all about perspective.
We’re lucky enough to both be in the aviation industry and have a number of flights at any hour of the day waiting to take me to New York City or bring him to Toronto. This week I was lucky enough to have A WHOLE 3 DAYS OFF IN NYC. That’s unheard of for me lately. It had been about 3 weeks since we last saw each other between crazy work schedules and life in general with all of its surprises keeping us apart. But I finally found myself on a plane Tuesday morning with one stop – New. York. City. We spent 3 days walking around doing touristy things, eating at food trucks, stuffing our faces with dessert anytime we walked past a bakery that I thought smelled good, accidentally walking into a free concert in the Meat Packing District, sleeping in with no real plan for what the day would bring, and just enjoying each others company. I’m learning what it’s like to be a flight attendant dating. And boy, it’s a wonderful adventure we’re on.