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.

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