Ok so most people don’t know this about me but at one time in my life, I really wanted to be a pilot. I wanted to fly the Blue Angels jets and be an airline pilot and travel the world by air in all the coolest new planes. This likely came from growing up in an area famous for Boeing Aircraft, and a father who was commonly hired to direct their big trade shows.
My love for learning about airplanes started in the fourth grade when my teacher: Mrs. Ulrich, (who just attended my wedding,) taught a whole curriculum on flying planes since she, herself was a pilot. We went to the Museum of Flight and learned about using a yok and a joystick and what kinds of planes there were and how air travel worked. I was obsessed! I even remember pretending to pilot a plane in the backseat with my sister on a long drive to the ski resort. The science and physics of air travel fascinated me.
Then to really drive home the obsession, my dad began working on marketing the Boeing 787 Dreamliner: the plane of all planes. He traveled the whole world doing extravagant productions to market the aircraft and make it available to airlines around the world. He even directed the first flight show, and my mom let me toast a glass of champagne with her to celebrate. (One of maybe 3 glasses of champagne I’ve had in my entire life).
I remember in the 8th grade, we had to give a presentation and try to convince an argument to the class. Most people argued things like “Pink vs. Blue” and “Boys vs. Girls” and “Meat Eaters vs. Vegans”. Like a total nerd, I decided to try and convince everyone that the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was a far superior plane to it’s competitor, the new Airbus aircraft. I remember the dumbstruck look on everyone’s face (including my teacher’s,) when I finished my thoroughly researched presentation and asked for a show of hands on who agreed with me. Not a single person had any clue what the hell I was talking about.
As if the universe was foreshadowing, one of the first pieces I learned by ear was the theme music for all the Boeing 787 shows, (which by the way was essentially a upward scale, lol).
Some years have gone by of course, and after discovering I have no inclination to join the military, learn physics or be away from home often, my career path changed to what it is now. What’s curious is that my husband and I discussed how we both wanted to be fighter pilots when we were growing up. He did end up joining the military, and was put on a submarine instead! We both joked about how we were “meant to be” because of our similar interest in flying, and still hope to learn to fly in the future.
Now, I’m what you would call a “grown-ass adult”. The money I make goes into a pool to help pay the mortgage. I’m married. I own a business. I enjoy cleaning my house. I go grocery shopping 3x a week. I like being organized. These changes have come gradually and I’ve truly enjoyed the process of becoming more independent. One of those changes is that now I occasionally take business trips, and sometimes, (rarely,) I have to take a flight to get there.
That brings me to now. I’m currently sitting in the Business Class of a Boeing 787 flight to Shanghai, China. Firstly, did I just say CHINA?! Yes! I still can’t believe in three hours I’ll be landing in freaking China! How did I get so lucky?!
But secondly, I’m sitting in the plane that I literally dreamed about for years. In business class. I really don’t mean to brag, but chilling in this private pod of a seat that literally gives you massages and turns into a bed has been BOMB. This luxury is such a blessing, and I’m trying to relish every moment of my time here in this little private “dream pod”.
As I was falling asleep (horizontally?!), I thought about how absolutely crazy humans are. How is it I’m flying thousands of miles over Russia and I just ate duck from Canada and I’m literally falling asleep as my electronics are charging in this little flying capsule?! Humans are so amazing! How do we come up with this? Just over a hundred years ago, that entire sentence of marveling at my blessings would not even be possible, let alone dreamt of!
I feel extraordinarily lucky today, as I am allowed to fly to a new country and travel comfortably and make enough money to pay off my debt and I have a family and a husband back home who are waiting for me to come back telling stories of my adventures. This level of fortune is honestly unreal when I think about what the other 7 billion people on the planet are living through.
As I go forward in life, I hope to remember that despite the amount of people that are hurting and are angry and are violent and are starving and suffering, people are also really amazing. Evidence of this can be found in every corner of the world: human ingenuity is astonishing. I hope I remember to take a moment every day and be truly grateful for the life I’ve been given.
I feel like I’ve got the winning lottery ticket and I have to use this life to the very fullest and best because the opportunities I work for are there and are possible and all it takes is an enormous amount of effort and a bit of resourcefulness. Did I mention a lot of work? There’s a lot! But I’m in a position where I can dedicate my time to doing just that, and THAT is a blessing.
And lastly, I hope I remember that as a little girl, I had big dreams that came true in ways I didn’t expect. So who’s to say my current big dreams won’t come true? I just have to keep going so I can see how it all plays out!
I’m going to call the flight attendant and see about getting some coffee and ice cream…