Thursday, April 10, 2014

One Year

Today marks the anniversary of my graduation into the world of aviation. I became a flight attendant, and this time last year, I was sitting on a really stormy runway, waiting for some cockpit light to work for takeoff. Soon after that, I was in Chicago.

A lot of things have happened in a year aside from my unexpected entry into a new career. I was debating dropping out of school, wondering when I would get over (if I ever would) a breakup that tore me apart, and debating whatever reality life could throw at me. My grandparents had just moved out of my parents' house after a chaotic move, and I honestly believed I would never have a place to call home.

Now, things are a bit different. I am still bouncing back and forth between my parents' house and a crashpad in Chicago. I still don't know whether or not I will ever know what I want to be or what I want to do, but I am sure of the things I don't want to do, and I know even more about who I want to be and the type of person I want to be with. I want to finish school, one day approach graduate school to receive a Master's degree, and I've got one month before I graduate from UNT.

Overall, I'm pretty [insert appropriate expletive here] proud of myself. I won't let myself be abused anymore, by anyone or anything, and I'm ready to take on the world. I am stronger than ever, and I'm not afraid to strive for the things I want.

Look out, world. I've got a fresh way of thinking, and I'm letting go of the baggage that once held me down.

This seems to be the theme song of the year.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Vices and Other Bad Things

I sit in a hotel room in Germany, fiddling around on my computer. This has been the theme for the day, it seems. I battled a migraine in the morning, finding some odd form of contentment on silly youtube videos while hiding in the darkness. I should have taken that time to read and prepare some notes I had written for my thesis, but the desire just is not there anymore.

Maybe it is a bout of senioritis that is far overdue, but part of me just does not give a damn anymore. Education, work, relationships all blur into this odd form of consciousness that I just cannot fathom. I jokingly told my friend that I am facing an early quarter-life crisis, but I think I just woke up.

I have always battled what I've come to call my "inner badass," the voice representing all of my pent-up frustrations, repressed desires, and a hell of a lot of spunk. As I come closer to the day I've waited for--graduation day--I realize that I am still fighting these feelings. There is so much that I want to do, and life is full of experiences that come once in a lifetime. Whether it was missing a chance to sneak out with friends in highschool, go to raves, or get black out drunk at a college party, I opted out of risks. Taking them just seemed, well, too risky. When mentioning this to one of my friends, she laughed and told me that I have "higher standards" than those around me. Another told me that while my nostalgia was fine, I needed to come up with new goals; I can't catch up to the previous timeline I set for myself, nor can I rewind and start from a safe spot.

So what do I want to do with my life now?

There is still an intense desire to return to Japan, the place where I learned more about myself than I could ever have imagined. Yet, after coming to like the flight attendant job a bit more, I found myself falling in love with Germany, Ireland, and more surprisingly, California. (How did that happen?) All four are contenders for graduate school, but after all of the (excuse me) shit that I went through with my home university, do I really want to jump into graduate school right after I graduate? No, not really.

I know myself well enough to know that I am not spontaneous enough to up-and-move to another state, much less move to another country. Even if it's for a short while, the financial burden of a move is enough to make me flake. Yet, I don't want to give up the opportunity of seeing the world while I am in my prime I have dedicated the last seven years of my life to school and everything school related, and I think it's time to give myself some much needed "Macy Time."

This means that I am going to start putting myself first. I hope that I'll never be bitchy about it, but I would like to request that those of you reading (especially those of you who know me in person) are patient with me as I explore different realms of my personality. I've always considered myself the "mom" of my group of friends, and at times I felt that I gave more than took in a relationship. Now, that's all well and good when the relationship is balanced on different levels. But I want to encourage my friends--as well as myself--to become more independent.

One thing I am proud of is my ability to see through my goals. One day I sat and counted the things I wanted to do in life. While some had changed over time, my life goals were a follows:
1. Go to Japan (Check)
2. See Hyde in concert (Check)
3. See L'Arc~en~Ciel in concert in Japan (Check)
4. Meet Hyde (Check)
5. Learn one or more languages (Check)
6. Meet Shaun White (Check)
7. Live in Japan (Check)
8. Teach English in Japan (Check)
These aren't in any particular order, but I have pretty much accomplished the things that were important to me. Now I have to ask myself what to do next.

I can't even begin to plan it out. It was so clear to me: Work a a flight attendant until I graduate, then move on. Every senior flight attendant I speak to says that they originally planned to work as a flight attendant through college, and they are telling me this 30 years later! (Yikes!) While the job is great, I know that the first 3 years will be a struggle financially, and I can honestly say that the stress of bouncing around the globe and never being in one place for long puts an enormous strain on me emotionally. I don't know how long I will be here realistically, but ideally, I want to be doing something else within two year's time. And by then, I may want to settle down. Whatever I want to do, I need to do sooner rather than later; I don't want to be complacent about my goals, or else I could get stuck in one place.

While I don't have a clear answer for what I want to do right this moment, I know that I want to be able to have a place of my own within the next year. I'm tired of living out of a suitcase and sleeping on an air mattress. I want to be responsible for a room. I also want to be able to maintain a healthy diet by eating vegetarian or pescatarian diet 5-6 days a week. I want to make more time for exercise, leisure reading, and catch up on Japanese drama and anime.

But right now, I want to get ready for bed. It'll be a long day home in the morning.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mister Sandman, please bring me my dreams.

I never thought that I would have sleepless nights outside of Japan. For some reason, my study abroad was plagued by bouts of insomnia. Starting out as a new-hire flight attendant, I was one of the lucky few that found closing my eyes and resting quite easy. The bouncing back and forth between international borders, airports, and lack of a place to really call my own (aside from my suitcase, of course, all seemed to benefit me in getting some good ol' shuteye. Yet, I can't seem to bring myself to let go and travel to dreamland tonight in Dusseldorf, Germany. 

The more I think about it, I feel that the Christmas Holidays have always brought with them some sort of emotional strife. Perhaps it came around the age I stopped believing in Santa, or it could have been around the time I entered high school. Either way, it isn't pleasant.

I remember the chats I had with friends at Ritsumeikan, sitting by a cold river and drinking fruity cocktails. The Captain, Laura, and I all talked about where we came from, our hopes, and our dreams. I lie awake and wonder where my dreams have gone, what they are now, and if they're changing. Maybe the Sandman took them for awhile to give them a good tweaking. I open my eyes, sigh, and tell myself that this is just another phase where I need to relax, go with the flow of life, and that one day, I'll be rewarded in the end. As the sleep starts to come, I ask myself, "How did I get here?" 

It's all a part of growing up. 

I scramble through profiles on facebook and tumblr and realize that my friends and I have changed so drastically over the course of the four years we've been out of high school. I no longer have fun sleepless nights where I write with my friends. Tennis and music haven't been a part of my life in ages, and I rarely draw or write anything of my own. Are these things in the same place as my dreams? When and where did I lose myself?

Apart from the philosophical soul searching, I can't help but observe the lack of drive brewing in my former hero and circle of friends. I want to scream and fight the ebb and flow that is dragging us in the tide of whatever this mess may be, but am tired of fighting for my life in this never-ending sea of rip-currents. One more semester to graduate, and the paperwork was screwed up again by the higher-ups in the office. No accountability, and the students are left to drown. 

Perhaps all of this is a mass of pent-up frustration and loathing for the world around me. But when I look at pictures of Japan, my study abroad, and the wonderful people I met there, the world seems more peaceful. It hurts, but I'm so relieved when the tears fall from my eyes.

Mister Sandman, please don't change that feeling. I'll get back there someday.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Toward the Light

As the school semester begins to come to a close, I find myself fumbling through the stresses of essays, more essays, work, and a series of double whammie ear infections. (Two in one ear!) It's another night of hydrocodone-fueled insomnia.

I'm getting older, and nearly a quarter of my life is over. I'm starting to understand what others were saying about, "Don't worry about school." "It's only a grade." And my favorite, "no one will ask you about your GPA when you're older." I'm realizing what makes me happy, what doesn't, and pondering the possibility of spending my life with someone for the rest of my time alive.

I guess it's what they call growing up?

In any case, I want to be the kind of person that lives life to the fullest.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Looking back, it's been awhile since I've actually taken the time to sit down and ask myself, "What do I want to do with my life?" Even now, when I ask myself that question, I find myself faced with a heavy silence, and the growing gnaw in my stomach that screams, "I don't know." All I know is that I've gotten off-track, and I need to put my head back on straight. Whether it's forward or back, I need to find the right direction, and rush toward it with reckless abandon.

I don't know where it happened, but somewhere in the last year, I gave up. Whether I gave up on myself, my dream, or began lying to myself about what I wanted, I'm not sure. I've never been so confused, anxious, and apathetic to the world around me. My friends are smiling, living life without a care, and I"m jealous. I don't understand how such a trivial thing like a smile could make me feel that way, but it happens always.

I never thought I'd remember high school as a good point in my life. Yet, the more I think about it, the more I miss myself back then. I didn't care what people thought of me, and I pursued what my heart desired. Hours on end, I immersed myself within the things I loved, and some good came out of it.

When did I start thinking of Japanese as my enemy? When did I toss my love for language out the window?

I need to start telling myself that I'm not behind everyone else, I'm just in a different place. I'm working, going to school, and finding out a bit more about the world every day. A lot of the time, it sucks not being where I want to be. In fact, it's just painful. One thing I lack, is discipline, and I just need to work harder, keep moving forward, and never forget where I want to be.

And right now, more than anything, I want to be standing with my friend, sobbing with happiness as I hear the voice of my dreams. Nothing was more perfect than the L'Arc~en~Ciel concert in Osaka.

December 4th, please come quickly. I hope that I can see Hyde again soon, and that his voice will knock be back into place. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Floating in the Pages

As usual, the past few days have been a maze of thoughts, questions, and the journey to finding a solution for all of life's inconsistencies.

This will be the first full month in which I balance the life of college student and flight attendant. I finally found a professor that was willing to allow me into her class, enabling me to attend university classes at half time, and come two classes closer to graduation. After meeting with my adviser, I changed my degree plan (for the fifth and final time . . . hopefully). In the spring, it's three more classes, and I can finally say, "I'm fucking finished!"

Although, I'm having a harder time than usual finding out what I want to write about. The more I try to focus on one or two smaller pieces of the big picture, I find myself immersed in an array of different academic spectra. Linguistics, Anthropology, Literary Analysis, Japanese, Gender Studies, Ethnomusicology, etc.; the list never seems to end. Is this normal, or is it me?

I probably have close to two hundred pages of socio-gender-anthro-linguistics articles to read before next week, and I slept away another layover. It's bad for my studies, but it was good for my soul.

Today is the birthday of the person I love the most, and I have no idea when I'll see him, much less talk with him. This blog really shouldn't serve as anything but a collection of thoughts that are relevant to my study abroad, interest in Japan, and perhaps even self-discovery on a professional or academic level. Yet, I find myself thinking about this person, how much they mean to me, and I wonder if I will ever mean the same to them. I can't help but feel as though I'll always be standing on the sidelines, watching an artist chase his dream. He may love me more than I can imagine, but stomach is nagging away at my thoughts: If he loves me, it would be nice to have him choose me over art, or less selfishly, find a way to balance his priorities. All or nothing is a wonderful quality, but in love, especially in regards to how I feel that I want to be treated, I want to be put first every now and then. Nothing crazy, nothing too high maintenance. I just want to be loved openly. I don't want to be a secret. But enough with my wants. It's his birthday, not mine.

Until the day we meet or speak again: Happy birthday, Clyde. I hope that you take hold of your dreams this time around, and you paint away until you're happy.

In any case, this was not an insightful entry whatsoever. (I doubt they hardly come off as anything other than rants or bouts of complaint and self-pity.) I am happy to be in a place where things are slowly starting to come together. I can only hope that they don't get pulled out from under me any time soon. (Knock on wood)

I should probably find a way to lull myself to sleep. I have a check flight tomorrow, and my manager will be on board. I need to be well-rested.

Goodnight, everyone.

Monday, August 19, 2013


As I prepare for a trip to Omaha to visit an old friend, I find myself traveling down some dusty pathways in my head. It's been an interesting few weeks, full of heavy lifting, throwing, drink pouring goodness, which means it's the best of times to take a stroll down memory lane.

After my last writing--which I think cataloged my flight attendant breakdown--I grew more positive about this job, my school situation, and life in general. I told myself that while these things suck, thinking about just how much I dislike everything will only make it worse. I went about trying to focus on the problem at hand, one at a time, rather than panic looking at the whole picture.

So, first things first, my parents are working on selling their house. It was a decision that had been slowly on the horizon. They warned me about it when I was in Japan, it was the reason my grandparents moved in, and when they suddenly moved out and back to Houston, it seemed to be the nail that closed the coffin. As much as I'd hate for my parents to leave their house, and I'm sure as much as they would hate to leave their house, it would help them come a bit closer to climbing out of debt. After only a few months, someone made an offer, and with fingers crossed, it will go through and my parents will be a few steps closer to financial freedom.

Of course, this meant that I needed to participate in one of the best parts of moving: Packing. While those of you that may not know me think I'm being sarcastic, my friends and family are probably laughing because of the opposite. I love packing. Period. Putting objects in boxes/suitcases/bags/cars/houses is just like tetris in real life. It keeps my mind and body busy while my sentimental nutcase finds some eerie source of tranquility. The more I dig through closets, drawers, cabinets, the more I find about a life I lived, but forgot in an instant. The funny thing is, you never realize that you've forgotten something until you try to remember it.

I can see a drawing that, judging by the year, came from 10th grade, but forget the idea, sound, situation, or muse that inspired it. I can't remember what I did before and after coloring a paper doll in elementary school, and that scares me. It's completely human, but it's a terrifying part of the aging process. No wonder I'm having a hard time finding myself. I've forgotten some of the best parts of my life, and some of them I willed myself to forget on purpose, thinking it would make me happier in the long run.

One of my instructors once told me that the key to reducing stress is living in the present. When you're worried about what happened or what will happen, you're living in a time outside of now. I feel like this has been going on since I got back from Japan. It's never about now, but later, and when it's not about later, it's about before, when I was happy.

As I go to bed, it will be a time for myself, my thoughts, and living in the present. Maybe that means it should only be time for sleep. In any case, I will make time for myself in the now, rather than worry about myself in the future. She's a strong girl. She can handle whatever happens.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

In the Air

I never expected that flying would give me so much time to think. It sounds a bit strange, but lately I browse the pockets of my mind as if were my favorite section of a record store. One minute, I'm pushing a cart through the aisle, putting ice into a plastic cup for the man on my left, and the next, I'm contemplating why life presents itself so discretely.

Perhaps it is a test written into the intimidating "probation" stage of the job, but the last three months of being a flight attendant have made me question my sanity, personality, and character. It may be normal to get lost in your thoughts once in awhile, but I can't tell if this is "normal."

The more I talk about the difficulties of being a new-hire flight attendant, I'm met with a 50-50 reaction: Pity or No nonsense. As I mention the great benefits, flexibility, etc., I am met with the throbbing weight of negativity the job brings: not-so-great pay, an ironic distance from friends, family, and home, and the unhappiness that comes with being unsettled and powerless. The voice inside my head says, "You have it easy, compared to those who are actually homeless. You have food, decent income, and more importantly, a job. Suck it up and get over it; you're in a good place." Meanwhile, I find myself screaming back, "Then why am I so unhappy? If it's such a good thing, then where is this pain coming from?"

I know that these are first world problems. I'm a healthy adult who managed to work her way into the field of aviation, gain a career at 21, while still attending school. My feelings of homelessness are nothing compared to those people who sleep on the streets, condemned buildings, and live off of the food that I so regularly waste because I'm not hungry or can't stomach it. I have a place to bathe regularly and enough money to keep myself fed. Logically, I can't complain about anything. I know I must sound like the kid that just got hit over the head with the "real world." I look at myself from the outside and laugh, thinking, "You're just a spoiled kid. Suck it up."

But even as I write this, my eyes start watering. Am I pathetic? Depressed? What's going on? This job is great, don't get me wrong, but something is out of place. Whether it's me, being off-track somewhere in the course of my life or some other thing I can't actually label, I'm not happy. I blame myself for spreading my goals so thin and try to do too many things at once instead of have the patience and diligence to do them one by one. I ended up crying when other flight attendants asked me how the job is treating me thus far. I don't want to lie and say that everything is great. (Although I end up doing this most of the time.) I want to be honest: I like this job . . . when the people I work with do their job the way it is supposed to be done. Most of the time, though, I find myself hating it because I feel as though I am doing the work of the whole plane. The excitement of flying is gone, and I dread getting on the plane. I'm excited when I can fly with the friends I've made, buy a small new snack at a local grocery store, or work in a premium cabin. Explaining this to my fellow flight attendants, I was met with the reactions I mentioned earlier: Half of the group told me to suck it up and get over it, while the others sympathized and told me that it will be horrible for about a year or two, and then things will get better. Yet, all of them told me that things will be okay, and this broke me.

Perhaps it's too many things at once: The person I love the most is about to leave the country, and I feel that this job is the one thing keeping me in control of seeing them. Yet, if I dislike this job, and I give it up, it's as though I lose that person forever. I can't just call them and go visit them. Instead, it's more work to see them. Then I ask myself, "But isn't that person worth it? Shouldn't you work hard to see them?" That's countered by, "Then keep the job. Endure it. You can do it. It's not that difficult, and you're good at it."

I'm trying to catch up to my dreams.

"How do I graduate school now?"
"Well, you can take classes online."
"I have four left, and the majority are only offered on-campus at the university."
"I guess you'll have to suck it up and go to school, then."
"Can't I just stop and do it all in one semester like everyone else?"
"Why didn't you do that before you took the job?"
"Because the job told me I would be flying 20-30 more hours at higher pay for flying to Japan . . ."
"Well, you should have investigated more before you accepted. If you did your homework, you would know that you wouldn't be flying. You can't complain about it. You decided to take the job and drop out of school."

The discussion continues, and I feel as though the world is lecturing me.

I guess I should stick to the mantra, "Everything will be okay," even though a part of me is suffocating thinking about what will happen in the future.

It's supposed to be fun not knowing what will happen, but the anxiety of it all has really been eating at me. It hits as soon as the lights dim in the cabin, service is complete, and the majority of passengers are sleeping. As I open a can of coke and take a sip, the scenario repeats, and I find myself up in the clouds.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Never Let Me Go

After a long hiatus of airline training, flying overseas, and getting lost in my thoughts, I finally decided it may be good to write and communicate my thoughts with the rest of the world.

The last six months have been challenging and all over the place. Nothing seems to be in my control, and I can't stop rolling down whatever hill I stumbled over. The positives remain that I was recently hired as a flight attendant, and after undergoing two-and-a-half months of training, I've become accustomed to living out of a suitcase, traveling the world, and interacting with over 600+ people on a 72 hour (or less) basis. It's not necessarily what I thought I'd be doing with my life, but for someone who is 21 and still enrolled in college, I guess it's not a bad lifestyle. I have health insurance, discounted travel perks, and I'm constantly moving in-and-out of a multicultural environment.

Yet, it felt strange reading about college graduation plans, JET Program interviews, and graduate school acceptance letters over facebook. Most of my classmates and good friends have moved past the undergraduate milestone and are moving onto bigger things. Although my parents and some dear friends remind me that there are plenty of exceptions to my previous statement, I can't help but find myself longing for my undergraduate degree. I'm not happy, and I need to pull myself back up this hill.

It's not that life for me is horrible. Again: Free and/or discounted travel perks, paid to fly internationally, health insurance, and a very flexible work schedule. Everything should be easy, right? If I have a schedule conflict, I can plan my work flights around whatever else I need to prioritize. I no longer have to tough out being sick to the point of near hospitalization because I can now afford to go to the doctor, and if I want to visit my friends in New York or California, why not hop on a plane and go? Well, I wish things were that easy. Needless to say, every job has a probationary period, and until then, it's better to play by the rules than to force them to bend.

I never disliked commuting to work until recently. It's not that it's too difficult or expensive, I'm just land-sick, if that makes sense. When I'm not working on a plane, I spend my time traveling home on one, or flying back to work. This problem may get better if I transfer bases or get an apartment or crashpad closer to my current base. Until my new-hire finances get in order, though, this (I should say the apartment, specifically, because I have one) is a little too budget-tight for comfort. I'd like to spend my time at home actually AT home, rather than worried about how many hours I have to wash clothes, take my uniform to the dry cleaners, cuddle my dogs, talk to college advisers about returning to class, help my parents move . . . The list is exhausting thinking about it now, and I'm typing this from my bed. 

My parents are selling their house, well, trying to, and have been battling their finances for about the last 5 years. (At least, that's when they started becoming a bit more vocal about their struggles.) I feel somewhat homeless. I'm not comfortable enough in my apartment to call it home, and I never really got a chance to settle into my parents house again after I got back from Japan. I had only started unpacking into my room when my parents told me that my grandparents would be moving into my bedroom, so I started sleeping on the couch, cleaning out the spare (read: storage) room to make way for me. Although, to be fair, it was also my way of detaching myself from my bedroom completely; something in my gut told me I wouldn't be moving into that room again. My grandparents moved in around the time I was hired for the airline. And in the middle of my training, only after being at the house about two-and-a-half months or so, they moved out. Despite paying for a new room addition, barn, and touch-ups to the house, my grandparents left my parents with a bigger house than they can afford. Now I'm not even at the house long enough to pay rent, look for a cheaper place to live, or even live there and help them with the little I can pay for my room.

I guess that's a long-winded way of saying: It sucks to feel homeless and then live from a suitcase. (To which many people reply: Better than actually being homeless; I agree.)

Perhaps this is a really wordy way of saying that I'm unhappy with where I am in life right now, and it started out as a way of motivating myself to do something about it. When I look at my ex-boyfriend, who is still my best friend (and dare I say it, soul mate), I see that he's doing things he wants to do. He tried being an artist, and sadly, didn't rise to fame (at least not yet!), but he's striving forward to try something new. For now, he doesn't know what, but he knows that he wants to go somewhere new and start over clean. I admire his ability to just pick everything up, move forward, and set a new goal for himself. He's going to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. That's way too cool.

For my own sake, I've told myself that right now, I know the following:
1) I want to be close to my best friend
2) I want to graduate from school
3) I want to apply for the JET program after graduation
4) I'm not happy being a flight attendant

It's not a sure-fire plan or anything, but at least it's a start. I'll continue to move forward by giving my roommates my notice, setting up appointments with professors and college advisers, and try to get myself grounded in a routine again. Moving around too much makes me dizzy, and I lose focus. I will get another part-time job to pay for school as my scholarships are still screwed up from the drama that happened during study-abroad, and I will graduate.

Time to keep doing my best, move forward, and get this shit done.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sweet Dreams

Again, it's been a long time since I've written anything, and it's been an even longer time since I've been this open.

A little over a two months ago, my boyfriend and I decided to split. I'll spare the mushy gushy, sob-story details; the important thing to know is that the relationship has ended.

I guess this is a test of faith for me. It gives me time to prioritize my life goals, emotions, and personal values.

It just hurts that I have some gut feeling that I'll never see him again. I don't say this out of pessimism; I just feel that something is wrong.

I'm unsure of whether or not my feelings will change as time goes on--a lot of people reading this will probably say, "Yeah, they do."--but the fact of the matter is that I don't want them to change now. At this point in time, and for the past two and half years, I have loved this person unlike I have loved any other human being. I want my heart to stay here where it is.

Wherever you are, my thoughts, prayers, and heart are with you.
Please stay safe.