Ahh the life of a flight attendant. It’s a lifestyle and a career that many do not understand unless you are in the industry. Embedded in it, breathe it, sleep it and dream it. It becomes your poison, your passion and your love. Add the other passion of being a hairstylist and it becomes a vortex of creativity, ambition and the endless need to make both career’s work in-sync with each other.
As a regional flight attendant, I work for an airline that code-shares for three of the largest, major carriers in the United States. What does that mean? In the most simplest terms – we operate the aircraft that go to all major hubs and we bring in the passengers from the smaller cities, metros, across the country. Not only do we fly and operate the domestic side of the US, we also fly to international destinations such as Canada, the Caribbean and Central America.
It is a fun job. It is also what you make of it. I have spent the last five years of my life making this career work for me and my families needs. That has not always been easy since I have encountered some obstacles along the way but I always manage to find path’s that lead me further along. Resilience? Perseverance? Craziness? Determination? I try not to label what I have been doing – I just do it. I do question myself at times why I push so hard but one look at my children and I know why. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love being a flight attendant.
I do not live in my base so therefore, I have to commute from my ‘home’ airport to report for duty. That is stressful because we fly standby. It is all free flights to commute to work but as with anything that is free, you don’t pitch a fit. I get annoyed a lot (A LOT) but it is the choice I make – to commute. You just keep figuring it out. I am a NC girl and since we don’t have a base in my home state, I do have to commute. Never flown standby before? Let me sum it up for you – Put your name on a list (as an employee) with about however many other employees and their dependents are trying to go to the same place you are, check in and you wait. Wait to be called, pray there are enough open seats, pray you get on. If you don’t, you get rolled over to the next one. Repeat the process. Keep praying. Eventually you will get there but you better hope it is before you are to report for duty. Not cool to not be there when you are supposed to be. Honestly, I loathe commuting. Literally.
As a hairstylist, that to is embedded in me. It is also my poison but not as much as flying is. I have been a part of the hair industry for 27 years. I have seen and done about everything there is. I have owned my own business, worked for a couple of people, taken some risk, been an educator and I have also quit for a few months.
When I moved from Raleigh, NC to the small, mountain town I live in now, it was my goal to open a salon here. It failed to put it frankly. It failed because it was not the right time for me. It failed because my heart wasn’t truly in it like it should have been. I wasn’t even happy about my move here and that was a huge triggering factor for the non-success of the salon. Am I sad because of it? No. I learned a lot from that small adventure. More than any small business could ever teach me.
I have been here for a year and eight months now. I am slowly learning to like where I live. I admit that I am torn between here and the coast of NC. The drive for that is because it is where my son lives and I miss him terribly. I wish I could have the best of both worlds – a house in two places. Maybe I can one day. Maybe my future lies down at the coast. I don’t know. I just don’t know where God will take me.
For now, I have the opportunity to either live my life while I am here and make the most of it or sit around and let negativity take over my head and my heart – a dangerous combination. I am going back to the hair industry starting in the middle of October. I want to. I am not feeling forced to or that I must do it but I genuinely want to do it in the location that I feel was chosen for me. You know, one of those ‘Oh hey – this is sort of fall in my lap kind of thing’ yet it had been on the table for a while.
I want the best of both things I am passionate about. I have taken steps to make sure I am in search of that. Putting things in place, in a slow pace (which is new for me) and making sure that in the long scheme of things, that I am flying less and working more in the salon. I have a job that allows me to do that. Both of those career’s and talents mesh together perfectly given the right mixture of thought and careful planning.
Flying keeps me supported with some sort of steady income and health insurance while being in the salon provides me with instant income, the building of a client base and the opportunity to grow like crazy. Who wouldn’t want that? If you ask me what is so hard about all of this, the only thing I can honestly tell you is that I really don’t know. It will be a personal challenge for me to get both careers in-sync but I can not take my eyes off of the end results. I am not seeking to be rich but I do have the opportunity to make a lucrative career for myself in a prime location.
I hope that you will be in prayer and much-needed support for this journey. I think it can be beneficial for me in many ways. I leave you with this thought that always rings true with me – No matter what life throws your way, take it and make the most of it. Explore your options, leave no door closed until you have exhausted all avenues and even then, leave a small crack if needed. Life is not short. Life is long, it is full of surprises and it is full of people who will believe in you but you have to believe in yourself first.
Peace, Love & Happiness