It’s now been over a year since I physically ran from my social media desk job to become a flight attendant. I do hope Karen, who was on front desk duty that day, got a laugh out of my final exit.
I traded retweets for non-revving and likes for call bell lights. I left Facebook before it was cool and now take a 45-minute flight to work.
They say your first year in the skies is the hardest, but I’m here to tell you that if you have the heart (and sometimes the stomach) for it, the literal and metaphorical ups and downs are more than worth it.
Sure, you’ll have passengers recognize the pride you take in your work. You could also have a harsh Jersey accent screaming in your face because you never asked if someone wanted a refill on her coffee.
Sure, you’ll get to explore and come to love cities you never would have looked twice at before. You could also spend hours in the hotel lobby after a never-ending day because your company never followed through on your paperwork.
Sure, you’ll meet selfless, inspiring co-workers from all sorts of backgrounds and walks of life. You could also be stuck on a four-day trip with the laziest, most intolerable person you could imagine.
Sure, there will be times your company’s actions will have you proudly beaming. You could also be blatantly sexually harassed and have it repeatedly brushed off.
Sure, you’ll find your perfect “flight attendant red” lip shade. You could also get barfed on.
Sure, you’ll get to hop time zones and hotel rooms like there’s no tomorrow. You could also get choked up on the jumpseat after leaving things a little weird with your significant other.
Sure, you’ll witness meet cutes and random acts of kindness. You could also work a galley position during somebody’s morning shit.
But you know what? One year, one pair of broken heels in the trash can, one recurrent training course passed, and one life-sized leap of faith later, I’ve found my home in a big metal bird.
During my first year, I earned a little more than half my previous job’s salary. I made the least amount of money out of my independent adult years so far and yet was happier than ever before.
So for any and all of you out there who have perhaps had this flight attendant life fantasy creep into the back of your heads time and time again, I’m here to say this: GO FOR IT. Worst case scenario? You’ll hate it. But even then, when you go in for interviews afterward, I’ll bet you anything the person sitting across from you will say, “Hey, I always wanted to try that!” when they see the flight attendant blip on your resume.
So come on, stick your head in the clouds with me.
Peace, love & fairy dust,