I’ve always been independent and used to flying solo. Now, I’m flying solo in a very literal way. With the size of the aircraft on which I work flights, there is only one working flight attendant at any given time. If there is a second working flight attendant, one of them is training. Although doing things by myself is something I’ve become accustomed to (and even liked), it’s not until recently that it has lost its savor.
This is a recent development, and I’ve no idea why it’s come about. It started surfacing the last few times that I dined out alone. This was something I used to love doing and never thought twice about it; now, a sense of malaise creeps into my conscious thoughts as I wait on my appetizer to come. Where could it be coming from?
As much as I love my job, it’s impacting me in specific ways. Like I said, I’m usually the only working flight attendant, so I have no coworker to exchange witty banter. Sometimes it’s a good thing because someone with a bad attitude can’t cloud my positive outlook; however, there are times where I found myself wanting to say something to SOMEONE. Most times, I can’t talk to the passengers. The flights are short, and most people travel in pairs or groups. They certainly aren’t thinking of the flight attendant unless they want a drink or to know if they’ll make that connecting flight.
Could I talk to to the pilots? Yeah, sure… when they aren’t busy. And really, when are they not busy? They make sure the tin can in the sky stays in the sky; I’d say that’s pretty important. Besides, some of them aren’t conversational; this often conflicts with the shy & introverted new girl that is nervous about starting conversations. I really liked the last two guys I flew with; the captain and I talked food. Once you open that up, I’m your friend whether you like it or not.
THEN… because my job requires so much and the lack of sleep schedule is trying, I come home and sleep for about a day and a half! This leaves only about another day and a half where I could potentially interact with other humans besides my mom, sister and nephew. Do I get to see other people, though? No. Unless I go to church (which is about once a month), my extra waking time is spent getting ready for my next trip. Three days can move along quickly if you aren’t mindful.
Truthfully, even though I live in the same house with my family, I don’t get to see them either. It’s because we all have our own lives, which is okay… but thinking of all these factors helps me realize why I’m feeling how I do.
The New Year is coming, and I’m thinking of making some changes, despite my disdain for resolutions. I’m glad I’m seeing this problem now, so that it can be remedied in its infancy. Maybe I won’t consider them resolutions so much as changes.
So here’s what I have in mind:
- USE THOSE TRAVEL BENEFITS! I’ve always loved traveling and flying. I have a stretch of days off next month, and am thinking of taking a trip. I don’t think I’ve ever written a blog about me traveling somewhere, so that will be ground breaking. Yay for new things! I think it will keep me from being overwhelmed about wanting to do my job right, and overwhelmed with other life stuff.
- Keep trying new things. Deep within me lies the mortal fear of being boring, so I stay in the habit of doing different things and going to new places. It also keeps complacency away. No matter how happy I am with my job, it’s good to keep oneself rejuvenated and fresh by trying something different once in a while. Besides, I have a friend that told me she never knows what I’ll come out with when she talks to me; I now have a reputation to protect!
- Get a car! Your girl has been without a car for two years. TWO YEARS. Public transportation is a blessing when you don’t have a car, but it’s even more blessed to own a motor vehicle when you live where I do. For example: to drive to the airport from where I live is 15 minutes. If I take the train or bus, we’re talking about 2 hours. Yes, really. If I had a car, not only would commuting be easier (and I wouldn’t have to ask for rides), but it will open up other possibilities! I can now: explore other food locales, pick up hobbies, and eventually, move away from home. That’s a big one because I can’t even consider moving away from home because I depend on rides.
- Pick up other hobbies. Obviously, I love food… but there are other things that catch my fancy that I think will help the loneliness. Some things in which I’m interested will allow me to be around other folks, which is good. My solitude is important, but constant solitude isn’t my thing. It’ll also help a girl stay well rounded if she indulges in other pursuits.
- Start saying hello, particularly to men. In most cases, hello never killed anyone. Having this occupation as well as working in retail has helped me not be as shy… but I still find myself hesitating to speak if someone catch my interest. It’s not always because they’re attractive, but sometimes there’s something compelling about a person that makes you want to talk to them. So I should do that!
That’s about all I have for now. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas; have a happy and safe New Year! I’ll end by saying this: if you don’t want to make resolutions, don’t do it… but if you need to make a change at all, don’t hesitate. Deciding to change things doesn’t have to wait until this time of the year; that might be too long.